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   January Issue Triathlete
In this Issue
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Your First Triathlon

Triathlete's training guide for the beginner triathlete.
by Gale Bernhardt

Your Profile: You are currently active, doing a variety of activities. You may know how to swim, but don't have much endurance. You have a bicycle and tend to ride mostly in the summer. You might be riding a stationary bike now and can comfortably ride for an hour. You run and have occasionall done a 5k fun run. It is comfortable for you to run for 45 minutes. You have 3.5 to 7 hours to train each week.

Goal: Complete a sprint-distance triathlon (450-yard swim, 13-mile bike, 3.1-mile run) and feel good at the end.

Week Sport Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun. Sport Hours Total Hours

1

Swim   30   30       1.0 5.0
Bike     60   30     2.5
Run       45   45   1.5

2

Swim   40   30       1.2 5.9
Bike     60   30   90 3.0
Run   30   35   40   1.8

3

Swim   40   40       1.3 6.7
Bike     60   30   105 3.3
Run   20   45   60   2.1

4

Swim   20   20       0.7 3.5
Bike     45       60 1.8
Run       30   35   1.1

Weeks 1-4: All workouts are in zones 1-2. The emphasis is on good form and building endurance.

Week Sport Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun. Sport Hours Total Hours

5

Swim   30   35       1.1 5.3
Bike     60   30   70 2.7
Run       45   50   1.6

6

Swim   40   40       1.3 6.3
Bike     60   30   90 3.0
Run   20   40   60   2.0

7

Swim   45   40       1.4 7.1
Bike     60   30   120 3.5
Run   30   40   60   2.2

8

Swim   20   20       0.7 3.5
Bike     45       60 1.8
Run       30   35   1.1

Weeks 5-8: Swim: Depending on where your fitness began, you can add some short bouts of faster swims (25 yard, acelerating your speed). Bike: You can begin to add some rolling hills to your long rides, and those rides can be from zones 1-2. Run: Most of your running stays in zones 1-2, unless you are an experienced runner. If most of your running in the past has been for fitness, add a few short (20-30 second) accelerations to your runs with long jog intervals (2-3 minutes).

Week Sport Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Sun. Sport Hours Total Hours

9

Swim   35   30     Brick 1.1 5.6
Bike     60   45   60 2.8
Run       45   30 30 1.8

10

Swim   40   40     Brick 1.3 6.6
Bike     60   45   90 3.3
Run       40   60 20 2.0

11

Swim   45   25   29   1.5 7.5
Bike     60   40 70 60 3.8
Run   60   40   30   2.2

12

Swim   30         Race 0.5 1.5
Bike           30   0.5
Run         30     0.5

Weeks 9-12: Swim: Your focus is on completing 450 yards of swimming with minimal energy expenditure. Bike: Make your weekkly Wednesday bike rides short and fast, riding in zones 1-4. The Sunday ride will be mostly in zones 1-2. Run: One day per week, your run can have some speed, running at speeds that raise your heart rate into the 1-3 zones. Bricks (a bike ride, immediately followed by a run) are mostly low intensity (1-2 zones) with your focus being on speedy transitions. Pracitice in the clothes you'll wear on race day. You'll have one race simulation one week prior to the race. Pack your bike and running gear in the car when you travel to the pool. Your workout will be in zones 1-2, so that you can be confident on race day.

General comments: This plan builds endurace, right up to the week prior to the goal race. The emphasis is on endurance, not speed. During your first race, keep your breathing in the 1-3 zones. Trying to do too much speed speed work, before you have a solid base, is a formula for injury and discouragement. Be certain your bike fits you correctly (see your local bike shop for help) and don't run in your lawn-mowing shoes. Wear a pair of running shoes - make sure they are not worn out.

One more thing - have a great time!


Want to send a Dear Coach letter to Triathlete to get some training advice? Address your letter to:
Triathlete
Dear Coach
PO Box 550
Cardiff, CA 92007

or send an e-mail to huddle@cts.com