December 15, 2017

Ramping Up

This is the time of year we triathletes ramp up for our upcoming season. For some of us there’s a little more ramping up needed than others (if you know what I mean)!

We’re very anxious to return the fitness we had at the peak of our season last year but not so fast! Sure, it would be great to jump right back into those long hard sessions but don’t!

This is the time of year to slowly ramp back up to where you were not jump back in where you left off. If you attempt to you’re likely to encounter one of three problems:

1. Injury
2. Illness
3. Give up

Since you’re body isn’t used to the type of workouts you did during your peak last year you need to start out easier and build to where you were. Too many triathletes try to jump back in and injure themselves by going too hard or too long.

A buddy of mine back east was in a hurry to drop the winter weight and make good on his New Year’s resolution and decided to do a nighttime run. Big mistake! Now it’s quite possible he’ll never run again, or at least the way he used to. He’s got a huge cast on his foot and seven screws holding it together!

Since exercise puts stress on your body illness is another potential problem. Eating right and lots of rest are helpful, as are staying away from sick people and washing your hands a lot, but when you stress your body too much you’re more susceptible to getting sick.

The last, and perhaps worst, problem is giving up entirely. It’s frustrating not to be able to perform the way you used to. However, if you let it get to you and give up you’re never going to get your fitness back.

Here are some tips to getting your fitness back:

1. Start out with an abbreviated number of workouts per week. If you were doing 11, try six.

2. Cut the length of the workouts back. If your long rides were four hours start out with two.

3. Cut the intensity back. If you were hammering at an RPE (rating of perceived exertion) of “8” dial it back to “6” for a while.

4. Reduce the amount of running you do. Running is the hardest on your body. Substitute an additional swim for a run early in the season and build from there.

There’s no rush. Yes, the season is close at hand but you don’t want to blow it before it even gets started.


Ron Saetermoe

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