For many triathletes, taking on a 70.3 race is the furthest they will ever go, for others it’s a stepping stone to full iron-distance racing. Whatever it is for you, it shouldn’t be taken lightly and requires a commitment to the training if race day is going to be a success.
Completing a 70.3 is best done with some experience of triathlon racing and ideally a knowledge of how your body reacts to exercise stress after 2-3hrs. Watching Alistair Brownlee step up to racing 70.3 may have seemed effortless but let’s not forget the huge amount of miles the professionals cover in training.
This 70.3 training plan is designed for those who are able to commit to six days training per week. You’ll need a decent base level of fitness and an understanding of working at differing levels of intensity. One key element in this training plan is that some weeks have a number of ‘double days’ where there are two training sessions – these don’t need to be done in succession and in fact it’s better to recover between training sessions and be ready to execute each session as strongly as possible. Consider how best to refuel between sessions on double days with the right hydration and nutrition.
- Should I include double run days in my triathlon training?
- What is the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and why is it important for athletes?
Each week includes one open-water swim. It’s absolutely crucial that you spend enough time getting ready for the swim; if you can be as comfortable as possible in the open-water environment and get a strong start to the race, then you stand a great chance of overall race success. Practise ‘sighting’, swimming in groups and getting used to physical contact as well as building your swim endurance.
If, as an athlete, you’ve been used to racing shorter distances at higher intensities, part of the transition to middle-distance racing is to reduce speed slightly but improve endurance to tolerate the stress for longer periods. It’s a bit like walking a tightrope and knowing that if you spend too long on the wrong side you’re likely to have a major fall from grace! The longer bike and runs, as well as the brick sessions, are your ideal opportunity to dial in your middle-distance race pace.
Click below to download the 8 week 70.3 training plan
Dermott’s 4 top tips for middle-distance
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
Research the course and try, where possible, to replicate the amount of climbing and terrain during the key sessions, like the brick workouts and the long bike and run.
2. START RIGHT
During open-water swim sessions, practise how to start strong and then find your race-pace rhythm. Prepare for contact with others and don’t let it disrupt you.
3. PRACTISE WALKING
During the longest runs and the brick sessions it’s okay to walk during the run element. On race day you’re advised to walk through aid stations so get used to it now.
4. PRACTISE FUELLING
Train using the same nutrition you want to use on race day. 70.3 racing requires a lot of nutrition so you need to know what works for you and how much to take.