Triathlon Training With a Coach

Triathletes come in all shapes and sizes, and so do triathlon distances. From sprint triathlons to Olympic triathlon distances up to Ironman distances, the multisport event challenges participants in ways few endurance sports do. Triathletes should be strong swimmers, relentless cyclists, and determined runners on any given day during their training. On race day, they need to be all of them.

Triathletes also need to be experts at time and energy management. If you’re training for a tri, a typical week of workouts could see you swim in the morning and bike in the afternoon multiple times a week. Those other days will be for more cycling followed by a run immediately after or later in the day. As you can imagine, a triathlete’s program will look much more complex than a cyclist’s or runner’s plan. And the more complexity you bring to a program, the higher the risk that things will go off the rails. You could burn out from over-training or struggle to find the time (and energy) to complete all the workouts after managing your job and family.

This reality makes hiring a triathlon coach a worthwhile investment, especially considering the investment in gear needed to compete. A wetsuit, access to a pool for practice, a tri-bike (and all the cycling gear that goes along with it), running shoes, and a running kit. If you’ve already spent all this money on gear, wouldn’t you want to invest in a coach to guide you to a successful finish rather than hope for the best? You can start with Humango’s AI-powered coach. The monthly cost will be less than you spend on sports gels and drinks each month. 

Benefits of Triathlon Coaching

From the start, a coach can help you see what’s possible. You may be looking to do your first triathlon and wondering if you should start with a sprint or go ahead and try an Olympic distance race. A coach can look at your fitness and endurance sports history and give you an informed recommendation on where to start. Conversely, you might be an experienced Olympic distance competitor who’s always wanted to race in an iron-distance event but never thought you had the time to train for it. A coach will show you how you can. Even Humango’s digital coach, Hugo, can do this. Plug in your goal event, and Hugo will show you your complete training schedule. If it looks like too much time to commit, simply ask it to reset your goal to a shorter distance event.

Unlike a one-size-fits-all training plan pulled from the Internet, your coach will build a program unique to your fitness and experience level. A coach will also factor in the times available to train each week. Next, a coach will address your weakest sport (Every triathlete has one, whether it’s the swim, bike, or run.) and work with you to improve your technique, form, and strength in that sport. The sport you’re best at can be used to build your overall stamina and endurance. 

The Human Coach, AI Coach Connection

Empower a triathlete coach with the automatic flexibility and adaptability of an AI coach, and you get the best of both worlds. You get a human who can easily monitor your progress in real time and use AI to help you overcome adversity and push you, likely, harder than you thought you were capable of performing. The human coach can see a missed workout or two in a given week and know that you had to care for a sick kid or travel for work, not that you were sick. And if you are ill, they can adjust your training to allow for you to recover.

Race day is when a coach — real and digital — in your corner makes a confidence-boosting difference. Thanks to your training journey and data collected with Humango, the app will inform your race-day strategy. Humango can tell you if you’re 100% ready for peak performance or short of your potential. From there, you’ll get a good sense of what you’re truly capable of, whether that’s a PR (Personal Record) or not.

In the end, the satisfaction of working with a coach is knowing that every workout will maximize your gains each day. No effort is wasted. No workout is too easy or impossible (though it may feel like it). Don’t be surprised to find yourself no longer content to simply finish the race. Instead, now you’ll find that you’re ready to compete.


Benefits of Group Cycling

For many cyclists, nothing beats the freedom of heading out the door on your own time, riding at your own pace, and enjoying some solitude after a long, hard day. For others, group rides are far more enjoyable. And while enjoyment is a powerful motivator, it’s not the only reason to ride with others. Group cycling also has the potential to unlock physical and mental benefits that elevate overall performance. 

The physical benefits of group riding

One of the main focal points of any training should be introducing enough stimuli that you can recover from. The challenge, variation, and consistency group rides offer can provide performance benefits, but be careful not to overdo it. When you strike the right balance, you should notice some gains.


Some of us have no problem pushing our limits, whereas others prefer training at a more comfortable intensity. Either way, when we perform in front of others, we tend to put in a lot more effort.

While we shouldn’t get obsessed with the opinions of others, a little positive peer pressure can be the push we need to endure extended effort at uncomfortable intensities. If you’ve never ridden a century or struggle with periods at a threshold pace, joining a suitable group ride, like the weekend social group ride or the club weekly chain gang, could help.


It can be easy to get comfortable with the familiar and repeat the same format of ride over and over. While you might see some improvements by doing this, avoiding other intensities or training durations can limit your progress and sap your motivation. 

Joining a new group or club might be just what you need to add more variety to your training. Many clubs will have weekly training sessions, regular races, time trials, or other options for longer group rides to suit every ability.


Consistency can be a challenge we all face from time to time. Whether from a lack of motivation or external factors, such as time limitations due to work or family commitments, we can all struggle with missing training sessions. One missed workout might not matter, but the more you miss, the easier it becomes to skip the next session. This can dramatically reduce your training, causing significantly worse performance on the bike.

Group rides can help you stay consistent because you’re far more likely to keep an appointment to ride with someone. Being part of a regular group ride will help you be intentional about setting aside that time. You can even organize your own group rides or play a role within your local group.

The mental benefits of group riding

The physical benefits of implementing group rides into your training are significant; the mental benefits are equally impressive. While it’s hard to quantify how much those benefits will improve your physical cycling performance, you might see substantial gains if you struggle with any of the following factors.


If you can honestly say that you haven’t experienced a period of low motivation in your cycling training, please let us know — we want to know your secret! For the rest of us, motivation comes and goes, and while we can do our best to step it up and remind ourselves why we put in the hard work, sometimes a change of pace can be all it takes to get back on track.

Try replacing some indoor sessions with group rides. Not many people can face an indoor endurance ride alone, but when the weather is less appealing, being in the company of a club can aid in getting that long endurance ride done.


While variety can be good for breaking through physical barriers, it can be just as good for refreshing your mental approach to training. Being around like-minded people, enjoying their company, and letting your hair down can be exactly what your mind needs to get back on track and commit to those challenging intervals. 

Over a long season or even years of consistent training, the trainer can be dull and monotonous. Adding in an occasional group interval session or intense ride can help you hit the numbers on other days.


Socialization is a fundamental human need. While some of us love to live alone and not be bothered by the company of others, we often see dramatic improvements in our mental health when we build a solid network of friends and family.

So, it only makes sense that you build your community around the sport you’re passionate about. General health and cycling performance improvements will come hand-in-hand, so it shouldn’t be long before you start to notice that you are a healthier, happier cyclist.

Improve Your Cycling With Group Rides

While we are not advocating for a life solely focused on group riding, we encourage you to introduce some group riding elements into your training regime. Thankfully, with the increase in popularity of immersive online training platforms and social media communication tools, we can combine almost all the elements listed above with specific structured workouts. 

Join a Humango Group

Experience all the benefits of group cycling with Humango Groups. You can join Groups that focus on training for Gran Fondos’ or create a virtual team for you and your friends. 

Coach Pav

Coach Pav is an Amazon #1 New Release Author and coach to clients who have set world records (Mark Beaumont), earned their world champion jersey (Steve Bate), and won ultra-cycling events (Matt Seward and Thomas Becker). 

Most of his clients are those riding a Gran Fondo or two, and his favorite is the Maratona dles Dolomites. 


Gran Fondo Training 101

Whether you’re getting ready to line up at your first event or you’re a seasoned veteran looking to qualify for the UCI Gran Fondo Worlds, training is the difference between feeling accomplished or feeling dejected when you cross the finish line.

Throughout this blog, I take you on a journey of self-discovery, guiding you through all the irrelevant and non-individualized training advice found on Google — or from your riding buddies — and helping you find the right pathway for your Gran Fondo preparation.

Goal setting

The first question you need to answer is, “Are you focused on completing or competing?”
The former describes someone happy enough to experience the day, take it at a comfortable pace, and focus on enjoyment and just finishing. The latter describes someone who is treating the event as a race — maybe aiming for the overall win, qualification for the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, or even just for a personal best finishing time. 

Once you decide what kind of cyclist you are, take an honest, objective look at your current ability. To keep your ego and ambitions out of the equation, use your training data or do some field testing to gauge where you are. Some metrics, such as recent volume and load, current fitness, and thresholds, can provide great insight into your current ability.

With a clear picture of your baseline, you can start looking at events and the demands of those events. If your current longest ride is three hours, it is highly unlikely that you will finish Mallorca 312 (an incredibly challenging Gran Fondo course with a 14-hour time limit for receiving a finisher medal) with only one month to train. This stage can be tricky, but being realistic ensures you set yourself up for success.

Once you have a rough idea of what you can achieve, you can start to look over some of the available options. Factors such as travel distance and cost might come into play. If you aim to compete, you might try to find an event you can specialize in. For example, if you are a lightweight rider who climbs well, a mountainous event might be a good one for you. 


Knowing where your current ability is and where it needs to be, you can start putting a plan in place for getting there. Having a big picture in mind will aid this next step by helping you train consistently and see the biggest improvements. This is where you will periodize your training.

Long low-intensity and steady-state winter training is a little outdated; even the pros include some intensity year-round now. That being said, don’t write it off completely. If you’re a new cyclist, spending your off-season developing aerobic fitness by doing long (“long” being a subjective term here — an hour is a long ride for someone who has never ridden a bike) low-intensity rides might bring the most noticeable gains.

To understand what you need to do, look at your biggest limitation (what needs improving most). If you need to develop your aerobic fitness, spending a lot of time during the off-season riding in the endurance zone (zone 2) will probably be the biggest win. If you’re already capable of riding the duration but need to work on climbing speed or power, work on these specific areas. Of course, you will want to maintain your strengths, too, so it’s always a good idea to include some long, low-intensity rides.

While there are many factors to consider and countless ways to adjust this approach, it’s wise to spend the most time improving your weaknesses. Once you’re satisfied with your progress, you can start to work on improving your strengths. Training in this manner will help you raise your riding level to the point where your goals are achievable. 


If you’ve completed the work in the last two sections, the work in this section is actually relatively easy. Well, deciding on what training to do is easy — not necessarily the training itself! You should know your current ability, where it needs to be, what you need to work on during the off-season, and what you will do as you get closer to the event itself. 

Even if you focus on developing your threshold power, you probably won’t spend 100% of your available time on it. Generally speaking, the less time you have available to train, the higher the percentage of time you dedicate to your main objective — in this case, developing threshold. So, if you have five hours per week, you might spend most of that developing your threshold versus someone with 15 or more hours to train, who will spend far less time as a percentage of their total but still more actual hours.

Two of the most important factors to consider are progression and consistency, which are closely linked. Slowly ramping up your training from your current ability to your desired ability will be the easiest way to ensure you don’t overload your body and mind. In turn, this gradual build will help you maintain consistency. This gentle progression can be easily accelerated if you find it too easy, but utilizing a 3:1 or 2:1 load-to-recovery cycle (three or two weeks of training and one week focused on recovery) and adjusting based on these blocks will help you pace yourself. Often, a workout at the beginning of a training block will feel completely different from the same workout at the end. If you find yourself completing the entire block with ease, that is a good sign that it’s time to increase the load.


“Train low and race high” describes the methodology used to help your body fuel more from its fat stores. While our fat stores provide an almost unlimited fuel source, metabolizing fats takes a long time, especially compared to how quickly our bodies metabolize carbohydrates. Having a fat-adapted body can be especially important for athletes who are riding ultra-endurance events where fuelling from fat stores is essential. For the average Gran Fondo, the risks of not fuelling workouts correctly — thus not giving your body enough chance to recover — often hinder improvements more than they help. 

Periodizing your nutrition might bring the greatest adaptation you can make as a cyclist. This approach involves eating fewer carbohydrates on easy days and more carbs on days that prioritize intensity above tempo (zone 3). The strongest way to ensure this works is to focus on getting most of your daily carbohydrate intake before, during, and after training. On low-intensity days, you should still consume carbs in this manner. Even if you have identified your “fat max” power in testing, you are still burning glucose at this intensity, so replenishing it with carbohydrates will improve recovery.

Recently, we’ve seen more professional teams focusing on fueling their athletes in races, aiming to get far higher than the old advice of intaking 60g of carbohydrates per hour and, in some cases, pushing this to 120g. While there is strong evidence to suggest this approach is achievable for everyone, it comes with the caveat that you need about 12 weeks for your gut to adapt to digest this much. Regardless of your nutritional methodology, it will be smart to start fueling around 12 weeks out to allow your system to adjust and digest the most fuel on event day. Start with 60g carbs and increase slowly every week until you get to 120g. In almost all cases, cyclists stand to lose far more by being unable to digest fuel than by carrying a little extra weight or being slightly more fat-adapted. 

Have fun

I tell all my clients that we need to have as much fun on the journey to our goals as we do in achieving them. (Of course, I also like to add that there will likely be times when they are cursing me in training!)

One of the biggest warning signs that something isn’t working is when you stop enjoying the cycling or find that it simply isn’t fun anymore. Don’t be afraid to change it up. That said, don’t avoid challenging workouts — those aren’t always fun at the moment. Instead, look back after a block of training and ask yourself if you felt engaged or were just doing it because you think you should. 

Long-term performance progression relies on your mental desire and will to do something. Too many people ignore this, focus on doing the “right” training for their Gran Fondo, and then hang the bike up for three or more months because they’re just so sick of it.

None of us started riding bicycles because we didn’t enjoy it. We started because it was fun. Let’s remember that and find ways to make sure our training journey is as fun as the outcome. 

Coach Pav

Coach Pav is an Amazon #1 New Release Author and a coach to clients who have set world records (Mark Beaumont), earned their world champion jersey (Steve Bate MBE), and won ultra-cycling events (Matt Seward and Thomas Becker). 

Mostly, his clients are those riding a Gran Fondo or two, and some are even riding his personal favorite: the Maratona dles Dolomites. 


Turn Your New Year’s Resolutions Into Real Achievements

If you’re like most folks, your New Year resolution to go to the gym three times a week, drop 10 pounds, train for a spring 10k run, or crush an early summer triathlon will crumble by Valentine’s Day. The problem is that these New Year’s resolution ideas are often vague. Consider the “New Year, New Me!” mantra as an example of the worst. Sure, we lay out the goal (an important step!), but we don’t think too hard about the plan to get there. And then, sure enough, motivation peters out, or something else comes up that detour sabotages your fitness journey. Sooner than later, you give up and shelve that resolution until next year.

But in 2024, we’re not going to let that happen. This year, we’re going to make SMART fitness goals. In this case, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound, the five elements of a successful training program. Humango’s AI coaching app will help guide us through the beginning, progression, and finish line. With SMART goal-setting, we’ll turn our resolutions into successful achievements. 


The more specific the goal, the clearer it becomes in our minds. So instead of saying, “I want to bike a 100k century this year,” say, “I want to ride the Tour de Big Bear Gran Fondo on August 3rd.” This step sets a deadline to reach the goal, defines a location where it will occur, and adds some details to the type of training required (long, sustained climbs and descents to handle the mountainous course). With Humango’s help, we can plug in the event date and the training plan needed (gran fondo), and voilá, we end up with a detailed plan starting on January 1st and ending with the race on August 3rd.


Logging and charting our progress is crucial to sticking to any resolution. Thankfully, training for endurance sports such as running, cycling, or triathlons provides tons of measurable data. Mileage, speed, heart rate, and watts are the big ones. The more we log, the more we see the positive progression in our fitness. This visualization generates a positive feedback loop that propels us to maintain our training momentum and keep that positive data flowing. Humango’s dashboard makes it easier and more rewarding than ever to chart and see that growth.


For the sake of the “SMART” acronym, Achievable comes third here, but it should sit second on this hierarchy. It’s one thing to define a specific resolution. It’s another to pick one with a high probability of success rather than frustrating failure. With Humango’s help, we can see what is realistically possible given the constraints of real life and our current fitness level. For example, maybe we want to ride the 150-mile Steamboat Gravel Gran Fondo on August 18th. But after entering that goal, we realize we can’t commit the training time needed to pull it off. So, we recalibrate our resolution and shoot for the shorter 70-mile Tour de Big Bear event. Of course, the opposite can be true, as well. We may think we can only pull off the 70-miler, but a quick check with Humango may show us that the 150-mile race is, in fact, very doable.


Realistic feeds off Achievable. We want to build our New Year’s resolutions around activities we can either do already or develop quickly. For example, we may dream of finishing a full iron-distance triathlon next year, but if we have no history of doing laps in a pool, it may be a stretch to think we can swim more than two miles at the race (plus biking 112 miles and running a marathon). In this case, being realistic means being honest with ourselves about where we are on our fitness journey and adapting our resolutions accordingly. The key to success is starting where we are — not where we wish we were. 


We touched on Time-Bound in our discussion of Specific. Simply, it’s assigning a defined deadline to our goals and resolutions. Once we do this, we can work backward to the present and build a training schedule and program that takes us step-by-step to our resolution’s deadline. Humango makes this step easy. All we have to do is plug in the goal date; Hugo, Humango’s AI-powered digital coach, does the rest.

Done right, this SMART approach to setting health and fitness resolutions for the New Year should make 2024 our best year yet.


Peak Performance Through Data-Driven Training for Endurance Athletes

At the pinnacle of sports coaching, a coach watches your every move, analyzing your form and intensity while noting split times, watts, and heart rates. A coach’s expert eye can correct your form while you practice, but you see the most athletic improvement from the progressive training program they build for you. They will tweak it on the fly, as needed, to help you overcome injury or allow for adequate recovery ahead of a goal event. This data-driven approach has been a boon to athletes at all levels, enabling coaches and athletes to create athlete-specific training programs. 

Research backs this up. A 2022 study from Finland published in Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise found that out of 40 experienced male and female runners, those who followed an individualized 15-week training program ran roughly 6% faster. Those who followed a predetermined and rigid 15-week plan ran only 3% faster. 

That difference may not seem like a big deal, but it works out to 6:18 minutes for a 3:30 marathon runner. Wouldn’t you like to run (or bike or swim) that much faster by doing nothing more than following a real-time feedback training plan unique to you? You wouldn’t work harder. You’d work smarter. 

Data Matters: Crush Plateaus & Avoid Overtraining

Utilizing data analysis to ensure a productive balance between training stress and rest is key to your success. A coach will check your stats to determine whether you recovered enough from the previous workout to tackle a hard workout next. If you recovered enough, then off you go. If not, a light session may be scheduled to keep you from spiraling down into an overtraining scenario. Conversely, you may be adapting ahead of schedule and stuck on a plateau with no improvement in speed. Seeing this data will give your coach the green light to increase your training volume, intensity, or both. 

The data you collect can reveal the difference between a plan that will work for you and one that might work. At the very least, measuring and recording heart rate and duration during workouts is a must. Speed and distance help, if only to provide a clearer picture of your fitness progress or setbacks through repeats of the same distance. Wattage, measured on a bicycle power meter, is the gold standard of intensity and strength measurements. Last is the simplest yet most telling data point: How do you feel? This is called the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE). It may seem subjective, but studies have shown RPE is a highly accurate measure of how hard you train.

Put all those numbers together, and you have your unique fitness profile. It’s a lot of information to take in, and knowing what to do with it usually requires the means to hire a full-time human coach who can process all this data each night in preparation for the next day. If you can afford that, great. If not, then you’re effectively training in the dark. Is the next workout the best workout you could do right now, the worst, or somewhere in between? You won’t know for sure. 

This is where Humango’s AI-powered training app shines. Upload your workout data to the app and let it use real-time feedback to adjust your next workout to be more or less intense or the same as scheduled. All you have to do is show up and do the work, knowing that whatever your Humango training plan prescribes, it’s the perfect workout for you.


6 Steps To Crush Your Fitness Goals

Common fitness goals and dreams suffer from a case of what we call “the vagues.” Shedding fat, building muscle tone, or losing 10 pounds — modern society has, unfortunately, conditioned us to equate fitness with outward appearances. The reality is this: Fitness is a feeling. You feel strong, capable, healthy, and energized when you’re fit. Odds are that if you pursue a fitness goal like this, you will end up with less fat around your gut and legs, drop weight, and develop some muscle along the way. And you might even develop a new image of yourself as an athlete.

Step 1: Adopt an Athlete’s Mindset

We all know men and women who commit to and identify with a sport. They may be an endurance athlete who swims, runs, bikes, climbs mountains, or all the above. Their approach to fitness involves training for and practicing their sport. Overall fitness is a benefit, not the sole focus, of what they do. This makes them athletes, not simple exercisers. 

Step 2: Set a Goal

Endurance athletes have specific goals with deadlines. These goals can range from running a first 10k to entering an Olympic distance triathlon or biking across a continent. And this goal-setting isn’t limited to endurance sports. It applies to strength training as well. Being able to do 10 pull-ups (or even one!) is a legit athletic goal. With a goal set, the training follows naturally with a prescribed pathway to do whatever you set out to do. Your goal may take three weeks to prepare for, or it might take three years to grow fit enough to accomplish. The key is finding a goal that motivates you.

Step 3: Find a Training Plan

Whatever your athletic goal, a training program exists to prepare you for it. A coach can help you layout your fitness journey and tailor your training to your current availability and baseline strength and endurance levels. Maybe you’re a harried new parent with little time to train. Or you could be single and self-employed with the flexibility to train like an elite athlete. A coach will develop a plan that works for you. Humango’s coaching app does the same. Plug in your goal event and date, and the app will produce a progressive plan to get you to the finish line. Along the way, you should grow stronger, leaner, and faster.

Step 4: Follow Your Training Plan

Unlike general fitness classes that repeat the same workout, a training plan builds you up step by step. A big part of its success involves recording your workout data, sharing it with a coach, or uploading it to an online AI coaching app like Humango. This data will reveal how your progression as an athlete is going. Are you struggling to finish each workout? Are you bored because the training is too easy? The coach — or coaching app — will cull the data and adjust your future workouts accordingly.

Step 5: Finish Strong & Revel In Your Fitness

Achieving the actual goal itself is the ultimate payoff for all your work. Your training plan should deliver you to the start of your event in peak fitness, full of energy, and in top physical shape. Before you launch into competition, take a moment to appreciate the strong, fit athlete you’ve turned yourself into. Then go smash whatever event you entered and relish the accomplishment. 

Step 6: Set a New Goal & Start the Process Again

The wonderful thing about being an athlete is that the pursuit never ends. There are always more goals to shoot for and more events to try. And if you grow bored with training for one sport, you can always try a different one. Exchange running for cycling, for example. Athletic seasons come and go; the athlete’s ultimate payoff is staying fit for life.