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Article - 24 November 2010

Building base fitness. How to do it right.

The off-season is here and you can look at it in two ways: miserable weather, dark evenings and slippery roads, or a chance to reinvent yourself as a triathlete. It’s the perfect time to build the physiological characteristics that will underpin your spring and summer racing campaign.

The first step in training for the new season is to ensure you’ve recovered from the last one. After 11 months of training, your body is fatigued, right down to the nervous system. Give yourself the chance to rejuvenate. Before you start any serious winter training you should have at least four weeks away from structured training, early morning starts, dieting and all those things triathletes love to inflict on themselves. Stay active but go hiking or cycling with the family, swim without counting lengths and let your body heal. Research shows if you stop exercising completely, fitness loss or ‘detraining’ starts to occur only after about two weeks. If you stay physically active during this period, a break of even four weeks won’t lead to loss of aerobic conditioning. Once you’ve fully recovered your body will be ready to build a strong aerobic base, and I’m going to show you how.

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Read the previous article: Grow Older, Race Faster.

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  • I was fairly new to cycling. I loved it, but felt like I had reached a plateau - I was suffering from frequent illness and injury, I didn't see much reward out for the extra effort in, and consequently my motivation was starting to falter. By good fortune, the gurus at Cyclefit recommended Garth Fox - and I haven't looked back since.

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  • {Garth is} a man of integrity, who seems to be driven by nothing more than a desire to help others to achieve their dreams - be these to finish a sprint triathlon, or to qualify for Kona - Garth will be at your side (sometimes literally!) every step of your journey. You're in safe hands.

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    Professor of Applied Physiology, Brunel University, UK. Author of "Breathe Strong, Perform Better"

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  • My goal after having two children was to get back to at least the level of 10k running performance I was at before having children, which was 50 mins. Under Garth's highly professional guidance I recently managed a time of 45 mins and came 6th in my age group! I am ecstatic and have already set my sights on a triathlon next year. As Garth always tells me, the limits are only where you set them. Thankyou!

    Karine Seguin - Head of European Business Development – Financial services sector, London


  • Garth's success in the field of sports physiology begins with his passion and respect for endurance events and the human body. He has a deep understanding of the connection between training, racing, recovery, and nutrition and how proper balance in life can optimize one's performance.

    Michi Weiss - Pro Ironman Triathlete.
    2011 Xterra World Champion, Olympian and 4X Ironman Champion.

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  • Garth's enthusiasm for endurance sports physiology seemingly knows no bounds. He has a great understanding of the human body and how it responds to rest and training. He's also one of those rare people who have both communication and analytical skills, when most people only have one or the other.

    Phil Mosley - Elite Triathlete & Coaching Editor of Triathlon Plus magazine

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  • Garth really knows how to connect the dots between training and performance. His enormous expertise in physiology and sports science makes his training interventions very perceptive and his ability to tease out the precise adaptations required for the desired improvement in performance with different training stimuli is uncanny.

    Peter Leo - U23 Triathlete - Student of Sports Science

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