Mount Festival Top Tips 

Coach Rob Dallimore's month by month tips on how to prepare optimally for your best race day performance and experience

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We may be 5 months out from the 2022 Mount Festival, but the best time to start preparing for it is right now.  Five months is plenty of time to build fitness, improve your sport specific skills, source the equipment you need and plan for the rush of race week.  But trust me, that time will fly by, and you don’t want to be rushing to get things done at the 11th hour….we’ve all been there and it’s very stressful.

Over the coming months I will take you through the the things you need to be thinking about as you get towards the race.  This is by no means the hard and fast rules for approaching this race, but having done it plenty of times before, I’ve figured out how to get to race week with the best preparation and least amount of stress.

I will go into more detail on the months October to January in future posts, but below are my suggestions for September. 

September - T minus 5 Months:

Start build your aerobic fitness.  Now this is a fairly wide ranging thing because some of you may already be quite fit and have had a few years of experience in Triathlon, but for some of you this may be the first time you are dipping your toes in something of this distance.  Regardless of where you sit on the continuum, the same rules apply.

Regardless of your ability, the only reliable way to get through a long endurance event such as the Tauranga Half is to develop a large amount of aerobic fitness.  Overall fitness trumps speed in this case.  Your aerobic capacity will dictate how successfully you get through the day by increasing your metabolic efficiency for a sustained effort on race day, and it will also set the foundation for the training to come over the coming months.  Come race day you will be calling upon your aerobic fitness as the hours tick by and fatigue begins to set in.  The fitter you are the longer you can go for, and the less you will slow down.

This doesn’t mean you need to be out doing hours upon hours of long slow distance, not at all.  In fact the most effective thing for you would be to start with some regular exercise or movement.  Consistency is the key to building aerobic fitness.  I see far more fitness gains from athletes who are able to get out regularly at low to moderate intensity than from those completing poorly structured, sporadic workouts.  The later group tend to be at a higher risk of injury, carry greater levels of fatigue, compromised immunity, are less resilient when it comes to increases in workload and often struggle with focus.

Below is a typical training week our beginner athletes will follow through a fitness preparation phase prior to settling into an event specific Training plan such as the one we have available to our Online Coaching members.  Fitter and more competent athletes will do a bit more training, but it doesn’t need to be a lot.  You certainly don’t want to be training to your maximum here as you won’t be able to lift your level to what's required to see further fitness gains.  This aerobic training phase should take 4-6 weeks, so you have plenty of time to build up and feel more comfortable.

So my advice is to start within yourself.  Keep it simple, fun and not too specific (even do some SUP Boarding, mountain biking or hiking to keep it varied), talk some of your friends into joining you in the challenge of training for the Tauranga Half.

If you'd like to sign up to a Structured Training Plan for the Mount Festival events you can do so by following the link below..

What about the other months?

Below is a brief summary of what you can look forward to in each monthly update


  • October: Lock into your Training Plan, set some goals for race day, book your accommodation
  • November: Improve your sport specific skills, source the equipment you need for race day
  • December: Learn the course
  • January: Taper, plan your race week


We will keep in touch!

Sign up and over the next 5 months we will send you Coach Rob's Top Tips as you head towards your key race of the season