THE T:ZERO BLOG
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If I had a dollar every time I have been asked “what’s the best length of time to train for a race?” I could retire early and ride bikes till my heart’s content.
My answer is normally, as the title of this mini blog might suggest, is “How long is a piece of string?”
But if I think about it a bit more, perhaps my answer should more accurately be linked with the age old question around the best time to plant a tree? As the Chinese proverb says “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is now”.
In a sport coming down to minutes on race day, training for, and becoming the best athletic version of you, is down to years. In an era of “I want it now”, this can be a hard fact to comprehend. I often tell my own story as an example, but there are many others similar, including half of our coaching team. For me personally, I started triathlon back in the early 2000s doing enticer and sprint distance races up in the small, then town, of Hervey Bay. We raced regularly as a club (every month or two) and the max distance I ever did for the first 4-5 years, alongside playing a bunch of other sports, was a 750/20/5. In fact I didn’t actually get a bike until 2005 so prior to that I was doing mainly duathlons or swim-run races. I did my first olympic distance at Mooloolaba in 2007. My first 70.3 in 2010, and my first Ironman in 2012. The progression up the distances was done patiently, over many years. And my progression in skill and strength even slower.
My big lessons for you, in terms of how long should I train for for a specific race: well, as always, it depends on lots of things. But, for a big chunk of our athletes, they come with big performance goals and dreams. Personally, my best results have come from:
So… either you start twenty years ago, or you start today. That’s the best time to start training for a race.
For the love of endurance,
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An amazing collection of training and racing advice from the T:Zero Multisport coaches- with the occasional guest blogger! Read this blog to help you live your potential!