Training through COVID-19
So many of 2020’s events were cancelled or postponed. Hopefully, the 2021 race season will see you back on track. Whatever your situation, here we provide advice and resources to help you continue training for triathlon, IRONMAN, duathlon, cycling and running.
Three key measures we're taking:
1. Free advice
We will continually share help-articles, videos and guides – to help you adjust your own training at this time (read our top FAQs below).
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 – 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).
- It might be time to draw a line under this year’s hard training and maintain your fitness with one of our Fitness Maintenance plans. They are designed to keep you fit, with slightly less training – ideal when you have no immediate races planned.
- Look for an alternative target, such as a Virtual race, a personal solo effort or an organised socially distanced event and continue to train to race as normal.
Either way, after you have raced and recovered, or completed your off-season training, hopefully, you’ll have a 2021 race date to aim for. Take some time to plan your 2021 season and look forward to a return to 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 has a 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.
What should I do…
The strength and conditioning workouts in our training plans include a PDF with instructions, images and videos and shows you how to perform the exercises at home with minimal equipment.
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.
You can follow your bike sessions on an indoor trainer. Our workouts export easily to software such as Zwift and Garmin, for you to follow your workouts on screen. If you don’t have an indoor trainer, 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 that focus on muscle groups key for riding.
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 that focus on 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.
Take the opportunity to work on specific areas that you can make good gains (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.
Learn more in our help center: Coronavirus – How to Adjust Your Plan for Cancelled/Postponed races
When restrictions are lifted, you may have had a break from one or more of your disciplines. To recommence training you will need to scale back to avoid injury. Gradually progress volumes and intensities by about 8 to 12% each week until you can realign with your plan. Don’t rush back and put yourself at risk of injury, it’s just not worth it.
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. Just click the “Free Download” button on the following training plan pages:
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. If your new plan is the same price or less we do this for free, if it costs more, then you just pay any difference.
If you bought your plan after these dates, you can still swap it for free within the first 14-days after purchase. Simply get in touch with our coaching team with the details of the new plan required, we will be happy to help.
3. Flexible training
NEW: MyProCoach™ UNLIMITED Athlete
We have now created a new, more flexible service called MyProCoach™ UNLIMITED Athlete. You can swap between all 800 of my premium plans, choose to include TrainingPeaks Premium and benefit from ongoing email coach support.
- Swap plans at anytime: Is your event cancelled or postponed? Finding your plan too hard or too easy? Signed up to a different event? Or simply want to start fresh? We’ll happily swap your plan whenever you want.
- Certified Coach support: On top of full help-centre & FAQ support (with videos), our coaches will quickly reply to any training questions via email or Facebook messenger.
- From $4.81 per week.
- 1 month-free + 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Learn more here >>
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
Indoor Triathlon Plans
We have designed two 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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