Helping your training through COVID-19
We’ve had lots of emails over the past few weeks from athletes asking for training advice, in light of the whole coronavirus situation. Many people’s events have been postponed. And some countries are imposing social-distancing or lockdowns.
Maintaining your own health, well-being and routines (as far as possible) will help you stay positive and motivated throughout. But what should you do about your triathlon, ironman, duathlon, cycling or running training?
On this page, we’ll provide the advice and resources you need so you can keep training during this challenging time.
Three key measures we're taking:
1. Free advice
2. Free resources
We will provide resources for free, including Dryland Swim Plans to be used with your existing triathlon plan, Strength & Conditioning guides and simple PDF training plans.
3. Flexible training
Brand new: freely swap between all 800 of my premium plans as your situation changes, plus Premium TrainingPeaks and email coach support for one low monthly fee.
1. Free advice
In this section we’ll summarise our most frequently asked questions and keep updating it as things progress. We’ve also created a Coronavirus Training Advice page over on our MyProCoach Help Center which we’ll keep updating with more information for our athletes – or you can also browse and search our entire library of over 150 training articles over there too (you don’t need one of our plans).
What if my event is cancelled/postponed?
For now, train the best you can until you know for sure. If you are unlucky and cannot race then you could aim to target another event (even if you don’t enter) and always stay focused on doing what you can. Another coping strategy is to continue to train as normal, still focusing on your original race date. On that ‘race date’ perform an individual mock-up of your race. A personal time trial over the race distance(s) you have been training for, even if you split the disciplines over a couple of days. Share your goals to inspire others and stay motivated. Then after you’ve recovered, hopefully you’ll have a new race date to aim for and you could continue training again with the same plan or a new one. Either way, this would mean a step back in volume, it would be good to give your body a break.
Should I keep training?
At times like these, training is one of the best things you can do. It can help you stay motivated as well keep you fit and healthy. Once normality and racing opportunities return you will be more ready to race, than if you let training slip. It is important to keep in mind the bigger, and longer-term picture when it comes to training and racing. The training you do this season will boost your performances in the coming weeks and months – and in years to come too. That’s why it’s important to train consistently, even when you’re unsure about your target event.
What is Virtual Racing?
Times like these call for innovative solutions to keep you fit, healthy and motivated. Virtual racing can be performed within any environment available to you at this time. That might be around your local park, on your bike trainer or treadmill.
Whether you choose to race competitively against other virtual racers, or simply enter to stay motivated and achieve short-term personal goals. The training and racing activities you take on now, will go a long way to support your longer-term goals.
Zwift and RGT Cycling have a well established schedule of race opportunities for cyclists, and IRONMAN have launched their Virtual Club where you can find virtual events. A quick Google search will take you a great selection of virtual race opportunities to suit your goals and training availability. The Conquer Events offer a multitude of cycling and running challenges.
What should I do…
The strength and conditioning workouts in our training plans are designed so that they can be done at home, check the PDFs below for full instructions (including videos). Usually these are only available as part of our premium training plans.
Our plans have two or three scheduled swim workouts each week. You can replace these with a strength, run or bike (if possible). Aim to select the discipline and purpose that will give you the most gain. This will depend on your current fitness and ability. You can duplicate a speed or endurance workout from the previous weeks training.
- Take your swim sabbatical as an opportunity to build overall strength as well as focus on swim specific exercises and core strength: check out our full Swim Strength exercise guide with videos.
- For more dryland exercises, you can also check these videos from Global Triathlon Network; Strength Workouts and Dryland Band and Swim Cord Workouts.
- Consider our Indoor Triathlon Plans (see ‘Flexible Training’ below).
- Strengthen your bike by adding power-specific speed workouts.
- Improve your running endurance by adding an easy/steady run each week.
If you become unable to ride outdoors then you can do all your bike sessions on an indoor bike if this is available to you. Our workouts all export to software such as Zwift and Garmin, so you can follow your workouts on screen. If not, then replace your bike workouts with home strength workouts – and occasional easy-intensity, short runs (to avoid injury). Choose exercises from your Strength and Conditioning PDF (links above) that focus on the muscle groups that are key for riding.
You can also check this video from Global Triathlon Network for more on this: Strength for Cyclists
If running outdoors becomes restricted and you don’t have a treadmill available to you then replace your run workouts with cycling workouts (of a similar type) – or strength and conditioning workouts. Choose exercises from your Strength and Conditioning PDF (links above) that focus on the muscle groups that are key for running.
You can also check these videos from Global Triathlon Network for more on this: Strength for Running and Six Exercises to Run Faster.
When you can re-commence run training, you may need to scale back the volumes and intensities. Aim to gradually progress these by about 8 to 12% each week until you can realign with your plan.
If you’re using a TrainingPeaks plan, most can be used multiple times for free (including ours). You can realign your plan in your calendar so that you are in peak shape for your new race date. Here is how to do that:
- In the Calendar view within TrainingPeaks, you will see a Training Plan Library tab on the left with a logo that looks like a book or file.
- Click on this and you will see a list of any training plans you have bought.
- Remove your training plan that you applied (you won’t lose completed workouts).
- You can then re-apply choosing to end on the nearest Sunday to your new race date.
- Once you have done this, you will be able to see all your workouts.
- Double-check the plan aligns correctly with your race date.
Further, our training plans generally have four ‘phases’ (Prep, Base, Build and Peak phases) and depending on the circumstances you are facing you may choose to take the opportunity to build upon areas that will strengthen your ‘limiters’. You may find it helpful to add in some coached swim sessions, take some long rides to improve endurance fitness, head to the track or hit the gym to boost strength. Repeating training phases that focus on areas for specific development will support this. This could be achieved with the same training plan by realigning the training plan to place yourself in the phase you would like.
Learn more in our help center: Coronavirus – How to Adjust Your Plan for Cancelled/Postponed races
2. Free resources
Free 8- and 12-Week Training Plans (PDFs)
Available for triathlon and running, these basic plans are designed to get you in peak shape for a target event. They will help you stay on track, with a simple, short-term focus, while life feels uncertain and compromised. Training is simplified, by using only heart-rate or Rate of Perceived Exertion (a number out of 10).
Just click the “Free Download” button on the following training plan pages:
- Sprint Triathlon Plans
- Olympic Triathlon Plans
- Half IRONMAN®️ 70.3®️ Plans
- Full IRONMAN®️ 140.6 Plans
- 10K Running Plans
- Half Marathon Plans
- Marathon Plans
Free Dryland Swim Plans for use with Phil’s Triathlon plans
These TrainingPeaks plans can be used in conjunction with your current triathlon plan. They feature 2 or 3 dryland swim workouts per week, which are designed to replace your scheduled pool and/or open water swims.
Many races have been cancelled or postponed and your racing schedule has probably changed. If you purchased one of our plans between January 1st 2020 and March 21st 2020, we are offering you the chance to switch your plan to a longer length, or different type.
For example, if you are following a 12-week triathlon plan and now need a 12-week pure cycling plan then we will swap that for free. Or if you need a longer plan to align to your new race date or a new type of plan you will just pay the difference (if any).
Free Strength and Conditioning Plans (PDFs)
We’re offering our strength and conditioning PDF’s (which form part of our training plans) for free during this time. They include videos and images, showing you how to do our recommended exercises – which can all be done from home.
- Strength and Conditioning for Triathletes
- Strength and Conditioning for Duathletes
- Strength and Conditioning for Runners
- Strength and Conditioning for Cyclists
3. Flexible training
“Fitness Maintenance” Plans on TrainingPeaks
These plans were designed for end-of-season recovery and fitness maintenance. But they are also ideal for maintaining your fitness when life throws you a curve ball. They’re hosted on the TrainingPeaks platform, which means you’ll benefit from workouts you can export to your devices and follow on-screen.
- Triathlon “Off Season Fitness Maintenance” Plans
- Duathlon “Off Season Fitness Maintenance” Plans
- Running “Off Season Fitness Maintenance” Plans
- Cycling “Off Season Fitness Maintenance Plans”
Switch Your Plan Whenever you Want
We have now created a new, more flexible service called MyProCoach™ UNLIMITED Athlete. This enables you to swap between all 800 of my premium plans, plus TrainingPeaks Premium and ongoing email coach support for any training questions or advice.
Prices range from $15.30/mth to $28.90/mth – depending whether you only do Running events or already have TrainingPeaks Premium.
As a MyProCoach™ UNLIMITED Athlete, our support coaches will happily switch your plan whenever you want – and apply it to your calendar according to your race date. Learn more here >>
Indoor Triathlon Plans
We have designed two new training plans designed specifically with indoor-training options and tips, so you can maintain your training. These plans are also featured on TrainingPeaks plan store homepage.
- Olympic Triathlon 6 Week Plan + Indoor Training Options (including Dry-Land Swim Training)
- IRONMAN®️ 70.3®️ 6 Week Plan + Indoor Training options (including Dry-Land Swim Training)
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