With triathlon racing season approaching, we asked PHUEL ambassador Kalletta Caldwell for some training tips. In this article, Kalletta shares how she gears up for racing season, a couple of her workout schedules, and how she deals with soreness.

Flipping the Switch to On-Season

Every new year, I transition from off-season (doing fun, unstructured activities) to pre-season training. This is when I build out my race calendar and start a more structured training plan.

Once March rolls around, I’m itching to get serious and move into full-on race-training mode. Let’s go!

Have a Plan

I definitely recommend having a plan vs. winging it. Knowing what to expect at least a week in advance helps me since I also have a demanding full-time job.

Generally, I like to follow the 5/4/3 or 4/3/2 rule—these are hours spent per week for bike/run/swim, respectively. If I’m training for an Ironman distance, these numbers are higher, but this year I’m focused on a Boston-qualifying marathon and Olympic distance triathlons.

A Typical Week

While the specific types of workouts and distances vary depending on my race schedule, this is what a typical training week looks like for me:

Monday: Weights + easy run or bike (or day off)

Tuesday: Masters swim + bike intervals

Wednesday: Track workout or fartlek

Thursday: Masters swim + weights (optional short ride)

Friday: Weights (or day off)

Saturday: Masters swim, brick (long ride then off-the-bike run)

Sunday: Long run

Example Training Schedule for a 70.3 Distance

Here’s an actual weekend training schedule I’ve followed when preparing for a half-Ironman:

Saturday:

7 a.m. Masters Swim for 45 min

8:15 a.m. 3-hour bike ride with intervals (combination of riding in Zone 4 and Zone 3). I have a power meter, which I use this to stay in my zones. If you don’t have one, you can use your heart rate or just ride by feel.

11:15 a.m. 45-min off-the-bike run on an out-and-back course; marathon pace on the way out, building up to 10k pace on the way back

Recovery: I try to stay off my feet as much as possible after Saturday workouts so I can hit my Sunday workout goals. Sleep is also a very important part of my recovery and I always aim for at least 8 hours a night.

Sunday:

7 a.m. Long run with local running club: 1hr 20min with intervals. Warm up then 4 x 1/2 mile at 10k pace, run easy, then 4 x 1/2 mile at half-Ironman pace. This is tough, but it gets you used to hitting your goal pace on tired legs.

Recovery: I like to do ice baths and wear compression socks.

Strength Training

During racing season, I focus on sport-specific strength exercises. To avoid injury, I like to do single leg workouts—this helps me avoid muscle imbalances. One I like is a one-leg lunge with TRX bands to activate my glutes and help with balance.

I also incorporate core work—it’s so important in all three sports to have a strong core so you don’t lose form as you get tired. One of my favorite core workouts is push-up to pike on the swiss ball. It’s hard, but it’s so effective!

Training in Inclement Weather

This winter has been a rough one here in Kansas City, so I’ve had to do a lot of indoor training. For the bike, I ride on a trainer. (I don’t have a fancy trainer… maybe a birthday present? Hint hint to my husband!) I can get a great workout in less time, too, because I don’t have to stop at street lights or slow down for cars.

For running, I hop on the treadmill, but I’m not a huge fan of treadmill training, so I put on something to binge watch and just get it done!

Dealing With Soreness

Ramping up my training does lead to more muscle soreness than usual. I’ve learned to read my body’s signs and know when I might need to take it easy. But there are times when I know I can’t skip a workout, and that’s why I love PHUEL for its activation and recovery benefits.

I use PHUEL beforehand to prep my muscles and get the most from a workout, and afterward to help with tightness and even delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It’s so easy to use—a few pumps, rub it in, repeat, and you’re ready to go!

I also get charley horses from time to time, so I make sure to use PHUEL on my calves before a long run or before I go to bed if they are especially sore.

If you need more tips on using PHUEL, this article covers everything you need to know.

Thanks for letting me share my experiences and ideas! We all have different goals and needs, of course, so take from this whatever works for you. If you’d like to follow along with me during my training, you can find me on both Instagram and Twitter. Wishing you all the very best this racing season!

* As a PHUEL ambassador, Kalletta received free product in exchange for this blog post.