Posted in Triathlon
image of triathlete racing

Rick Kiddle was one of the first ever triathletes in Britain.  In this guide he provides a comprehensive training model for intermediate level triathletes looking to improve their performances.

Rick has 20 years competition experience and 20 years coaching knowledge. He is an established British Triathlon Federation Level 3 Coach, as well as a tutor and assessor for the National Open Water Coaching Association. His knowledge will prove invaluable to even experienced triathletes...

Rick Kiddle Profile

Focusing your training

Rick says “Now things get serious!”

  • The distance you intend on racing will significantly affect the focus of your training: time is precious and most competitive age group triathletes work full time. Therefore, the longer the distance you intend on racing, the more conscious you must be on maximizing training time.
  • For those moving up distances to Ironman, fitting in training is both a science and an art. It is almost impossible to reach your potential without a coach. They will help you to write a monthly schedule that fits in with your lifestyle. Ideally this a programme that can be changed daily or weekly as events and or distractions happen. For example holidays, work, family, stress… Making changes yourself to a programme can be a minefield, whereas a coach can do it in minutes and still keep the structure and integrity of the plan.

Triathlon Intermediate event

Advanced Tracking – ‘Rick’s Rules’

  • Always use a HRM and train in your five heart rate zones.
  • Maximize your swimming
  • Incorporate power training with your cycling (See Wiggle's Training With Power Guides)
  • Take a minimum of two rest days per month. Combine ‘Brick Training’ principles.
  • For Ironman training, use RKC principle of splitting same sport workouts in week three - days within ‘block four’.
  • Ironman competitors add ‘run in water workouts’ in block three *see free website for 15, 30, 45 & 60-minute sessions.

Rick's steps to success

  1. Verify your five zones* use the RKC video from his website or data from ‘novice phase’
  2. Work out in minutes how much time you can spend training per day and how many days a week you can train.
  3. Write down your short, mid and long term goals.
  4. Select the ‘level’ from the Pyramid (dosage of time in each zone found on RKC website)
  5. Write your daily plan
  6. Keep a log - record training that you do, how you felt
  7. Set key benchmarks from which to measure progress in Block One
  8. Improvements from benchmark results form part of short term goals
  9. Reset goals in each block
  10. Stay consistent with training, rest, recovery, nutrition and focus

Garmin Barcelona Triathlon 2013

Training Blocks

Block One - Base Training Phase** Weeks 1 to 8:
(**normally in the winter, or coming back from injury or illness)

  • ALL training to be completed in zones 1-2.
  • When you feel good, train at the top of Z2. Stick to the zones!
  • Divide your time into 5 swims, 3-4 bikes, 4 runs
  • For those with limited time combine the workouts: e.g. run to the pool, do at least one bike followed by a run (brick training)
  • In block one the focus is on setting benchmarks, short term goals, technique, building low-end endurance and consistency. This is the base level on the RKC pyramid. (Log onto the free website to see the Pyramid).  If you can restrain yourself and not go over Zone 2 you will reach a higher level of potential.

Block Two - Weeks 9 to 16

  • Add 10-15% to how many minutes you can train each day
  • Divide that time into 5-6 swims, 3-5 bikes, 3-4 runs (9 sessions a week)
  • Combine the workouts: e.g. bike to work, run to the pool, do a bike followed by a run etc.
  • In block two the focus is on consistency and building endurance.

Block Three - Weeks 17 to 24

  • Add 10% intensity and duration to how many minutes you train each day.
  • See level three & four on pyramid. Level four includes strength training.
  • In block three the focus is on consistency, endurance and threshold building or as Rick likes to say “expanding the fat burning range!

Block Four - Weeks 25 to 36

  • Continue to add 10% duration every fourth week to long distance training. Add speed workouts every two weeks. In the last two weeks reduce duration but maintain speed.
  • In block four the focus is on maintaining endurance building threshold and strength and the final phase includes tapering for the main event.
  • Also, you should put in shorter races as ‘hard training’ practice (Thorpe Triathlon Series:

Thorpe Triathlon Intermediate

Intermediate/Advanced kit

How much does it cost to get you faster?

Here is the kit you need to think about to get you to where you need to be.

Remember – “Light is fast!” What I mean by that is that now you have streamlined you body, it is time to make sure your equipment is not holding you back.

Weight and Diet

Do you feel your nutrition or weight could potentially be holding your performances back?

If you want to compete or race long distances, then you must add this element as the fourth discipline to your training. Some would say it is actually the MOST IMPORTANT. It is paramount that your nutrition is right, not just when you are racing, but also when you are training. Calorie content and combinations of food types!

RKC Advanced Nutrition Steps 1-10

  1. Get your personal body composition measured (includes: fat %, water content, muscle mass, bone mass, visceral fat and more)
  2. Eat five meals a day: these consist of – breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, evening meal.
  3. Drink at least 2-3 litres of water a day.
  4. Eliminate sugary foods.
  5. Cut out refined sugar altogether.
  6. Limit your overall carbohydrate intake.
  7. Ensure food intake consists of balanced foods that keep your sugar and insulin levels equivalent to normal blood sugar level
  8. Weigh yourself every day
  9. Nutrition is 80% of the way you look and feel, exercise is just 20%
  10. Be consistent

Rick Says “Be amazed and feel great –you could see great results if you have never followed these ten steps”

Garmin Barcelona Triathlon 2013