Triathlon: Olympic Distance Triathlon, Beginner Plan: 5.25 to 8 (or 10) hrs/wk

Average Weekly Training Hours 05:09
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 05:09
Training Load By Week

You might be a beginning triathlete or maybe you have a couple of races under your belt from previous seasons. In either case you are fit and are NOT a beginning athlete. Before beginning Week 1 of the plan you are capable of riding a bike 30 to 60 minutes two days a week and completing a long ride around two hours on a third day. You can swim 100 yards (or meters) nonstop and swimming for 30 minutes a couple of times per week is easy. You can run two days per week, one 30-minute run and a longer run of 45 minutes.

With the profile in mind, have a look at the plan preview. If the first couple of weeks of training look like training loads you can handle, this is your plan. Weekly training hours range from 5:15 to a maximum between 8:15 and 10:00. There is some flexibility built into the plan to accommodate individual differences. For example there is no time posted for the swim workouts. Obviously there can be big differences in swimming abilities between people with a competitive swim background and those just getting into swimming. Some of the run and bike workouts also have ranges built into the workouts.

The plan has a general pattern of cycling and strength training on Monday and Wednesday, heading to only

Mondays as the plan progresses. Strength training is optional in this plan. If you decide not to strength train, you can replace the strength training time with more time on the bike on those days. If you are currently strength training, you can keep your current routine. Be aware and notice if strength training is taking too much energy away from your swimming, cycling and running. If this is the case, consider reducing the exercises, sets or repetitions to allow higher quality workouts during the aerobic sessions.

Swimming is shown on Tuesday, Thursday and some Saturdays. Running workouts are typically on Tuesday, some Thursdays and Saturdays. Long rides are on Sundays.

Friday is always a day off. If it works better for you to have a different schedule and move the workouts around, it can be done. Try to keep similar workouts 48 hours apart. In other words, it is preferable to swim on Tuesday and Thursday instead of Tuesday and Wednesday.

By Week 10 you are doing a training day that includes a morning swim followed by a 2:45 brick. The brick includes race-pace work.

Find the supporting documents you need to help you with this plan at this link.

You can find more training plan choices at THIS HOT LINK.

Sample Day 1
0:30:00
Endurance - 90rpm

Ride in Zones 1-2 on a flat to gently rolling course at 90+ rpm. If you're unable to spin 90+ rpm coast and recover until you can.

Sample Day 1
0:30:00
AA

After your designated warm-up, complete 2-3 sets x 15-20 repetitions (reps) of the exercises outlined in the Supporting Documents section titled Strength Training. Use a light to moderate weight.

Sample Day 2
0:30:00
Easy Run

Run on a flat course - a soft surface would be best (grass, dirt or treadmill) - keeping heart rate in Zone 1.

Sample Day 3
0:30:00
AA

After your designated warm-up, complete 2-3 sets x 15-20 repetitions (reps) of the exercises outlined in the Supporting Documents section titled Strength Training. Use a light to moderate weight.

Sample Day 3
0:30:00
Fartlek

Ride mostly in Zones 1 to 2 zones with a few short (10 to 20 second) accelerations placed throughout the workout, your choice. Relax and have fun.

Sample Day 6
0:45:00
Cadence - Zones 1-2

Run a flat to gently rolling course in heart rate Zones 1 to 2. No need to "push" Zone 2. Within the run, check leg speed a few times by counting your left foot strikes for 15 seconds. The total should be 21 or more.

Sample Day 7
2:00:00
Endurance - rolling

This level is used for aerobic maintenance and endurance training. Heart rate should stay primarily in Zones 1 to 2. How much time is spent in each zone depends on how you feel that day. The goal of an E2 ride is not to see how much time you can spend in Zone 2. Ride on a rolling course if possible, with grades up to 4 percent. For reference, most highway off-ramps are 4-percent grade. Riding in a slightly larger gear can simulate a gentle hill, if there are no hills where you live. Remain in the saddle on the hills. If you ride with a group, inner discipline is necessary to let the group go if they want to hammer.

Gale Bernhardt
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Gale Bernhardt Consulting Inc.

I offer one-on-one, completely personalized coaching for athletes that want customized training.

For athletes that enjoy self-coaching, but need a bit of help, I offer phone consulting services.

You can find more information about these services on my website www.galebernhardt.com