Triathlon - Short Course - Level 1 (9 weeks / Sunday race)

Average Weekly Training Hours 05:22
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 05:22
Training Load By Week

SHORT COURSE TRIATHLON TRAINING PLANS

Whether you are looking to finish your first sprint or Olympic distance triathlon, improve your personal performance or compete in the USAT National Championships, choose from four different levels of short course triathlon training plans to help you attain your goals.

Each plan follows a 3:1 periodization schedule that involves three weeks of increasing volume or intensity followed by a recovery week. The plans vary according to the number of workouts per week, the amount of training hours, and the length of time spent working on the foundational base.

As you compare the plans to find the right one for you, consider your past training volume, the amount of time you have to dedicate to training, and your goals. Note that levels 3 and 4 assume prior base training (at least four weeks) before beginning the plan. With any of the plans, you should be ready to handle the first week’s training volume before starting.

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Sample Day 1
0:45:00
Swim (Form B1)

Warm up: 300 swim, 100 kick

4 x 25 count strokes per length with rest as needed. Record these numbers so you know your average. If your number is above 20 strokes per 25 yards; your aim is to eventually lower that below 20. (Note: one arm equals one ‘stroke.’)

12 x 25 “swimming downhill” with rest as needed. To get the sensation of “swimming downhill,” think of your chest/lungs as a big buoy (like an inflatable beach ball) that you want to push down into the water. Press this buoy (your chest) into the water, and let the force of the water pushing back raise your hips and legs to the surface.

6 x 50 swimming with a “weightless arm” with 10-20 sec rest interval. As you extend your arm forward during entry, imagine that arm being weightless. In other words, you don’t want it to sink or fight against the water by letting it drop straight down. If you find this difficult, remember to “press your buoy” and imagine you are reaching toward the wall at the end of the pool as if it were your last stroke.

12 x 25 rotating kick. Start off lying on one side with your bottom arm extended above your head and your top arm at your side. Kick about six times; then take a stroke and rotate to the other side. Repeat, rolling from side to side every six kicks or so. Aim to keep your body long and level as you rotate along the spine.

Warm down: 100 non-free

(Total: 1500)

(swimming drills attachment)

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
Bike (Endurance with Spin-ups/Jumps)

This bike is designed to build your aerobic system and add to your training base. Bike primarily in Zone 2 for the bulk of the ride. Focus on keeping cadence at 90 or above.
At some point during the ride, include several spin-ups and/or jumps.

Spin-ups: Gradually increase cadence for one minute to maximum without bouncing; hold max as long as possible. Recover for a minute before next one. Do not worry about HR on these.

Jumps: These are 8-12 second maximum effort sprints with a high cadence (not high gear). Alternate in and out of saddle. At least two minutes between jumps. Don’t worry about HR during these.

Sample Day 2
0:10:00
Strength: Functional (10 min workout 1)

Take 10 minutes out of the day when you have a break to do these exercises (see "Exercises & Intervals") tab. Spend 2 minutes on each exercise. This is about making your muscles "smarter" (as well as stronger).

Sample Day 3
0:30:00
Run (Endurance with Acceleration Striders)

This run is designed to build your aerobic system and add to your training base. Run primarily in Zone 2 for the bulk of the run. Focus on keeping cadence between 28-30 left foot strikes per 20 seconds.

At some point during the run, find a good 100 meter straightaway where you can do some acceleration striders. Ideally, this will be a softer surface, such as a track, the infield of a track, a grassy area such as a park, or an even section of dirt trail. Do 4-12 x 100 meter acceleration striders with the wind at your back—start off easy and gradually pick up your pace until you’re at full speed by the end. Focus on good form and leg turnover. The sprints are short and should not tax the anaerobic system too much, although they will work the muscular system. These are “feel good sprints” to develop the neuromuscular action needed for good form and faster running. Jog 200-300 meters between each strider or until you feel fully recovered and ready for the next one. Don’t worry about time on these.

Sample Day 4
0:30:00
Optional Workout

Optional Workout: Choose your weak discipline (swim, bike or run) and do a shortened, half hour version of that discipline's workout assigned earlier in the week.

Sample Day 4
0:10:00
Strength: Functional (10 min workout 1)

Take 10 minutes out of the day when you have a break to do these exercises (see "Exercises & Intervals") tab. Spend 2 minutes on each exercise. This is about making your muscles "smarter" (as well as stronger).

Sample Day 5
0:45:00
Swim (Aerobic Base 100s B)

Warm up: 300 free, 100 non-free and/or kick.

Swim 5-10 x 100 free in Zone 2 (i.e. T-pace plus 10 seconds) with 15 seconds rest interval.* Focus on a steady pace.

Warm down: 100 easy backstroke.

*Note: You can set a send-off time based on your average pace for the 100s. For example, if you swim the 100s in 1:45, your send-off time would be 2:00. This mean you leave for another 100 every two minutes.

Adam Hodges
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Alp Fitness

With credentials from USA Triathlon and the American College of Sports Medicine, All-American triathlete and XTERRA SoCal Trail Series champion, Adam Hodges, PhD, provides training plans and educational resources to help you achieve success in triathlons, running and life. His coaching vision is based on the belief that the ultimate reward of training is the continual process of self-discovery and personal growth that arises out of athletic challenges. Learn more at alpfitness.com.