We like to keep things simple. While others espouse heart rate and…

Explaining the session

A little bit about how we coach our athletes and our philosophy

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%


Comfortable, conversational pace.
Swim: Relaxed strokes
Bike: Easy relaxed cadence
Run: Easy job with a nice rhythm


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 it 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.


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 of 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 is high.

If you would like to learn more then get in touch we would love to hear from you https://teamanimis.wpengine.com/contact/

Picture of Animis Coaching Team

Animis Coaching Team

We're Coaches Jacqui and Oliver Saxon, the Animis Coaching Team.

We are a mom and son coaching team who have changed our lives through the sport of triathlon. We aim to break down the mysteries of triathlon training and show you, the avid traithlete, how simple and flexible it can be so triathlon training really does become part of your lifestyle and not just a hobby.