Training too much can be as detrimental as training too little.
Good for you: You’ve set out to compete in a triathlon and now you’ve given yourself the tools to make it happen. One of the most important things to remember when deciding to take on an event like this, though, is to be realistic about your goals and the time you have available to meet those goals. The hardest thing about coaching and training athletes is helping them realize that part of the equation.
Above all, there has to be true rest and recovery to compliment all the training. Make sure you’re getting at least one full day of rest a week to let the body heal and be ready for the next day’s training volume and intensity load. Making this a priority will help keep you injury-free during your racing season.
I find that, in my experience, most alpha personalities (which is what we are dealing with in the sport of triathlon) need to be monitored for over-training more so than under-training. The tendency is that they always feel that they need to do more. But in this case, more isn’t better: You’ll benefit more from a block of really good workouts strung together with proper rest days in between than you will from exercising everyday—especially if the workouts are mediocre because you’re fatigued.
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Scott Berlinger is a USA Triathlon Level 2 coach and one of only a dozen certified youth and junior coaches in the country. Berlinger has led the Full Throttle Endurance Racing team to the USA Triathlon National Team Victory the past three years and also led the team to NYC Triathlon wins for four consecutive years ('07, '08, '09 and '10). He was also named a top five trainer in America by Men's Journal magazine and is National Academy of Sports Medicine certified. Berlinger lives with his wife and children in CT.