Sep 6, 2022


One of the first things I would advise you all to do is maybe re-evaluate how much time you have available to train and to do this, first workout and how much time you need for the following non-negotiables:

  • Work and this includes travel to and from work.
  • Family commitments.
  • Social life
  • Preparing food, eating food, clearing up afterward.
  • Chilling and winding down.
  • Sleeping.
  • Dog Walking
  • Anything else I’ve missed 😂

After you have accounted for all these areas you can see how much time a day/week you realistically have left to train, then we can work together to plan your training within the available time you have. 

As you must know by now consistency is key to getting performance adaptations and improvements as well as to changing any habit, technique, skill, or mindset.  If you are not consistent every week you will not achieve the performance improvements, you are aiming for.

Depending on what coaching plan you are on you will either have the option of weekly phone calls or monthly phone calls with me, where we can discuss any changes, we might need to make due to life to keep you able to stay consistent.  A lot of you are not taking advantage of this part of your coaching package!  Schedule a call with me, whether it’s weekly, if on the premium plan, or monthly if not, but there is a call option there for you.  I want to see you achieve your goals as much as you want to achieve them, and I totally understand that life can go crazy and make it really difficult to stick to the plan but there are options and adjustments I can make to keep the training consistent because something is better than nothing. 

If you have premium training peaks then you can move training sessions around to different days, you don’t have to do them on the days I’ve put in as it might not fit in with what is happening in your life that week, rather than skip the session because you didn’t have time that day, swap it with a shorter session or move a rest day.  I have started to label sessions (Key) and (Supporting) and I have done this specifically because I know all of you are a bit time starved due to work and other life commitments, you are not pro athletes that have all day to train.  The (Key) workouts are the ones that will hold onto your fitness, so generally the hard interval type workouts or could be a long endurance workout that is specific to your race distance.  The (Supporting) ones are still important but if your week becomes busy then one or two of these sessions are the ones you would skip rather than skip the (key) ones.  But before we get into skipping, any of these (Key) or (supporting) sessions can be reduced in time to help you fit them in.


  • Motivation dwindling
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Feeling overwhelmed with the sessions
  • Constantly injured or ill disrupting training
  • Many others

During the season motivation can dwindle and it is good to revisit your WHY. And where your motivation is coming from, what I mean by this, is it Intrinsic or Extrinsic.

Intrinsic Motivation is your internal desire to want to race, or train to improve.  You are doing it because you enjoy either the activity or working out, it brings your pleasure.

Extrinsic Motivation is when you are doing the activity because there is a reward, i.e. you are doing it because you want the medal, t-shirt, get the admiration from family & friends, or like how your body looks from the exercise.  If you only have extrinsic motivations, you will burn out quicker, intrinsic motivations are more committed to long-term goals.

So go back to your WHY. Why do you want to do a triathlon or train to improve?  Having a purpose will help keep you on a more consistent path.

To be successful you need the following:

  • COMPETENCE: To feel you can be successful with any skill or task.  Do you feel you can complete the workouts I have put in or are you feeling overwhelmed? 
  • CONNECTEDNESS: Do you feel you can talk to me or contact me to help or are you trying to just follow the plan where you can?
  • CONTROL: Do you feel you have ownership over your adjustments to training and your goals?

If you are feeling any of these you need to please reach out to me so we can talk about it and come to a solution TOGETHER, COLLABORATIVELY because there are so many options, we can come to together to make your training more achievable which will then create more motivation and consistency. 

If you are feeling like you are constantly ill or injured again a conversation with me can come up with some lifestyle changes that might be able to help with sickness, or strength and mobility that can help with injuries.  I am about to start a Biomechanics Diploma in September which will give me more skills to check you out biomechanically and address any imbalances that could be the reason for the injuries – now while I am doing the course I will be after volunteers as case studies as part of my course, so this could be a great time for you to be a volunteer and get your imbalances sorted out for free before I am fully qualified.  I also do 1:1 run coaching to look at your technique as well as bike coaching too, but these are at an extra cost to your coaching package.  And with Merlin Triathlon Coaching, I do a swim technique session on a Tuesday at Bradfield which is £20 a session.

This 1:1 style of coaching is exactly that, specific to your individual time and needs, and unless you take advantage of your coaching calls or the comments you can put in training peaks for each session, I will not know how I need to change it to work best for you and what is going on in your life. 

Another good habit to try to get into is looking ahead at your week on a Sunday so you can see what might need to be moved about, then for those who are not on premium training peaks, you can drop me a message to ask me to move them to different days.

And finally, to help with your ownership of your training, those who are not on the premium coaching plan don’t get unlimited changes to their plans as part of their package, they are more monthly adjustments, but this can also apply to premium athletes too, is if you are time-starved a way to shorten a workout yourself is:

  • If it is a hard interval session and you can’t fit the whole session in – if there are some Z2 sections before or after the intervals, cut them first (make sure you get a decent warm-up though of at least 10mins), if there isn’t then reduce the number of intervals (not the length of interval or the recovery).
  • If it is an endurance-type session Z2, then reduce the time.
  • If it is a strength session then cut the number of sets, depending on how much time you have, do 1 or 2 sets instead of 3.  Or break up the rounds over 2 days – do rounds 1 & 2 one day and rounds 3&4 another day. 
  • If swimming, if it is not a specific technique session then cut the technique or reduce the number of sets of technique. Try to keep the main set as full as you can.

I hope all this has given you some more insight into what I can do for you as your coach, but there is also much more I can help advise and educate you with if you take advantage of your coaching phone calls.