OpTRImising Training

It’s a given in high performance sport that quality training and preparation is an absolute key to achieving peak performance. So for a sport like triathlon where endurance training is combined with three sporting disciplines, it’s critical that athletes are training smarter. TrainingPeaks is a key tool for Triathlon New Zealand (Tri NZ) to ensure their athletes and coaches are optimising the taxing training regimes the sport demands.

For Tri NZ, TrainingPeaks training monitoring software is every bit as important as the bikes the athletes ride and the shoes they run in. TrainingPeaks is their daily training diary and analysis tool and is used every day by every athlete and coach.

“It allows us to manipulate and analyse training on a day-to-day basis and overlay that with metric data, so we know on a daily basis where the athletes are at,” says Tri NZ High Performance Development Coach, Tim Brazier.

By quantifying each session and its success, the subsequent training can be set by taking on board the valuable information that has been gathered. 

“Immediately after a training session I can be looking at the data and off the back of that, make calls about what the next session should look like and involve. 

“In the past we were waiting for the data to come in, putting it through a system and then cranking it all out and analysing it, which was very time consuming. 

“Whereas now it immediately goes up online and anybody with access can see it, and there’s already a level of analysis done straight away.”

“It’s also very compatible with different bits of equipment – we log data from GPS, running watches, heart-rate, bike computers and more – and we can do it from anywhere in the world,” says Tri NZ High Performance Director, Graeme Maw.

Having global access is an important feature for the athlete and support team over the lengthy ITU World Series as the athletes are often in different time zones to those analysing and interpreting resultant training data.

“We have a small, tight (travelling) crew so it’s good to go to bed at night knowing you’ll be able to wake up and analyse a session that’s been uploaded overnight,” says Tim Brazier.

Being in the game of continuous improvement themselves, Graeme and Tim say that TrainingPeaks performs well in terms of athlete individualisation and also see an opportunity for even more gains to be made in this space.

“Triathlon is a very complex training activity where you’ve got swim, bike and run and every athlete is different in every discipline,” says Graeme Maw.

“So you’ve got quite a complicated matrix of the stress load on the athletes and that’s potentially an area for a little bit more individualisation.”

For now the pair eagerly await the newest version of TrainingPeaks (WK04) as they seek further gains less than a year out from Rio.