Training Time Trials to Track Fitness Levels

Do you include consistent time trialing to your training program? Consider adding regular time trials to your training schedule as they offer plenty of fitness tracking advantages as you progress toward your key events. These time trials don’t have to be specific races but every 4-6 weeks add your time trial with your specific endurance sports discipline and monitor in your training journal.

4 Time Trials

The 5 Mile Running time trial – This time trial can be on a track, road or trails and the key is to focus on specific terrain similar to your key races.

The 2 mile fatigued running time trial – This specific time trial workout will build confidence of finishing strong in a race. Consider running at aerobic pace for a period of time to match your specific race goal and the last 2 miles the goal is to keep the heart rate in the 85-92% range of your target zone.

The 40K cycling time trial – The classic triathlon time trial to monitor pacing, cadence, heart rate. Think about “consistent cadence” from beginning to end.

The 1500-meter swim time trial – Focus on swimming this time trial by finishing strong. Get into your swim “groove” and push hard the last third of the total tie.

The long ride (Midway time trial) – If your preparing for a longer distance triathlon such as a ½ Iron or full Iron adding a specific time trial of 60 minutes after several hours on the bike. For example if you’re cycling a century then add 60 minutes hard at the ¾ time period of the ride (if your riding in 6 hours, then from 4 ½ – 5 ½ hours pick up the pace hard).

The key items to monitor include for: time trial time and/or distance, average heart rate during the time trial, maximum heart rate, course, weather conditions, cycling cadence average.

It’s important to warm down and recover from these efforts. Also, remember to not race these, but look for performance improvements over time. Race in races not in training!

By Wayne Kurtz

Wayne Kurtz is founder of and Endurance Racing Report,  he has a lifelong passion for racing in various endurance sport races throughout the world. He is also the author of: ‘Beyond the Iron, a training guide for ultra-distance triathlons.’