Some people will find that when the cold, blustery weather hits, triathlon training may be the last thing on their minds. For others, it will be just the ticket to get them through another long winter.

The holiday season is upon us, religious beliefs notwithstanding. So to all those triathletes out there, I ask you: what gifts would your coach have for you this holiday season? But first, if you don’t have a coach, check your Christmas stocking – he/she might be in there!

On a day like 12-12-12, it seems only fitting to use the Twelve Days of Christmas as a starting point. So with a little fanfare, here is my rendition of a Christmas favorite – The Twelve Days Of A Triathlon Christmas – with coach’s comments included.

On the first day of Christmas, my tri coach gave to me -

A periodized training plan (you need to have a plan to know where you are going)

On the second day of Christmas, my tri coach gave to me –

Two pairs of swim goggles (always good to have a spare)

On the third day of Christmas, my tri coach gave to me -

Three pairs of footwear (flip flops for the pool, cycling shoes, and running shoes)

On the fourth day of Christmas, my tri coach gave to me -

Four strength sessions (in a two week training mesocycle – to build your power output and keep you injury-free)

On the fifth day of Christmas, my tri coach gave to me -

Five personal bests! (when you are training well and injury free, good things will happen)

On the sixth day of Christmas, my tri coach gave to me -

Six power workouts (interval training will build that power output)

On the seventh day of Christmas, my tri coach gave to me -

Seven motivational talks (training will be a challenge, and the opportunities for learning are endless)

On the eight day of Christmas, my tri coach gave to me -

Eight ounces of low-fat chocolate milk (my favorite recovery drink)

On the ninth day of Christmas, my tri coach gave to me -

Nine speed cassette with a different gear ratio (that “A” race might require some smaller gears)

On the tenth day of Christmas, my tri coach gave to me -

Ten days of training (every two weeks – the extra days are needed as time for recovery)

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my tri coach gave to me -

Eleven water bottles (can never have too many of those around)

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my tri coach gave to me -

Twelve weeks of preparation (a journey that you will surely never forget)

I hope that 2012 has been a great triathlon season for you, and that there are many exciting adventures awaiting you in 2013. Enjoy – and Happy [insert holiday here]!

Photo credits: graham.james.campbell


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