A Week in Tri

Do you want to get started in triathlon training, but don’t know if you’d like it or not? If you’re anything like me, only doing one sport can lead to injury. I’m looking at you, running! As soon as I hit 60 or more miles in a week, my body starts to protest with plantar fasciitis, IT band soreness, and just about any common injury you can think of.

So, here’s a weekly sample schedule for a sprint triathlon. Try it and see if you like it! Training plans usually start on a Monday even though it’s not the official start of the week.

Monday: Swimming and Running

Run for 20-30 minutes in the morning. Warm up with a 5 minute walk and some dynamic exercises: leg swings–hold onto a fence or wall and swing one leg at a time (front and back; side to side), high knees, skipping. After your warm up, run for 20-30 minutes at an easy pace. Walk 5 minutes for a cool down.

Swimming can be done later in the day or right after the run. 100 meters or yards warm up (most pools are 25 yards long), 2×50 meter drills (kick on your back for 50 and pull for 50), 4x50s with 20 seconds rest, swim freestyle, do an easy 100 (your choice on stroke), 4x50s with 20 seconds rest after each 50, 100 cool down swim. Total 800 yards.

Tuesday: Bike and Strength

Bike: go to a spin class for 45 minutes to an hour or ride your own bike. Easy 10 minute warm up ride with three one-minute spin ups. Spin ups are done in an easy gear and you pedal quickly with a fast cadence. Rest 1 minute after each spin up. Ride at a comfortable pace for 30 minutes with 3×1 minute sprints somewhere in your workout. Cool down for 10 minutes.

Strength Training: Warm up with 5-10 minutes of walking or running. High plank (hold for 1 minute), side planks (30 seconds each side), Russian twist for 30 seconds, wall balls 3 sets of 10, you choose the weight, walking lunges for 1 minute, toe ups for 30 seconds on each foot, push ups 2 sets of 10, seated row 2 sets of 10, and finish with 3 sets of 10 box jumps or jump rope for 1 minute.

Wednesday: Swimming and Running

Today’s running workout will be focused on speed play, otherwise known as a fartlek (which is a fun word to say). Warm up by walking for 5 minutes. Start with easy running for another 5 minutes. Choose a landmark 100 meters off or more and sprint to that landmark. Slow down and recover. Repeat. Cool down by walking for 5 minutes

Swimming: 100 yards warm up. 4×50 drills: kick, pull, kick, pull. 200 swim (see if you can do the whole thing without stopping). 4x50s and rest for 20 seconds. 200 swim. 100 cool down. 800 yards total.

Thursday: Bike and Strength

Bike: go to a spin class for 45 minutes to an hour or ride outside. If you’re riding outside, warm up for 10 minutes with 3×1 minute spin ups. Ride easy for 10 minutes. Hard for 5 minutes. Repeat. Cool down with a 10 minute easy ride.

Strength: Warm up with 5-10 minutes of walking or running. Go through all the exercises twice and do each one for one minute with one minute rest: burpees, step ups (one leg at a time), push ups, Russian twist, bridges (raise and slowly lower one leg at a time, switch legs after 10 reps), low plank (forearms on the floor), mountain climbers.

Friday: REST!

Saturday: Longer bike and short brick run.

Ride easy for 10 minutes and then pick up the pace for one hour. Do a short 15 minute run off the bike. Walk to cool down.

Sunday: Longer Run.

Warm up with a 5 minute walk. Run for 50 minutes at an easy pace; you should be able to talk. Cool down with a 5 minute walk.

That’s it! Try it and see how you like triathlon training.

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