Speedo Q&A 1: How much training is too much?

Hello folks,

This lunchtime (1-2pm) we're joined by GB triathlete Hollie Avil who'll be answering your questions about training - what is overtraining, how much is too much and how to get the best out of your training.

Hollie's impressive list of accolades include the World Triathlon Championship, World Junior Championship and British National Championship titles. She is the youngest athlete ever to podium at successive debut World Cup races. She has also been named BOA’s triathlete of the year and British Triathlon’s Elite Female Triathlete Of The Year.

We're opening the discussion now Hollie so can get answering your questions at 1pm (rather than having to deal with a rush of questions at once). 

Alice

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Comments

  • Hi Hollie,

    how much does your training regime change from week to week?

  • Hi Hollie,

    What sports additional  to cycling, running and swimming do you do to supplement your training?

    Regards Marianne

  • Afternoon Hollie,

    a two part question (although a common theme):

    1. Should/do all your sessions have a goal?  Can this be as vague as 'build endurance'?

    2. How do you decide on the percentage split between hard/quality sessions vs general aerobic training?

    Thanks.

  • Hi Hollie!

    How do tell the difference between overtraining and just training pain?How do you know when you're not pushing yourself hard enough?

    Thanks!

  • Hi Hollie,

     I'm doing my first triathon in June, to see if I like doing them enough to do more, and the swim is my absolutest weakest sport. I haven't wanted to jeopardise the other disciplines by doing just swim training so I haven't! With just under a month to go, should I just carry on as I am, or panic and concentrate on my swimming?

     Thanks

  • Hi Hollie,

    How do you recover from one triathlon and train for the next one? Do you have a standard regime of resting for a few days or just easier training? Is there anything you do to help you recover quicker and how long do you leave between triathlons?

     Thanks!

  • Hollie,

    What do you do post training? (I'm not asking you for a drink or anything). Do you do anything different for a heavy session?

    Ice, Compression, Recovery Drinks, Pack of Digestive Biscuits, normal meal, go for a drink with a stranger off the internet? Sports Massage, extended stretching session.

    Thank you
    Meface
  • Hi Archie,

    For me it doesn't change. Consistency is a real key for me. I stick to the same thing week on week. The sessions change but the structure never varies.

    I do two-three training sessions a day.

    Consistency is the key and trying to keep a good structure to your week helps you to do that.

    So stick to a managable plan- that would be my advice.

    Hollie
  • Hi Marianne,

    I do some pilates and yoga as well as other gym work. My favourite type of yoga is bikrim yoga. I like to do those sports as they complement tritathlon.

    They keep me stretched and conditioned and that help with injury prevention too.

    I like to follow a range of sports such as athletics and always watch it on tv when it's on.

    Hollie
  • Hi Ferret,

    I think each session does have a goal. I set my training in block so each block would have a goal. At each session I train at different zones of intensity with the overall target of improving each one of those zones at each time. And the overall goal is improve my overall aerobic capacity and endurance.

    My coach decides how we split the sessions. I try to do at least one session of quality per day out of the two/three sessions that I do.

    Thanks

    Hollie
  • Hi Symptom,

    I think it's down to communication with your coach. So giving my coach lots of feedback will help let them know how much I can handle. From this they will develop a training plan that is manageable and will also be challenging for me.

    You have got to learn to be your own judge which takes time and experience. As triathletes I think we live most of our lives tired but I think you just have to be sensible. There's a fine line though between being sensible and being lazy!

    Hollie
  • Hi Twist,

    That's a tough one. I would say doing some more swimming over the next 2 weeks would help improve your swimming and also your confidence about swimming.

    Perhaps doing one extra session per week or trying to increase the amount you swim in a session- even if it's by 500m each time you swim will help.

    The bottom line is to make sure you're enjoying it and learn from your first triathlon. You can always work more on the swim after the race in preparation for your next triathlon.

    I will guarantee that you will enjoy it and will want to do another one soon! Triathlon becomes addictive!

    Hollie
  • Hi Hollie,

    Which of the three disciplines do you concentrate on most when training? Do you train each section independently very often or do you always link two or more of the disciplines in training? How important is practising your transitions?

  • Hi Sarah,

    Recovery from a triathlon race starts as soon as you cross the finish line. As soon as I can I have a Lucozade recovery drink. This is a protein based drink which aids repair to damaged muscles. Next I will put some compression wear on and will also try and go for an easy jog to flush some lactic acid out of my legs.

    If I can that day- I will also try and get a sports massage and if it's not possible that day - I will do it the following day.

    I will keep training light for 2-3 days after the event and will try to get back into my normal routine.

    Between triathlons sometimes I try to leave about 2 weeks but sometimes I race on consecutive weekend. If that's the case I will keep training light between times but won't look to do my normal week between races.

    If there is two weeks apart once I have recovered from the first race I will get back into my normal training regime and will then ease back off again 4 days away from the next competition.

    Hollie
  • Hi Hollie

     What do you like to do after a training session to wind down?

    Also I am starting to use a few training aids - Mitts and Pool buoy have really helped. Do you have a favorite training aid in the pool and what do you use it for?

    Best Regards Mary

  • Hi Meface,

    I answered a lot of your question in the post above. The way I like to relax is to go to the cinema in the evening with friends as you are sitting down and can relax for a few hours and enjoy the film.

    I also like to meet friends for coffee and that's a great way to relax the mind.

    But most nights I enjoy a quiet night in after a hard day's training. If I'm honest I'm not a digestive biscuit fan! But I do love my chocolate every now and again.

    Hollie
  • Hi Archie,

    I concentrate on all three equally as all three need to be strong for my level of racing.

    Sometimes I link the biking and running but I generally keep them separate.

    For me practicing transitions is important as I'm terrible at them! Now we are approaching the race season I will practice them more and more each week.

    For me I need to practice running up and jumping on my bike so I'll do that up and down my driveway- it has the neighbors wondering what on earth I'm doing!

    Hollie
  • Hi Marianne,

    My favorite training aid is also my pool buoy. When I swim with my Speedo Pool buoy I find it helps keep my cadence high and maintain a high stoke rate which is important for open water swimming.

    I also like to use my Speedo paddles as it helps strengthen my arms for swimming.

    Hollie
  • Thanks Hollie, all very helpful.

    In terms of training what do you do most mental and pysically when coming back from injury?

  • Hollie,

    Mostly answered I admit (and the other stuff I was joking about - which cinema?image)

    However the previous answer related to post race which would hopefully be 100% effort. Do you do any similar things following a hard training session which isn't likely to be 100% for the same duration.

    Currently in the midst of IM training and recovery between multiple long endurance sessions is pretty important for me (as is a whole pack of biscuits - on top of a balanced diet obviously)

    Meface

  • Hi Hollie
    Do you get to choose which bike and which parts? Or is it there's your bike and thats the wheels for this season that  your sponsor gives you?

  • hi Hollie,
    Whats the main difference when training in the pool and training in the open water?
  • Hi Archie,

    When coming back from injury it's important to follow a strict rehab programme. If you are seeing a doctor or physio for your injuries they should prescribe you a rehab programme.

    To deal with thing mentally you've got to keep thinking long term and stay positive. Every athlete gets injured once in a while and it is how you manage and deal with it that makes you stronger.

    I use a sports psychologist and this helps me to deal with things when things are going good and bad.

    Hollie
  • At what point do you know you qualify for the Olympicsimage

    What other sports will you personally be watching at the Olympics

  • i have just started training for my first triathlon - i find swimming the hardest part - do you have any tips for beginners?
    thanks
  • Hi Meface,

    After training sessions nutrition is extremely important. Not only is it recovery but it's fuel to enable you to train the next day.

    I always focus on my red meat intake and making sure that I get enough fluids too.

    My dad is also training for an Iron Man so can relate to how important recovery is as I often chat to him about it.

    Again I stress how important nutrition is and thankfully my mum is fantastic cook so dad is well looked after!

    I also advise dad to wear compression recovery tights and to try and not do too much running around between work and training.

    Hollie
  • Hi Nicko,

    I sponsored by Boardman Bikes and ride the same bike that's available in the shops and nothing different.

    I can choose the model and frame of the bike but will have a standard set up.

    Hollie
  • Hi Natasha,

    Training in open water helps you to practice your open water swimming skills such as sighting, drafting and swimming around buoys.

    It also helps you to get used to open water conditions- sometimes we swim in water with poor visibility and can be quite cold. Don't forget you can practice open water skills in the pool. eg I do a drafting session once a week.

    I think it's important to wear the right wetsuit in open water. I choose the Speedo as it is super flexible and doesn't restrict me.

    Hollie
  • Hi Marianne,

    I don't think i'll think I'll know until June/July next year.

    The other sports I'll be watching will be athletics, swimming, rowing and cycling.

    Hollie
  • Hi Runner,

    For beginners it is important to work on your stroke as this will help efficiency.

    If you can get some advise and help with this that would be good as it's hard to be your own judge.

    Perhaps get your stroke filmed above and under the water and you will be able to spot your faults.

    Hollie
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