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A Day In The Life Of An Elite Triathlete

21st March 2017

Train, Eat, Sleep, Repeat!

Matt Leeman is part of Perry Agass’ elite TriSutto squad, based in Cyprus. Matt is in good company with a squad that includes a 2x Olympian and World Cup winner, professional triathletes and XTERRA racers, World AG champions, and champions at sprint, Olympic, 70.3 and Iron distances.

Athletes attending ETE’s Tri camps in Cyprus will train alongside Perry’s squad. We asked Matt to describe a typical day.

“It’s coming to the end of my third week of based out in Cyprus for a 3 month training block as part of Perry Agass’ elite TriSutto squad.

The training’s been solid since arriving and I have definitely been tested. I have an important race season ahead of me, where I need to get results to justify the direction my triathlon career is heading. This pressure is part of being an elite athlete as I’m not racing just to finish, it’s all about the performances and this is reflected in my training.

 

The recovery is just as important as the training to set myself up as best as possible for the next day.

Today is Saturday, and we started with a sprint based swim session in the pool, of just over an hour. It has been a hard week swimming, covering around 27km already. For that reason the swim mainly consisted of short sprint based efforts, to keep me swimming fast under fatigue but sensibly without over doing it. A fair amount of band work was incorporated into the session. The band takes the leg kick out of the equation and forces you to generate power from elsewhere, and makes it more challenging to maintain a good body position. By being put at a disadvantage with the band, when I am given my legs back, I have the muscle memory of compensating without them, but with the added benefit of being able to kick.

I am not told what I’ll be doing for the rest of the day until the swim is finished. This is so we don’t dwell on a tough session. I hardly ever know what I am doing after the first session the next day. Initially this was a bit of a culture shock as we generally like to know what we’re doing, but now I’m a big believer in the approach. It also enables Perry to assess how I feel and set the next session based on that, rather than a programme that is passively set out with little or no reaction to how things are going.

Next session was a simple hour easy spin on the bike to warm my legs up ready for a solid run. The previous day I rode for 5 hours including a 70.3 race pace effort, as a result I woke up with heavy legs which the easy ride help alleviate. The run was 75 minutes at Ironman marathon pace, this sort of session wouldn’t be too bad on fresh legs but considering the build up of fatigue over the last few weeks I knew I was going to have to slog it out, just how it will be on race day.

After all that it was back home to get my feet up and refuel, I usually have some milk and a couple of bananas. The recovery is just as important as the training to get the most out of it and set myself up as best as possible for the next day.” 

ETE Racing
Posted By Julian Hucker
Date 21st March 2017