RW Olympic-Distance Triathlon Plan for Runners (12 weeks)

Average Weekly Training Hours 00:03
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 00:03
Training Load By Week

If you're a runner heading to your first Olympic-distance triathlon, this 12-week plan is for you. Runner'sWorld and tri coach Dara Wittenberg have created this program specifically for runners preparing for an Olympic-distance triathlon (typically a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 40-kilometer ride, and a 10K run). It's designed to help you take advantage of the running strength you already have, so that you can run strong off the bike on race day, and help you to develop the strength you need to complete the swimming and cycling workouts feeling strong. Most weeks include one day of rest, two days of biking, two days of swimming, and two days of running. Your swims will include pool and open-water workouts. You'll also have brick workouts (combination workouts) so that you get plenty of race-day rehearsal. You're ready for this plan as long as you can swim four laps of a pool (200 meters) nonstop and bike for 45 minutes without resting.

Sample Day 4
Run: 40 Minutes Moderate Effort + Strides

10-minute warmup at easy effort 4 strides 20 minutes at moderate effort 10-minute cooldown at easy effort Warm up with 10 minutes of easy running. Follow that with four 100-meter strides, recovering with 60 to 90 seconds in between. During the strides, hit the fastest pace you can hold while maintaining good form. After the strides, run 20 minutes at a moderate effort, trying to maintain the good form you used on the strides. Cool down with 10 minutes of running at an easy pace.

Sample Day 9
Bike: 4 Drills + 40 Minutes Moderate Effort

5-minute warmup at easy effort 6 drill sets 40 minutes at moderate effort 10-minute cooldown at easy effort After a warmup, do the drills six times. Try to make sure you're putting in an even effort with each leg as you go through them. If one side seems stronger than the other, do one extra drill of individual leg training with the weak leg. An ill-fitting bike can hurt your knees, waste your energy, and leave you injured. When you're on the bike, with your leg extended, there should be a slight bend in your knee. You should have a slight bend in your elbow when your hands are on the brake hoods. If you start to experience pain or numbness in your shoulders, hands, or wrists, the reach to the handlebars may be too long. Be sure to visit a specialty bike shop to get properly fitted. CYCLING DRILLS Do each of these exercises for 30 seconds, resting for one minute in between. SPIN-UPS: Lower resistance until you hit the max cadence you can maintain without bouncing. INDIVIDUAL LEG TRAINING: With only small resistance, have one leg doing all the work.

Sample Day 11
Run: 45 Minutes Moderate Effort+ Strides

10-minute warmup at easy effort 6 downhill strides 30 minutes at moderate effort 5-minute cooldown at easy effort Warm up with 10 minutes of easy running. Follow the warmup with 6 x 100-meter strides, preferably on a downhill. Recover for 60 to 90 seconds between each stride. Follow the strides with 30 minutes of running at a moderate pace. Cool down with five minutes of easy running. The strides help you work on your speed without taxing the body like a full-speed workout, so you're still fresh for the bike and the swim workouts. If possible, do them on a downhill; gravity's pull will help you develop quick turnover that you want to maintain in the race.

Sample Day 18
Run: 45 Minutes Moderate Effort

45 minutes at moderate stride This is just a maintenance run; just focus on maintaining a moderate effort. Save your energy for the time trial in the pool and brick workout this weekend. You can use today's workout to check your stride rate or leg turnover. Developing a quick turnover will help you run more efficiently and boost your performance. To figure out your stride rate, count how many times your right foot touches the ground in 20 seconds. Multiply this by three. In one minute, you want to have 85 to 90 right foot steps.

Sample Day 25
Run: 45 Minutes Easy + Strides

5-minute warmup at easy 4 strides 35 minutes at easy After you're warmed up, add 4 x 100 meter pickups, resting for 60 to 90 seconds in between. Focus on keeping a high turnover while staying relaxed. Then run easy for 35 minutes. You may have the energy to go harder or longer today, but it's best to keep the run short and easy. This is a recovery week. You want to give your body a chance to adapt to the training stresses and get stronger.

Sample Day 28
Run: 45 Minutes Tempo

15-minute warmup at easy effort 15 minutes at tempo effort 15-minute cooldown at easy effort During the tempo portion of the run, tune into the rhythm between your breathing and your cadence. This is a handy way to pace yourself, as different paces will have their own specific rhythms. Because you're training for three sports, go for quality over quantity. You won't need all the easy base-building runs you'd do for a marathon or a half marathon. You'll get plenty of aerobic training during the bike and the swim workouts. Most of your runs should focus less on just logging mileage and more on building strength and speed.

Sample Day 39
Run: 45 Minutes Easy

Keep today's run short and easy so you're fresh for tomorrow's ride. Run for 45 minutes at a comfortable pace. Make sure to check your form. Keep your face and hands relaxed, keep your shoulders down, and your turnover high.