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Coaching / Overtraining

I have entered Weymouth (70.3) next September and have also entered a couple of preliminary events in May and July (Standard and Olympic distance respectively). I have engaged the services of a coach - I am pretty fit anyway (main strength is cycling), but wanted to make sure that I was using my time effectively, given that I work full time etc.

I have been training with the coach for a month now and I'm already running 90 minute sessions as part of my long run, as well as a recovery run after my long ride on Saturday's and also mid-week as part of a brick session (cycle/run).

Is this too much, too soon? I'm also swimming twice a week with a triathlon club and have had to drop my weekly PT session as there just seems to be too much going on. A couple of people have commented on the amount of training I'm doing already....


  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    Too much too soon is a very difficult question to answer definitively. What is said/not said in your post raises some significant concerns in my mind:

    First that you asked the question in the first place.

    Second that you asked on a public forum.

    Third, and most importantly, it doesn't appear that you have asked your coach the same question.

    Fourth that no mechanism of feedback of performance and more importantly markers of fatigue/over training has been setup.

    You have selected a coach no doubt for very good reasons so I would suggest that you get in touch with them and discuss your concerns. This really should be a face to face meeting. As an athlete I'd want to know the overall training programme structure between now and Weymouth, how training will progress, the amount and regularity of feedback/discussion between the two of you and how the programme will change from your feedback.

    Build an open, honest and positive relationship with your coach and you should be OK. If not, then change
  • JSBJSB Posts: 5

    Thanks for the response HarryD.

    Being new to this, I wanted to understand from experienced triathletes whether this was realistic in terms of training (at this stage) before I had the conversation with my Coach. I do provide regular feedback via Training Peaks, which receives little or no response from the aforementioned. I have called out fatigue (once) which has not been commented upon, nor has the schedule changed.

    When I did ask to move my long run to the weekend, because of timing constraints and the ability to be able to eat properly afterwards and get enough sleep (i.e. think about the bigger picture), I got a comment back saying 'no point doing the session, if you don't have the time'.  

    Might be time to change....

  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    JSB, looks like you need a coach to work with you rather than you for them. To achieve your objectives taking into account commitments to work, family, friends and life in general. What is worrying from what you've reported is that the two most important elements of recovery from and adaption to training are quality sleep and quality eating.

    As Bob Dylan sang, 'times they are a changing'
  • Hi JSB

    As a coach, and very simplistically looking at where you are today and looking to Weymouth which is a long way off, I´d say a 90min run now IS TOO MUCH - you would be burned out / overtrained before you get there

    We coach several people doing middle distance and IM; the longest single run a male athlete would do is 90min, plus another run plus a brick run - and this works to get an athlete to Kona and running a 3hr marathon.

    Its about the session mix, what you can do, etc which is the key, but typically the athlete would do 3 (minimum), 3-4 bike, 2 run and a brick session per week - note that this does not imply 1hr session for each.

    From a coaching perspective, I fully agree with everything HarryD said - you should have all this discussion with your coach and if you get repsonses like "no point doing the session, if you don't have the time" then I would very strongly recommend you change your coach - this one is not a coach, nor is she/he interested in coaching, just taking your money!

    We encourage our athletes to sonstantly get in touch and tell us how things are going (every day) - and we explain what, why, etc in a series of guides.

    I´m saying this as a benchmark for you to consider if/when you change coach -  and out of frustration with there being so many "coaches" like the one you describe who take a lot of money for coaching using a standard, rather than bespoke, plan aimed at you, the client!

    Sorry for the rant, but hope the first part helps

  • JSBJSB Posts: 5

    Thanks MartinH2 for your very helpful response. Very much appreciated!

    Having recently had a chat with another (L3) coach, who I have been using for some swim analysis, she has said the same thing as you. As a result, I have called time with my current coach. This weekend, required a 3 hour ride on Saturday and then a 1h 50m run yesterday. Needless to say, this was simply too much (after a full schedule last week anyway) and I decided to limit it to 1h 20m. Which was still hard work.

    I sent him a very nice e-mail which fully detailed my issues (the middle of last week) and haven’t had a response. Which to me speaks volumes. I appreciate that it is Christmas and a time for families etc, but even a holding e-mail would have been better than radio silence!

    Anyway, time to move on. And a useful lesson in being more aware of what’s important to me from a coaching perspective. And what my ‘buck’ is getting me. 

  • No problem - I think you have done the right thing.

    Good luck - if you want any help, just ask

    Happy New Year!


  • JSBJSB Posts: 5

    Thanks Martin, will do! And a Happy New Year to you too!

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