How many hours do professional triathletes train?

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How does your weekly training schedule, sleep and caffeine habits stack up against the pros?

Finding the right mix of training-work-family life balance is generally very challenging for age group triathletes. Depending on your triathlon goals and race distance, some may find themselves training and working upwards of 60hrs per week.

So how many hours of training do the pros put in each week? We find out from 3 x ITU World Champion and dual Olympian Peter Robertson, young up and coming long course pro Tom Rodgers and ITU flyer Mitchell Kibby. All of these athletes have key races fast approaching and we thank them for taking some time out to provide us with an insight into their training.

Peter Robertson: Robbo

  1. Total Training Hours – 28hrs
  2. Swim km – 18km
  3. Bike km – 450km
  4. Run km – 85km
  5. Rank 1-10 (1 = easy week, 10 = very heavy week) – 8
  6. Av sleep per night – 7.5hrs
  7. Av number of coffees per day – 2
  8. Next key race – Challenge Melbourne (1st Feb)
  9. Next big goal outside of triathlon racing – Launching Athlete Mentoring website (below)

Tom Rodgers:Tom Rodgers 2

  1. Total training hours – 30 hours
  2. Swim km – 20.5km
  3. Bike km – 490km
  4. Run km – 83km
  5. Rank 1-10 (1 = easy week, 10 = very heavy week) – 9
  6. Av sleep per night – 9hrs
  7. Av number coffees per day – 3 
  8. Next key race – Sufferfest Triathlon (1st March)
  9. Next big goal outside of triathlon racing – Build up coaching athletes under CF Racing

Web: http://www.tomrodgers.net/
Facebook: Tom Rodgers Triathlete

Mitchell Kibby: Kibby Wins

  1. Total training hours – 23.5
  2. Swim km – 23km
  3. Bike km – 290km
  4. Run km – 67km
  5. Rank 1-10 (1 = easy week, 10 = very heavy week): 8
  6. Av sleep per night: 8hrs
  7. Av number coffees per day: 0
  8. Next Key Race: Challenge Melbourne (Feb 1st)
  9. Next big goal outside of triathlon racing: Seek athletes to coach for 2015 and beyond

Web: http://mitchkibby.com

What are the key ingredients for high performance in triathlon? Here are a few key differences between age groupers and professional triathletes we have identified from the above info.

  1. Although many professional triathletes also work part-time jobs to support their lifestyle, flexibility of training logistics (time, location etc) are generally very flexible, equaling greater number of hours/km weekly.
  2. Average sleep hours are greater allowing for greater recovery capacity. Living off less than 7hrs of sleep a night certainly can be very fatiguing long term = poor training performance.
  3. Caffeine intake is relatively low (we are sure compared to some of us) which enables fatigue to be identified and not masked. Running off caffeine can be a detriment to recovery capacity and a true understanding of how the body is tracking.

We will leave you with this thought – With greater flexibility in work hours, do you think you could train 6hrs daily, week in week out all year? Being a pro certainly has its perks, however also takes allot of hard work, willpower and determination.

Ryan Bourke
CF Racing

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