Diary of a World Championship Triathlete

Stephane is a four-time age group triathlete world champion. He qualified again in 2017 this time in Rotterdam. He shares his diary for the four weeks leading into the event. Original article can be found in the Age Group Triathlete Magazine Issue 27. Download the app here. Below is part one – four weeks to go for world champs.

Four Weeks to Go


Monday is usually a full day to recover from a big weekend of training. This weekend it involved 50km bike race on Saturday and an 8km cross country running race on Sunday. As I need to include some more swimming in my program I did a 60min swimming squad which included 12×100 on 1.30.


My daughter & wife are sick, so I have been drinking lots of tea, olive leaf extract and plenty of vegetables. In the evening, I take a 60min easy run session followed by 30min recovery cycle at high cadence on rollers indoors.


A world champs specific duathlon set at the local criterium track. This is aimed at improving cornering, bike skills, transitions and running off the bike. The set consisted of 8 sets of 2kms max bike + 400m tempo run & 400m easy jog.

Usually I would sleep in before a set before this but I noticed an ex-pro triathlete with an amazing swim leg is competing against me so I know I need to improve my swim. Before the duathlon set I did a 60min speed focused swimming squad.


Unfortunately, I caught the virus from my children. Today was spent all day in bed trying to recover for the rest of the week. In previous years, I have had pneumonia leading into world champs so I am keen to not get too unwell again.


Feeling much better today so I went for a 3km swim with my assistant coach Kate including 5×400 paddles & pool buoy descending time. I also had a 60min massage & physiotherapy appointment to work through some niggles & prepare for the weekend. As I get older, the niggles are more persistent. I believe it is this weekly treatment which stops my niggles from developing into full-blown injuries.


A squad race preparation session to prepare for a local duathlon tomorrow. Involved a 15min run + 60min cycle on the criterium track with more cornering & skill work + another 15min run off the bike. Race prep is very important. Doing 5 to 10 short & sharp sprint is very beneficial to flush toxins and to pick up heart rate & metabolic rate.


Duathlon race day. The race is a 5km run + 19km cycle + 5km run. This is used to test where each athlete’s fitness is at & regain some race rhythm. I raced at controlled pace trying to allow my lungs to recover. I did not push over 80% & still managed to get third overall in a day filled with high winds & rain.