Train by feel

A key factor of the success of Trisutto training is listening to our body to measure training intensity levels, and how we adjust todays workout(s) intensity based on fatigue. 


Fewer gadgets and disconnecting from data helps us to develop feel for intensity, and also fatigue. We decide to go easier when tired and to push hard when feeling good. This helps us to maintain consistency of training and improvement. Removing unnecessary complications and distractions, is what we call focusing on the ‘meat and potatoes’ and not being distracted by the ‘fluff’ that can cause analysis paralysis, and demotivation.  

Trisutto train by feel



Comfortable, conversational pace. In the swim relaxed strokes. On the bike, easy relaxed cadence. On the run, easy jog with a nice rhythm. 



Usually for short efforts of a minute or less. Never faster than 90% of maximum effort / speed when running. 


As you Feel 

A chance to tune into your body and train to feel; if you feel good, then push it along, but if you feel tired or not so good, is fine to take it easy. 



We like to keep things simple. While others espouse heart rate and power zones we find that these are a cause of confusion, distraction and worry. Instead we prefer the following perceived exertion levels.

Easy (<60%), Moderate (60-75%), Medium (75-85%), Mad (85-95%).

*Note that we never go 100%. 


In general, a sustainable, “all day” pace. Used for warm up and some cool down of most workouts.
A moderate effort means that you need to start pushing a bit. This is a pace that starts to harness some strength in your swim stroke, your pedal stroke or your stride, but it doesn’t feel hard. The effort / pace is sustainable for long efforts. 


Swim: Swimming without pushing your aerobic system to strain. Breathing should be light enough that you recover for another effort within 10 seconds.

Bike: A pace you can sustain for many hours. 


Run: You are “feeling your oats” and stepping out of your warm-up pace. You could comfortably run this for several hours. 



The effort does not feel like something you could sustain for very long, and yet training “in the here and now” you can hold this without seeing the end of the effort. This feels like the effort you would race your long race when fit. At the same time, it’s not exactly pain free. You can sustain this pace for the foreseeable time, but your breathing is somewhat laboured and conversation is definitely curtailed. You need to focus on the effort but are not pushing a pace where you need to back off – nor do you feel like you would want to push it much faster, either. It doesn't quite hurt, but you can handle it because it's going to end. 



This is definitely uncomfortable!
You only push this hard for either short efforts (e.g. sprints in the pool, and strength intervals on the bike), or sustained efforts late in a workout when you are already fatigued. 


Swim: This might mean very short, fast efforts with lots of rest.

Bike: Giving it what you have at the moment, for example "MAD" at the end a ride, or in a workout where the effort builds from MODERATE, to MEDIUM, and finishing with MAD.


Run: The pace really hurts but it is not all out. It feels similar to the pain of race pace in shorter triathlon races. You will be breathing hard, but there is a little left in the tank so it’s not all out. As with the bike we use this with workouts that build from MODERATE, to MEDIUM, finishing with MAD. 


**Note: When running we never run intervals faster than 95% effort. The benefit is limited and the risk of injury higher. 

Rest Days and Tired Days


Everyone has different levels of fatigue, commitments and challenges (work, family, various stressors). Take rest days as YOU need them, and/or as life dictates. Don’t try to catch up, simply start again the next day. 


On days when you feel tired and don't know if to train or not, we suggest doing the warm up of a workout before making a decision to train or not using the following guidelines: 

  • If you feel better, try to do the scheduled workout.

  • If you feel the same (still tired, but not worse), complete a continuous easy workout of half the duration scheduled.

  • If you feel worse, then stop and enjoy a guilt free rest. 



Do not attempt to squeeze missed workouts later in the week. Simply move on and focus on the next day of training and doing that to the best of your ability. No one day should be so hard that it affects your ability to train the following day.



Some athletes want to do the big killer workouts, but then require a day or more off to recover, or pick up some illness. It is much better to keep chipping away and 'hurry slowly'. However, do not be afraid to take an easy day or a day off if needed (see above).