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Coaching tip - Capitalising on last season’s gains

Each year Fluid has athletes who train through Winter for World Championship events in September and October. After a short break they want to get back into shape for the upcoming triathlon season within 4-6weeks.

When the coach and athlete doesn't have the luxury of time to rebuild gradually there are techniques that can be used to leverage the gains from the previous prep.  In this case I want to see them retain and use all that fitness, speed and endurance they gained over the big Winter Worlds training block, so it’s definitely not the case of going back to the drawing board and building through traditional periodised phases again aka ‘reinventing the wheel’

I used this to great effect last season with Fluid athlete Laura Armstrong. In the 2015/16 tri season Laura was a contender for podiums places at the Victorian Gatorade tri series level. Laura qualified for ITU Worlds in Mexico 2016 and had a brilliant preparation through to September. Once she returned after an extended break OS I set a program that helped her retain her top end speed gains that she had developed over Winter for swim and run training, and consolidated her strength endurance especially on the bike where she needed to improve.

As a result within 6weeks of starting back after a break Laura smashed her 70.3 best time at Ballarat by 18mins and went on have her best season yet, winning her category at multiple Gatorade races, including an overall female win including pros at Gatorade Race 3 in seasons best performance, 3months after a 6week break from training.

To achieve this, I had to turn traditional periodised progression methods on its head and concentrate immediately post break on top down Threshold and VO2max style training. The amount of work done at these intensities and recovery required had to be adjusted to reflect the detrained effect Laura’s break had on her, but the first priority was to maintain and improve on her speed and speed endurance gains made over the previous prep and built back more base elements gradually over time.

Again this year with Fluid’s ITU Rotterdam and Chattanooga 70.3 Worlds, as our athletes come back following a break I will be using the same training techniques to see them hit the ground running at events like the Noosa Triathlon in November, shortly after their post Worlds breaks.

If you want to know more about Fluid’s training programs that have reaped more ITU Worlds podium finishes this year with Leigh Anderson winning a Silver medal for the Standard distance in 35-39ge, get in touch with me, Coach Foz via the website at or email at

Coach Foz

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