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If there’s one thing most triathetes get wrong, it’s this:


They make their easy sessions too hard…

… and their hard sessions too easy.

Now, you might be thinking -

“That’s a weird thing to say, Pete. What do you mean by that?”

Well, essentially, when we break triathlon training down into its 3 most basic forms, you have 3 zones:


  • Recovery work. (This should be VERY easy.)

  • Base building. (This is a little tougher, but still easy-ish.)

  • The intense stuff. (Think threshold efforts, intervals, and tempo training.)

What we see at Brownlee Fitness is that when athletes first come to us, they tend to go out too hard on their base building or zone 2 work. 

(Usually because they still want to look good on Strava. 😉)

But they don’t go “full send” when they’re doing their hard training.

And as for the recovery work?

Well, don’t even get me started on how many people don’t bother with that!

While you can progress okay like this if you’re a beginner, at some point, the wheels will fall off.

When you work too much in what we call ‘the murky middle’ your body doesn’t really know how to adapt to each specific type of training.

That’s why it’s so important to do 3 things if you want to get fitter and stronger:

1. Leave your ego at the door with your easy training.

I know we all want our stats to look impressive. But ask yourself -

“Am I training to impress people on Strava, or am I training so I can race faster?”

If it’s the latter, then forget about impressing your followers, and fully embrace what zone 2 training should be - Easy base-building.

2. Get your head in the game for your hard sessions.

This might mean training a little bit later in the day rather than early doors to give you some time to mentally prepare.

It might mean having an extra meal or two beforehand so you’re properly fuelled.

Or it might even mean ditching the group run or ride, so you can really dial in your intensity in a solo session.

Only you know what you need to do to give your hard efforts 100%.

Just be sure to give them the respect and intensity they deserve.

3. Actively add in recovery sessions.

It’s all too easy to let recovery sessions fall by the wayside as you figure - “I feel good today, so I’m going to push a bit harder.”

Again, I get it. I’m a competitive guy too.

But this is NOT the way to treat recovery sessions.

They’re there for a reason, and that reason is to help you adapt optimally, to get fitter and stronger, and to stave off injury.

So even if a recovery session feels almost laughably easy, you should still do it as written.

Variety in training really is the spice of life.

Just make sure you’re actually doing the variety you need, and not just paying lip service to it.


Brownlee Fitness


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