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Fri 17th Sep 2021
Training: get back into shape
Posted by: Simon Ward
Posted on: Thursday 21st November 2013

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Recently back from working in Kona, Simon Ward is hoping to be back there again next year - this time, hoping he'll have qualified to race there at Ironman Lanzarote - via his Hawaii50 project.

Having taken his own "Get out of Shape" phase end of season advice, its now time to Get Back into Shape! Here he outlines how that has been going for him, but highlights some many of the issues (and solutions) which should be familiar to many triathletes at this time of year.

Getting Back into Shape

In my last article I talked about the value of a “Get out of Shape” phase at the end of the season. After ÖtillÖ I felt pretty battered and I felt like I needed a bit longer than usual.

Work commitments and various trips helped shape an eight week phase which was one of my most successful training plans. Gaining 4kg in eight weeks was a real success but of course that just means I have to be more diligent as I start the Hawaii50 programme.

First the “Get Into Shape” phase.

My plan was/is to return to the structure I am familiar with and slowly build up the volume until the Christmas period.

The key goals for this phase are

  1. Stay healthy & injury free
  2. Lose the weight I gained in the “Get out of Shape” phase and get close to 75kg
  3. Build my training volume up to around 13-14 hours per week

One of the enjoyable parts of an end of season break is a reduction in the regular training load. If you are used to 10-15 hours per week then suddenly only being active (I stop calling it training for this month), for 6-7 hours per week means lots of free time.

If you are used to eating lots anyway to fuel the 15 hours per week this results in a couple of things:

Firstly, as you relax, you start drinking a little more red wine and indulging in a dessert (or three). With less training the weight goes up (hence the 4kg). At this time I was reminded of a personal training client who used to say “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”. I truly hope not!

The second happening is that with a reduced training load you get a bit more relaxed with time management. Whereas I am normally pretty stringent with my daily work routine I've had more time and so work expanded into this time. Now that I'm building back into a regular training routine I have had to become stricter with myself again. It takes time. Habits that have been ingrained don't take long to change but they also take longer to get back into.

That's why I think of the “get into shape” period as a transition between minimal training an full training.

I think that after the first three weeks of training I'm almost there, but by six weeks I'll be right back into the old routine. By nine weeks I'll be really on top of it and ready to jump into the 20 week build up to Ironman Lanzarote.

Incidentally, I have noticed some signs of aging. No one really likes to admit to noticing these things, especially not triathletes who seem to have a default age of 25 (at least in their head). Longer recovery times from injury and hard sessions, and longer warm ups are just a couple. The big thing is that you seem to lose fitness faster and take longer to get back to where you were. So these days I don't really take big long breaks. Whilst I called it a get out of shape phase, I never actually stopped being active because if I had done then it would probably have taken me until March to get back to my fitness of this summer. Anyway, if you are interested then here's a summary of my first three weeks back into training.

At the end of the next block I have some fitness tests so that will give me an idea of where I am really at.

Thanks for reading.
Stay healthy & have fun








S- Masters (sprints) 60'
R = strides 30' (TM)

B- CT  - 60' inc 40' @ 220w

R = 20' EZ am
R 30' Tempo pm
Wts - 15'

S - Masters 75'
B - CT intervals 6 x 2' @ 300w + 2' rest


S - Masters 2h 5k
R - off road 55'

B - Road - 2h20 (<80%)

S- Masters (sprints) 60'
R = strides 40' (TM)

B- CT - 70'
inc 50' @ 220w

R = 30' EZ am
R 30' Tempo pm
Wts - 15'

S - Masters 75'
B - CT intervals 6 x 2' @ 300w + 2' rest


S - Masters 2h 5k
R - off road 55'

B - MTB 2hrs Hilly & muddy

S- Masters (sprints) 60'
R = strides 30' (TM)

B - CT 60'
Cadence drills

B/R brick
2 x (30'CT + 15' TM run)

S - Masters 75'
B - MTB 60' (ez)

S - Masters 3k



CT = CompuTrainer
TM = Treadmill

Hawaii Sponsors Sketchers Impact CT FondriestLe Beau VeloAMP Vekta Velosport

Simon Ward About the Author

Simon Ward is the founder of, the most experienced group of coaches in the UK. You can contact him on 08700 418131, by e-mailing [email protected] or by visiting

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