Starting each week with a bang

There is a saying in professional wrestling “I got to get my shit in” meaning they want to hit all their signature moves within a wrestling match. I like to use this saying myself when it comes to my training each week.  I have expectations each week and when I look back through my training log, the weeks that were great versus the poor weeks came down to preparation more times than not.

Yes I make notes on what works and why it worked and I also note what didn’t work and why it didn’t work so when it comes to looking at why some weeks are better than others, I can normally find the reasons why.

Normally Sunday afternoon I will set myself up for success for the coming week.  The main things being

  • Training program set and a basic template of how the week will look like is set out.
  • Swim sessions written out on paper and placed in my swim bag.
  • Bike sessions that are outdoors written on a small paper so all I need to do is stick to the top tube of my bike.
  • The next indoor ride is already written out on my white board ready to go.
  • Training gear, clothing, Garmin, etc all set to go (well as much as possible).
  • My car is filled with petrol.

Just doing these things doesn’t normally take long but as I go through my week and find I am fighting for each minute to “get my shit in” I can just get into it.

A mate who is in the same run group as I am was telling me that his daughter is being assessed for being a genius. One of the things they look at is how organised is the person. In my mate’s daughter’s case, she is extremely organised.  To get the most out of each week, preparation is king. become a genius in triathlon and and aim to get your shit in every week.


Starting from Zero

I had a new athlete start with me two weeks ago who for the past few years have done nothing in regards to training.  In fact, he charged his Garmin three weeks ago and the data that came up on his screen was from a DFN Ironman three years prior. From my understanding, this was his last activity he has done.

He wants to celebrate his retirement with a comeback to triathlons and has gone so far to and booked in for an Ironman that is just under a year away.

He was worried about when and how to start and going from doing nothing into a full training schedule.  He mentioned he may start in a month or two. I explained that I was keen to only start him off week one with one swim, one bike and one run and we will slowly build from there. Now this sparked his interest and he was ready to get started training right away.

Over the next three months, all I am doing with this athlete is getting his body ready to train consistently trying to limit the risk of injury and most of all build his confidence through the training.  He has had three full years off so the next six months needs to be handled with care.

To give an insight to his first week:


Tuesday – Swim 900m

Warm Up:

  • 2 x 50 freestyle
  • 2 x 50 freestyle with fins
  • 2 x 50 pull buoy and paddles
  • 2 x 50 freestyle

Main Set:

Multiple sink downs in deep end – until you’re really comfortable exhaling (e.g. 3 x 3)

  • 4 x 25
  • 2 x 50 easy freestyle B3s
  • 100 freestyle with pull buoy breathing every 3/5/3/5 strokes
  • 100 freestyle breathing every 3 strokes

Cool down:

  • 100m choice


Thursday – Run 30min

Run 3min at a moderate effort, walk 1min


Saturday – Bike – 30min

All moderate effort


This is it.  A very achievable week of training.  This will be his first step to finishing an Ironman in 49 weeks.

What worked & what didn’t work at your race

One thing I started doing a few years ago was writing down after a race a list of everything that worked, everything that didn’t work and things to consider for next time I am racing.  Over time, getting everything ready for a race, race morning, during the race becomes more streamlined and stress free by the systems you create.

For example, here are my notes from the past three Ironman races I did.

2016 Notes:

  • Need a carry on bag that holds aero helmet, laptop, etc for travel on plane.
  • Transfer my race information and check lists to digital so I can access information from my phone.
  • Need better supplement travel container.


2017 Notes:

  • Fix strap on aero helmet so it doesn’t flap
  • Bring bottle cage from aero bars to frame so I can see power easier
  • Have greater control of my time in the days leading into the race
  • Don’t place anything in my pockets of my tri kit while on the bike


2018 Notes:

  • Need a check list for each day I am away for the race
  • Create full meal menu for the days leading into the race
  • Create and develop a pre-race routine


Over the years, this list has become shorter and shorter as I continuously develop a better system that sees being packed, travel, unpack and ready for race start with as least friction as possible.

I personally use a free program called Trello that is a app so you can access my lists and information from my phone.


Strength training in the lead up to an Ironman

In the lead up to my past Ironman, I decided to change my strength training program completely around from the past year to see what would happen.

Going against everything I have been told where and when to place gym sessions within an athlete’s training program, I decided to place my gym session after my weekly long rides.  Some weeks I would jump off my bike from a five – six hour ride and go directly to the gym.  Other weeks I would wait up to four hours to do so.

My weekly strength training program from twelve weeks leading into the Ironman was very much a maintenance phase.  I had done all the hard work in the gym in the nine months prior to this.  My week would look something like:

  • Two core strength sessions done at home
  • One full body gym session


Last year when I was within twelve weeks of an Ironman, I remained in the gym twice a week with the focus of maintenance. This year I decided to replace one of my gym sessions with an extra run.

I didn’t know if this was going to work in week one and I was wiling to make changes if and when needed.  For all gym sessions, I had written out the session, how many reps and the weights I wanted to lift for each muscle group.

The weeks looked something like this

  • Week 1: Gym session directly after a 5hr hilly ride. This felt hard but manageable and recovered well.
  • Week 2: Gym was placed in a traditional place
  • Week 3: Gym within 1hr after finishing a 6hr ride
  • Week 4: Gym within 4hrs after finishing a 5hr hilly ride
  • Week 5: Gym was placed in a traditional place
  • Week 6: Gym was placed in a traditional place
  • Week 7: Gym within 4hrs of finishing a 3hr hard ride
  • Week 8: Gym within 1hr of finishing a 5hr hilly ride – Starting to feel easy
  • Week 9: Gym within 1hr of a 6hr ride – I had to increase the weights as it felt too easy
  • Week 10: Gym session within 3hrs of a 3hr hard ride
  • Week 11: Gym was placed in a traditional place
  • Week 12: Race week – No gym



Yes the first week felt hard but I recovered fast from the session and it didn’t have a negative impact to my long run the next day.  From there, it really felt easier and easier each time and I found by week six of doing this, I would feel amazingly fresh after my long rides.

In the past, a six hour ride would feel like I have ridden six hours, now, I am getting off the bike and walking around the house questioning the ride and the effort I rode at. I would feel like I had spent the morning on the beach instead of the bike.

Week nine blew my mind, I got off the bike after a 6hr ride feeling fresh.  I had a shake and a shower and went directly to the gym. When I started doing inclined leg press, I had on my program 3×12 @ 130kg. I started and I thought I hadn’t stacked the weights correctly as it felt way too easy.  I stopped and counted the weights and yes they were right.  I had to put on another 20kg just so it could feel like I am doing something.


Ironman Performance 

While I didn’t have the ride I was expecting during my Ironman, the last 65km was a strong headwind.  This also turned out to be my fastest last 65km of any Ironman I had done and I got off the bike feeling I had just ridden 90km instead of 180km.


Would I do this again?  For myself, most diffidently.

Would I recommend others to do this or give this to athletes I coach? Depending on the athlete, I would strongly consider testing if it will work for some if I could be sure the athlete would focus on good technique during the gym sessions and recovery after the session.  I would also want a lot of feedback from each session and I would keep a close eye on their training performance in the days after the gym session.



Tim Egge

If we were to look in your fridge

I have cut up questions I have asked pro triathletes from an old media website I use to have.  Each week I will post a new question.  



Lot’s of fruit and veg and a lot of liquid! Plenty of water and all sorts of juices. There isn’t really much “naughty” stuff in there


Elly Frank
Vegemite, Berries, cheese, lots of fresh food, and milk. I love milk! Just don’t look in the cupboard because that’s where my lollies stash is kept



Chocolate, Coffee beans, Milk, Yoghurt and Cheese.



Bread, milk, baby spinach.



Hahaha… well seeing as I am in between training locations right now, and staying with family, I don’t really have a fridge I can call my own. But I do my best to try and eat halfway intelligently. I like a few certain veggies (sweet potatoes, squash, mushrooms, peppers, spinach) and always try to keep some good fruit around (bananas, apples, berries). Unfortunately I have a serious problem with cereal and thus I try not to buy it and stick to oatmeal. I also try to eat a fair amount of brown rice and quinoa. COFFEE is a big part of my life and most days don’t start without it. I try to keep red meat to a minimum but grew up as quite a carnivore, so that is tough, so I typically eat it once or twice a week and get most of my protein from eggs, salmon and chicken.



Probably nothing as I tend to eat all the best stuff as soon as it is bought!! Haha! There will always be some organic milk in there though for my protein smoothies.



Food and lots of it.



Very little, I live across the road from Whole Foods in Boulder Colorado.


Matty White

Lots of fruit and veg from my garden and homemade pasta sauce which my wife makes!



Meat, Veges, Fruit, Eggs, Yoghurt, Orchard Gold Frozen Berries, Red Wine, Dark Chocolate.



Lots of Yoghurt and Milk, i could live off Muller fruit corners!






Bulk leftovers. My Mums is a compulsive cook & my Dad is a chef. Nothing is ever in short supply and there’s always a myriad of things to snack or feast on. I also eat a lot of fruit, so expect some fructose goodness.



Greek yogurt and bluebirds (do love a good smoothie)



Pasta from last night, yogurt, chocolate if it’s hot and melting on the bench, Milk (low fat cause I watch my figure.. lol), beet-root, cheese, a meat of some sort for tonight’s dinner…and then there’s all Kate’s vege’s and fruit and stuff.. Oh and you’ll find sauces… I love sauces…we have like 10 half empty containers…(my bad).



Eggs, lots of eggs. Smoked Salmon. Cheese. Yoghurt. Coke. San Pelligrino mineral water. Milk. Chocolate milk. Butter. Cream. Blueberries.



Nothing out of the usual, I need to work on my nutrition. Milk is definitely always in there for making my protein shakes after training.


Levi Maxwell




A lot of food! We eat a ton of fresh food, and will often stop by Whole Foods to purchase prepared food items – this is essential in big training blocks, when we may not have the energy to cook a proper meal. We do love to cook, but sometimes we just can’t muster the strength. Currently the fridge has the following: kale “superfood” salad with acai dressing, carne asada, mashed sweet potatoes, turkey meat, Udi’s bagels, coconut milk, yogurt, lots of berries,eggs, hummus, carrots, fresh lettuce/ kale/ romaine. Really, the list goes on and on and on. Groceries are our biggest expense!

Nutrition Plan

There is so much that goes into a nutrition plan.  I’m not just talking about race day nutrition, I am talking about everything, all year round.
I wrote a couple of blogs on race weight hacks recently. More or less these blogs were a fast way to get down to race weight.  In a nutshell, it was eat less and move more. This isn’t the most optimal way to manage your day to day fuel intake but just a quick hack.
I wanted to do a blog with a bigger picture in mind.  When someone mentions “nutrition Plan” they are normally describing race week or race day nutrition.
To me, there are three main aspects to a nutrition plan.
  • Fueling & Recovery
  • Maximise Training & Raceing
  • Power to Weigh
There are many different ways to manage your day to day nutrition. Instead of breaking your diets into week long blocks or taking each day at a time, I really like breaking each day into segments.  A easy way to do this is using the traffic light system.
The traffic light system is
  • Red: calorie deficit
  • Amber: low carbs
  • Green: high carbs
An example on using this system, you might cut the day in three parts.
  • Morning: Green (training)
  • Midday: Amber
  • Evening: Green (Training)
A lot more goes into this than just simply looking at your watch to see if you can eat another banana or not.  Nutrient trimming can have a massive impact on the way you train, the speed of your recovery.  The quality of the food and drinks you consume also plays a massive impact.
Create your own plan
While it can be very hard to plan what you will have for each meal for each day of the week, especially for the people with families and a hectic lifestyle.  Here are some tips on creating your own nutrition plan:
  • At the beginning of each week, take your training program and pencil in where each session will go throughout the week.
  • Include work and other commitments in your week.
  • Over communicate with the people around you so you hopefully have everything for the week covered.
  • Mark each day into thirds or quarters and highlight the sections keeping in mind the quality and volume of each training session, power to weight, etc.
  • Use this plan more as a guide and prepare for things to change as life circumstances can change everything.
The aim is to do this for a few weeks till you turn this system into a natural habit. If you fall and find you are eating something you shouldn’t, don’t simply say “oh well, that’s it for the day or week” and keep eating. Stop, reset and jump right back onto the plan.
Tim Egge

What are your favourite training sessions for each discipline?

I have cut up questions I have asked pro triathletes from an old media website I use to have.  Each week I will post a new question.  



My favourite swim sessions is our weekly Wednesday mornings at Noosa main beach doing Ins & outs with the surf club guys. The Tuesday morning bunch ride is a really good hit out with a strong group of cyclists and my Sunday long runs in the Noosa National park can’t be beat!


Elly Frank
Swim: A great set for when I’m solo is a change of pace set. A constant 1500m made up of: 50 easy/50 moderate/50 hard x 10.I’m actually wishing I had done more of that session recently. I’ve been so caught up in getting in and swimming at the 1 speed!

Bike/Run: 90mins-2 hours on wt with some nice long efforts. (10 mins/9 mins/8 mins/7 mins/6 mins/5 mins etc.) Followed by a build run (10k).



In swimming it is short 100m sprints as long as it is in a group. Biking it is a 4h ride with two 12km passes in the middle of the ride. Running its again a group workout on the track. 10*800m! I love it!



Swim – wednesday night speed/lactate session. This is my shortest swim session for the week but by far the hardest. I really feel like I’ve done something after this session.
Bike – I have two favourites. Wednesday morning hilly ride. At the time I hate it but I love the feeling after I’ve completed it. I also time myself going up the mountain so I like the challenge of racing the clock. And Saturday club ride. This is my long ride. I leave my house before 4am and ride 30km to meet my cycling club. Then I’m in for a 100km smash fest where all the boys are constantly trying to punish each other. Then I’ll ride home.
Run – Tuesday night I do my faster than race pace session with Jared. It hurts!!!



The refueling after :-)!! In all honesty I have a real love/hate relationship with most of the really challenging sessions. That is, while I may dread the hour and forty minute run with a big chunk of tempo in it, I usually take the most satisfaction from that session. Likewise, a tough swim session with say 5×400 at a high effort may give me pause while on the deck, but walking out to the car after, I feel the most satisfaction from the good hard effort. The same goes for cycling, and it is usually the mid range (3-4hr) rides with some good hard efforts in them that I enjoy the most.



Swim Set of 15 200’s. Increasing in pace. So for example 5 on 3 min, 4 on 2.55, 3 on 2.50, 2 on 2.45, 1 flat out. Change to suit your own pace.
Bike Hill reps. 6 by approx 10 mins. 1 steady (stay seated to work quad strength), 1 med, 2 hard, 1 med, 1 steady (staying seated).
Run Some kind of fartlek session with sprints and hard intervals of various lengths. I much prefer to do this on the beach rather than on the track.



Long runs and rides in the hills and open water swims.



Swim- surfing with the boys.
Bike- anything on the bike but a road race or crit is always fun.
Run- long runs alone with music


Matty White

Run – I really enjoy hitting the treadmill for a solid hour of power. I just set the treadmill at 18kmh and crank the tunes and get in the zone, I don’t have to think too much or stop for traffic lights so its easy on the mind.

Bike – I have been working with a couple of new sponsors of late Wattbike and ATS altitude technology systems, I have been using the altitude simulation at about 3400m and do a 3hr Wattbike session with 4x20min strength efforts trying to hold about 260 watts….and at about 12 percent oxygen its not fun!

Swim – I tend to swim how I feel depending how hard my bike and run sessions are, I don’t see the point of flogging myself in the pool when I am tired as it only creates bad stroke mechanics. I really enjoy swimming open water at West Lakes where I swim with a friend of mine who paces me through the session, nothing beats race simulation training.



Swim – Ocean swim in the summer. Long relaxed aerobic swim.
Bike – 200km loop around the Coromandel. Awesome views with 2000m of climbing. Good Honest ride.
Run – Threshold intervals. Nice even burn between the legs and lungs!



Swimming i would say a long endurace set, something thats really challenging, like 60 x 100s. When you get to the end you feel you have achieved something

Cycling i would say my long threshold ride, i have a 140km loop i do and i just ride it at best pace, it has 1000m of climbing in it and my best is 3h 35min

Running wise, i just like my long run, nothing like popping the ipod on and just jogging in some nice countryside



swim – 2k time trial
bike – anything with a lot of hills and climbing
run – Teller Farm workout – it’s a hilly 10 mile tempo run



On the swim, I like this main set…

400- 300 solid (s) 100 hard (h)
300- 200 s 100 h
200- 100 s 100 h
100- 100 h
100- 100 h
200- 100 h 100 s
300- 100 h 200 s
400- 100 h 200 s

On the cycle, I like nothing better than a solo long ride. 5 hours minimum, just me, the countryside, mountains and good music. A bakery stop is mandatory.

On the run, I’ve got some mountains that I like to run up at a threshold pace for strength. It’s always a nice view from the top, but a brutal session with at least 30mins of tempo up a 5-10% gradient.



Swim: I love paddles, pool buoy, and band. I do a lot of my swimming like this to build strength in my shoulders.
Bike: FTP sets, they might only be short and hard but when working at 120% of FTP you know you have worked hard.

Run: My long run, I have been running off feel in the last few weeks. No watch and not stressing about minute mile ect. What I have found that I am running faster. I normally download IMTalk and listen to that, and just switch off. Off road running doesn’t do it for me, also I think you should train as you would race.



5 x 600m
1. 3. 5. pull break 15”
2. 3x 200m starting every 2:30
4. 6x 100m starting every 1:20

3h on the tribike including 3x 10′ overgeared and after 30′-45′ easy riding 3x 5′ all out.

15-25x 1km 1 @ IM pace 1 @ IM 70.3 pace with my wife on the bike as company..

If we were to look in your fridge, what would we find?
A lot of fresh vegetables !



Swimming: Would be 30×100’s on a short rest cycle.. I love sets based on 100’s.. However i don’t just do 100’s…

Cycling: Depending on what the weathers doing. (yep i’m soft and don’t like wet days)… Long ride in the hills…. But my favourite session is my river loop about 75km with about as many coffee shop stops…. Love the coffee…

Running: Trials and loops…. (I don’t like out and backs)



I like doing 10 x 400m in the pool because its like an Ironman Swim.. especially if I do some with the Pull Buoy and Paddles on my hands.
On the bike, I like doing strength hill repeats.
My favorite run session is either my long run, anything up to 35km, or getting on the track and doing some speed such as 8 x 1km repeats descending a couple of seconds each rep.



My favourite set for each leg is when I get to train with other people. Swim would have to be 5x400m for main set, the ride I just hammer myself all the time so it does not change and for the run I like doing 6x1km with minimal rest.


Levi Maxwell




Swimming: I love a nice 5k swim, with a group or with two key swim partners. My idea of fun in the pool involves a challenging main set of around 3k, where the rest is short and I attempt to negative split – one of my weakness in the water! I like basic, such as 10×300. With cycling I love to ride up one of Boulder’s long canyons, doing a combination of big gear (low cadence) intervals, followed by some time trials on the flats. My little group of training partners and I will often do pursuit-style starts, so we can chase (and run from) one another. I love running a longer session of 15 or so miles, with 4×2 miles at or below my half marathon pace. These force proper pacing, and they give me great confidence for upcoming races.