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Year of first Tri race?

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  1. I'd be interested to hear from the coaches on here as to what their preferred method to break up a lead-in to a long distance race. I have 6 months and the distance is 1/2 IM. In the past, I have broken a long lead-in into thirds: Phase 1: Base - Mostly long E1 rides and runs. Usually through the Winter with cross-country racing providing some run speed sessions. Phase 2: Strength - add hills and lots of trails to the long runs and hill reps on the bike Phase 3: Speed. Incorporating TT efforts at race pace or above into the long rides and runs. I've had several great coaches over the years who loosely follow this structure. My issue is, when dealing with long course racing what the hell is 'speed' phase anyhoo? You'd be a top age grouper if you scrape in under 5min kays! Who the hell has the energy to do 'speed' in the closing weeks of a long course programme? Ya feel me? I have done enough of these to know (around 30 half IM / long course races / 7 IMs) that doing 'speed' work in the closing weeks of a long course programme (try as you may) is not often possible because you're knackered. A certain 'volume' is unavoidable as you can't run a marathon off a 100m programme. It's a fragile time where niggles come to the surface. I'm NOT starting from scratch. Right now, I have put 5 months quality work in (have not missed one single session), which included about 3 months of base, building to weekly 100 - 130km long rides. We also incorporated a lot of strength on the bike - hills and seated low rev turbo sessions. We then did about a month of Time Trial work on the road and on the turbo. And finally we shortened it all up for the race season which included a TT, Duathlon, Sprint Tri, Olympic Tri, double sprint and aquathon. Volume dropped and short race pace efforts increased. This recent work comes off the back of 12 years of very consistent training (excluding last year which was the first year that I didn't hit the usual 15-20hrs per week due to lots of travel where training became more recreational that anything - trail running, cycling in Alps, wine etc). So, I'm very happy with our fitness at this point. With a 6 month lead-in to our goal race I feel I have a good base to work with. Long story long, I'm keen to hear your thoughts on doing speed work for a couple more months, hoping that as we build endurance efforts at race pace through to December, we will have confidence knowing that in recent training, our speed was present. I don't want to 'start' speed work a couple of months out from the race when we are knackered. Hope the garble makes sense. In summary, for a long course race, should the blocks go from 1. slow, medium, fast OR 2. fast, medium, long? OR 3. should we just do a bit each week-in, week-out until Dec? cheers
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