Training volume in endurance sports

There are of course variables to training. Training volume in endurance sports is crucial in your planning! If you train really hard one day. The day after needs yo be lighter in the effort. There are many downsides to training too much. Overtraining leads to fatigue, illness, and loss of joy in training. And let’s face it since racing is in proportion a very little part of the commitment to endurance sports (albeit the most fun!), training needs to be enjoyable. 

“Every athlete has training they enjoy and training they do because they have to and they don’t enjoy so much. Do the training you love, remind yourself why you do it and hopefully, it’ll all come good for you.” – Alistair Brownlee, double Olympic champion in triathlon.

In this article, we will explain the different parameters that you build your training plan around.

  • How much should I train? – Training volume
  • How hard should I train? – Training intensity
  • How often should I train? – Training frequency 

5 steps to successful training and racing

In order for you to juggle everyday life and to succeed with your training and racing, we have developed five steps, this being the third of which we will help you to define your starting point, your goal and the required training effort. We help you to answer how much, how often, and how hard you should workout. All of this is put together in an individual endurance training program.

In this series of articles, we will walk you through, 

  • How to start endurance training. With the knowledge of your mental and physical ability, you have a better chance to plan your season. We go through how you can make a self-assessment of your starting point.
  • Endurance training and racing. Your training season will “revolve around” the main race. So, how do you identify it, and what are your training objectives?
  • Endurance training plan – How to periodize training. Again, it is not only about training but also about training with a purpose. This is where the individual plan, with the different phases, comes in. When do you train what?
  • Endurance training zones – Intensity in training. Whether you base your training on heart rate, pace or effect, your training zones are the foundation for all training and racing. How hard should you workout, and how do you know what is enough?

Volume

With volume, we are talking about hours spent on training, and how many hours of training that you can fit into your life is something that you need to assess during your personal profile. Training volume in endurance sports is very important. Regardless of if you are training for a sprint distance or long distance, all endurance sports are built up around training in higher volumes in lower intensity.

Intensity

The intensity of training varies depending on where in your season you are. And what purpose that training block has. But a general rule is that 80% of the training is done in zone 2, while the remaining 20% is divided between zone 4 and zone 5. 

Frequency

It is better to train for a short time often than long sessions seldom. As we said earlier, endurance training is consistent work overtime. Even if we have scheduled your workouts a certain way if you don’t have the time one day for a workout that is planned. Switch places with another, or shorten it so it can fit into your life.

Training frequency and duration – a conclusion

The training volume is what it is. If you have committed to training a certain amount of hours on average, that is your base. After that, you portion it out during your week to get the frequency. And lastly, you have to take into account the intensity of the workout. Let’s say that you are doing a really tough run session on Tuesday morning. We do not recommend that you do another hard session in the evening. If you are doing two sessions close to each other, see to it that they match so that you can get as much out of it as possible. 

  • Background

  • Training

  • Enter the date you think you are ready to start with structured training.
    Date Format: YYYY dash MM dash DD
  • A rule of thumb: Sprint (6-10h), Olympic (8-12h), Ironman 70.3 (8-14h), Ironman (10-14h)
  • Racing

  • If you have not yet decided, enter an approximate date.
    Date Format: YYYY dash MM dash DD
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