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Beginner 16-Wk Xterra Short-Course Triathlon Training Plan


Ryan Eckert, MS, CSCS

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16 Weeks

Plan Description


This is a beginner training plan for an athlete interested in completing an Xterra short-course triathlon (standard distance of ~500m swim, ~15k bike, ~5-6k run) or a similar distance off-road triathlon. This training plan is geared more towards the individual that is interested in completing their first or second race at this distance and has minimal off-road triathlon experience. This training plan is prescribed and individualized based on Rating of Perceived Exertion (1-10 scale) and assumes that an athlete has the equipment necessary to swim, mountain bike, and trail run. This training plan includes a mixture of pool swimming and open water swimming, as well as road cycling, mountain biking, road running, trail running, and resistance training performed in a gym. An athlete does not need to have a basic level of fitness before participating in this, however, it is recommended that the athlete has the ability and basic competency to swim, mountain bike and run. If the athlete is new to swimming or mountain biking, it is recommended that they also seek out personal and individual coaching from a sport-specific coach to help them master the fundamentals of swimming as well as the technicalities of mountain biking.

Note: When viewing the average weekly hours within the Training Plan Preview, total swim hours estimated and are not the exact duration you will likely end up swimming in each session. The swim hours are estimated based on the yards/meters of each individual swim session.

This training plan comes with a few documents/resources that will prove useful to athletes while following along to the prescribed plan:
1. Instructional Booklet - Contains basic educational and background material that will help the athlete successfully complete the training plan and learn about the training process
2. Exercise Technique Guidebook - Contains pictures and descriptions of over 80 exercises that will help the athlete successfully complete training sessions prescribed within the plan

Basic equipment needed to successfully complete the swim sessions within this training plan include:
-wetsuit (if swimming in colder open water venues during training or racing)

Basic equipment needed to successfully complete the bike sessions within this training plan include:
-road bike (not required as road rides can be done on a mountain bike as well)
-mountain bike
-bike helmet
-tire pump
-proper cycling clothes and attire (cycling shoes if desired and cycling shorts and jerseys)
-flat kit (can be kept in saddle bag or in jersey pockets while riding)

Basic equipment needed to successfully complete the run sessions within this training plan include:
-running shoes (ideal to have a pair to wear on the road and a pair to wear while on the trails)
-proper run clothing and attire

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Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Run x3
01:15:00 00:50:00
Swim x3
01:39:00 00:50:00
MTB x2
01:25:00 01:15:00
Day Off x1
—— ——
Bike x1
00:22:00 00:35:00
Strength x1
00:28:00 00:30:00
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
01:15:00 00:50:00
01:39:00 00:50:00
01:25:00 01:15:00
Day Off
—— ——
00:22:00 00:35:00
00:28:00 00:30:00

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

Ryan Eckert, MS, CSCS

Peak Endurance Solutions, LLC

Peak Endurance Solutions is a company dedicated to providing endurance athletes with a premier coaching service through individualized, one-on-one coaching as well as pre-planned, customized training plans available for purchase.

  • This plan includes a Free Basic TrainingPeaks Account.
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  • Track your performance with robust data tracking and detailed graphs.
  • Plan for your event in the TrainingPeaks calendar.
  • Track your weight, sleep, hours, fatigue and stress while you train.
  • Syncs daily with other popular apps like Garmin and MyFitnessPal.

Refund Policy

This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.

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