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Triathlon: Sprint Triathlon Race Plan, Intermediate: 4.0 to 6.5 hrs/wk


Gale Bernhardt

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9 Weeks

Plan Specs

triathlon sprint intermediate time goal hr based

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Plan Description

This 9-Week training plan is for the beginning triathlete looking for an endurance goal. The goal is to complete a triathlon that is roughly 450 yards of swimming, 15 miles of cycling and 3.1 miles of running.

Before beginning this plan, you are a fit person. While you are fit, it has been awhile since you have been in the pool; but you are confident that you can comfortably complete 25 yards. For swimming, and the other sports, you currently lack endurance for a sprint distance race. You are looking to the plan to help you build swimming and triathlon-specific endurance. You are currently riding your bike, indoor or outdoor bike, three times per week. Two of the days your ride length is about 45 minutes and a longer ride of about an hour is on the third day. You are capable of running three times per week for 15 to 20 minutes per session.

Because of your time-crunch lifestyle, doing a brick (bike ride immediately followed by a run) on weekdays fits your schedule perfectly. Weekends are used for longer bike rides and longer runs. The longest run is 45 minutes and the longest bike ride is 1:30. Your available weekly training hours range from 3:30 to about 5:00. Please check the Plan Preview to see if this training plan is right for you.

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Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
1:23 hrs 0:45 hrs
2:51 hrs 1:30 hrs
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Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
1:23 hrs 0:45 hrs
2:51 hrs 1:30 hrs
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Training Load By Week

Gale Bernhardt

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

Sample Day 1


**Optional run** Run at Zone 1 intensity, easy and fun run. Best on a flat, soft surface such as dirt, grass or a treadmill.

Sample Day 2

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 3

ME - Neg. Split Z1/3

BT: Begin the first half of the workout in Zones 1 to 2. Control your intensity, it should feel too easy. When you reach 50-percent of the time, increase intensity a bit to allow Zone 3. The second half of the workout is mostly Zones 2 to 3, but can include some Zone 1. If you run an out-and-back course, you should return in less time than it took you to go out.

Sample Day 4

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.

Sample Day 6

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

Endurance - All Zones

BT: This is a multi-faceted workout for building endurance, speed and strength. The first time you do an E4 workout, keep heart rate in 1 to 4 zones. As training progress continues, and depending on the specifics of the plan, you can spend some time in the 5 zone. As fitness increases, it is possible to spend progressively larger amounts of time in the 4 and 5 zones. In some cases, this progression is left to the individual athlete - begin conservatively.

Sample Day 8


**Optional run** Run at Zone 1 intensity, easy and fun run. Best on a flat, soft surface such as dirt, grass or a treadmill.

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