TRAINING – Finish Your First Triathlon!

TRAINING – Finish Your First Triathlon!

Determined female cyclist looking away

By Brian Diaz

New year. New goals. I love this time of year when people are so dedicated to making changes for the better in their lives. Many add physical challenges or events to target in the coming months, some make dramatic lifestyle adjustments to their current routines, and some are trying to free up more time for family and loved ones or just to get outside more. As our bodies continue to move longer and longer through our lives, I have had several people come up to me wanting to give this triathlon thing a shot and see if they can do one in 2016.

As a practicing physical therapist, my main concern will always be injury-free exercise and how to achieve that as well as reach your own personal goals. The endurance coach in me says, “Let’s do it!” Somewhere in between is where we need to start.

First off, let’s address any nagging physiological limitations to your ability to do exercise. Seek out your favorite PT or physio and have a Functional Movement Screen done as well as a thorough overhaul of past history and ailments. If your goal is to finish the Ramblin’ Rose triathlon in Raleigh, you have a few weeks before starting the plan I will lay out in this article. So, if there is anything you need to rehab, now is the time!

Second, we need to discuss time constraints and demands. Many of you are parenting children, working full-time jobs, traveling, being the best partner or spouse you can be, etc. These will all influence the ability to workout and/or may change your schedule. For this reason alone, I suggest carving out a regular time that you can commit to daily and weekly and get into a routine. Perhaps you like to workout alone, or maybe you’re a social exerciser, recruit friends if need be to hold you accountable and encourage them to ask about your “training” even if they are not doing if with you.

When starting something new, most of us scour the internet looking for the perfect plan to match what we are looking for and want to accomplish. Unfortunately, without hiring a personal coach, this type of programming is difficult to find as a “one size fits all” approach. For that reason, the 12-week plan that I have included in this article is NOT designed for the uber triathlete already seasoned and looking to get a PR. This plan is designed for the newbie. I will use time instead of distance in the run and bike workouts to cover all levels. The plan will be mindful of scheduling constraints and we will keep the conditioning to under 8 hours a week of total time spent exercising. I will assume that you have access to a bike and are able to run at least 2 miles continuously and swim 100 yards prior to starting the plan. If you are not able to do those things then you have a few weeks to get there! This plan is designed to finish the Ramblin’ Rose Raleigh triathlon in May but, can easily be applied to any upcoming super-sprint or sprint triathlon event. The days can also be shifted around to fit your own weekly schedule.

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Brian Diaz is the head physical therapist and sports specialist at ActivEdge Fitness & Sports Performance. He is a Level II Certified TRX Suspension Trainer and a USA Triathlon Certified Coach. Follow him on Twitter (@JediTriathlete) or go to his website at ExperienceTheEdge.com for more exercise ideas.

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12-Week Sprint Triathlon Training Plan

R = Run, B = Bike, S = Swim

RBS = rest between sets, RBI = recovery between intervals, Push = exertion should be at 70-85% maximum effort, Hard = 85%+ maximum effort

Week 1

Mon – R: 20 mins easy jog; S: 200 yds easy warm up, 100 yds with a pull buoy, 4 x (50 easy swim, 50 push with only 10 secs in between 50’s) 1 min RBS, 100 yds with pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 100 yds easy cool down (total: 1000  yds)

Tue – B: 30 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer

Wed – OFF

Thu – B: 30 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer; R: 10 mins easy, 2 x 5 mins push with jog RBI of 5 mins, then 5 mins easy jog cool down

Fri – S: 200  yds warm up, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 4 x 50  yds single arm down and easy swim back using pull buoy, 4 x 50 yds push with 15 secs RBI, 2 x 100 yds push with 15 secs RBI, 4 x 50 yds push with 10 secs RBI, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds cool down (total: 1400 yds)

Sat – Choice of long bike or run for about 60 mins if choosing bike and 40mins if choosing run

Sun – OFF x

Week 2

Mon – R: 25 mins easy jog; S: 200 yds easy warm up, 100 yds with a pull buoy, 6 x  (50 easy swim, 50 push with only 10 secs in between 50’s) 1 min RBS, 100 yds with pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 100 yds easy cool down (total: 1200 yds)

Tue – B: 40 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer

Wed – OFF

Thu – B: 30 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer; R: 10 mins easy, 2 x 5 mins push with jog RBI of 5 mins, 5 mins easy jog cool down

Fri – S: 200 yds warm up, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 4 x 50 yds single arm down and easy swim back using pull buoy, 4 x 50 yds push with 15 secs RBI, 2 x 100 yds push with 15 secs RBI, 4 x 50 yds push with 10 secs RBI, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds cool down (total: 1400 yds)

Sat – B: 60 mins easy; R: 10 mins immediately after bike

Sun – OFF

Week 3

Mon – R: 25 mins easy jog; S: 200 yds easy warm up, 100 yds with a pull buoy, 8 x  (50 easy swim, 50 push with only 10 secs in between 50s) 1 min RBS, 100 yds with pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 100 yds easy cool down (total: 1400 yds)

Tue – B: 45 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer

Wed – OFF

Thu – B: 30 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer; R: 10 mins easy, 2 x 7 mins push with jog RBI of 5 mins, 5 mins easy jog cool down

Fri – S: 200 yds warm up, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 4 x 50 yds single arm down and easy swim back using pull buoy, 4 x 50 yds push with :15 secs RBI, 4 x 100 yds push with 15 secs RBI, 4 x 50 yds push with 10 secs RBI, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds cool down (total: 1600 yds)

Sat – B: 60 mins easy; R: 10 mins immediately after bike

Sun – OFF

Week 4 (down week)

Mon – R: 20 mins easy jog but with hills; S: 200 yds easy warm up, 100 yds with a pull buoy, 4 x  (50 easy swim, 50 push with only 10 secs in between 50s) 1 min RBS, 100 yds with pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 100 yds easy cool down (total: 1000 yds)

Tue – B: 45 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer

Wed – OFF

Thu – B: 30 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer; R: 10 mins easy, 2 x 5 mins push with jog RBI of 5 mins, 5 mins easy jog cool down

Fri – S: 200 yds warm up, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 4 x 50 yds single arm down and easy swim back using pull buoy, 4 x 100 yds push with 15 secs RBI, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds cool down (total: 1000 yds)

Sat – Long bike or run choice with bike no longer than 60 mins and run no longer than 40 mins

Sun – OFF

Week 5

Mon – R: 30 mins easy jog but with hills; S: 200 yds easy warm up, 100 yds with a pull buoy, 8 x  (50 easy swim, 50 push with only 10 secs in between 50s) 1 min RBS, 100 yds with pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 100 yds easy cool down (total: 1400 yds)

Tue – B: 45 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer

Wed – OFF

Thu – B: 30 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer; R: 10 mins easy, 2 x 7 mins push with jog RBI of 4 mins, 5 mins easy jog cool down

Fri – S: 200 yds warm up, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 4 x 50 yds single arm down and easy swim back using pull buoy, 4 x 50 yds push with 15 secs RBI, 4 x 100 yds push with 15 secs RBI, 4 x 50 yds push with 10 secs RBI, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds cool down (total: 1600 yds)

Sat – B: 60 mins with last 10 mins push into R: 10 mins push

Sun – OFF

Week 6

Mon – R: 30 mins easy jog but with hills; S: 200 yds easy warm up, 100 yds with a pull buoy, 10 x  (50 easy swim, 50 push with only 10 secs  in between 50s) 1 min RBS, 100 yds with pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 100 yds easy cool down (total: 1600 yds)

Tue – B: 60 mins on the bike or trainer with 4 x 5 mins push and 3 mins easy spin RBI

Wed – OFF

Thu – B: 30 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer; R: 10 mins easy, 3 x 5 mins push with jog RBI of 3 mins, 5 mins easy jog cool down

Fri – S: 200 yds warm up, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 4 x 50 yds single arm down and easy swim back using pull buoy, 4 x 50 yds push with 10 secs RBI, 2 x 100 yds push with 15 secs RBI, 200 yds push, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds cool down (total: 1400 yds)

Sat – B: 60 mins with last 10 mins push into R: 10 mins push and then 5 mins easy

Sun – OFF

Week 7

Mon – R: 40 mins easy jog but with hills; S: 200 yds easy warm up, 100 yds with a pull buoy, 10 x (50 easy swim, 50 push with only 10 secs in between 50s) 1 min RBS, 100 yds with pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 100 yds easy cool down (total: 1600 yds)

Tue – B: 60 mins on the bike or trainer with 4 x 5 mins hard and 2 mins easy spin RBI

Wed – OFF

Thu – B: 30 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer; R: 10 mins easy, 8 x 2 mins hard with jog RBI of 1 min, 5 mins easy jog cool down

Fri – S: 200 yds warm up, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 4 x 50 yds single arm down and easy swim back using pull buoy, 4 x 50 yds push with 10 secs RBI, 2 x 100 yds push with 15 secs RBI, 200 yds hard all out, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds cool down (total: 1400 yds)

Sat – B: 60 mins with last 20 mins push into R: 10 mins push and then 5 mins easy

Sun – OFF

Week 8 (down week)

Mon – R: 30 mins easy jog but with hills; S: 200 yds easy warm up, 100 yds with a pull buoy, 6 x  (50 easy swim, 50 push with only 10 secs in between 50s) 1 min RBS, 100 yds with pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 100 yds easy cool down (total: 1200 yds)

Tue – B: 45 mins on the bike or trainer with 2 x 10 mins hard and 5 mins easy spin RBI

Wed – OFF

Thu – B: 30 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer; R: 10 mins easy, 8 x 1 min hard with jog RBI of 1 min, 5 mins easy jog cool down

Fri – S: 200 yds warm up, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 4 x 50 yds single arm down and easy swim back using pull buoy, 4 x 100 yds easy first 50 and hard last 50 and 20 secs RBI, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds cool down (total: 1200 yds)

Sat – B: 40 mins with last 10 mins hard into R: 10 mins push and then 5 mins easy

Sun – OFF

Week 9

Mon – R: 45 mins easy jog but with hills; S: 200 yds easy warm up, 100 yds with a pull buoy, 10 x  (50 easy swim, 50 push with only 10 secs in between 50s) 30 secs RBS, 2 x  (100 yds with pull buoy and then 100 yds all out 15 secs RBI) 1 min RBS, 100 yds kickboard, 100 yds easy cool down (total: 1900 yds)

Tue – B: 60 mins on the bike or trainer with 4 x 6 mins hard and 2 mins easy spin RBI

Wed – OFF

Thu – B: 30 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer; R: 10 mins easy, 10 x 2 mins hard with jog RBI of 1 min, 5 mins easy jog cool down

Fri – S: 200 yds warm up, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 4 x 50 yds single arm down and easy swim back using pull buoy, 4 x 50 yds push with 10 secs RBI, 2 x 100 yds push with :15RBI, 200 yds hard all out rest 1 min and then 100 yds all out, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds cool down (total: 1500 yds)

Sat – B: 60 mins (first 10 mins easy then 2 x 20:00 push with 10 mins easy spin between intervals) into R: 10 mins push and then 5 mins easy

Sun – OFF

Week 10

Mon – R: 45 mins easy jog but with hills; S: 200 yds easy warm up, 100 yds with a pull buoy, 10 x  (alternating 50 easy swim, 50 push with only 10 secs in between 50’s) 30 secs RBS, 2 x  (100 yds with pull buoy and then 100 yds all out 15 secs RBI) 1 min RBS, 100 yds kickboard, 100 yds easy cool down (total: 1900 yds)

Tue – B: 60 mins on the bike or trainer with 8 x 4 mins hard and 2 mins easy spin RBI

Wed – OFF

Thu – B: 30 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer; R: 10 mins easy, 10 x 2 mins hard with jog RBI of 1 min, 5 mins easy jog cool down

Fri – S: 200 yds warm up, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 4 x 50 yds single arm down and easy swim back using pull buoy, 4 x 50 yds push with 10 secs RBI, 2 x 100 yds push with 15 secs RBI, 200 yds hard all out rest 1 min and then 100 yds all out, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds cool down (total: 1500 yds)

Sat – B: 60 mins (first 10 mins easy then 2 x 20 mins push with 10 mins easy spin between intervals) into R: 15 mins push

Sun – OFF

Week 11

Mon – R: 45 mins easy jog with hills and the last 15 mins a little faster and push harder; S: 200 yds easy warm up, 100 yds with a pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 100 yds all out, 10 x  (alternating 50 easy swim, 50 push with only 10 secs in between 50’s) 30 secs RBS, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds easy cool down (total: 1700 yds)

Tue – B: 60 mins on the bike or trainer with 2 x 5 mins hard and 2 mins easy spin RBI, 3 x 4 mins hard with 1:30 easy spin RBI, 4 x 3 mins hard with 1 min RBI

Wed – OFF

Thu – B: 30 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer; R: 10 mins easy, 10 x 2 mins hard with jog RBI of 1 min, 5 mins easy jog cool down

Fri – S: 200 yds warm up, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 4 x 50 yds single arm down and easy swim back using pull buoy, 4 x 50 yds push with 10 secs RBI, 2 x 100 yds push with 15 secs RBI, 2 x 300 yds push with 1 min RBI, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds cool down (total: 1800 yds)

Sat – B: 60 mins with the last 30 mins push into R: 25 mins (15 push/10 easy)

Sun – OFF

Week 12 (race week)

Mon – R: 30 mins easy jog with last 10 mins a little faster and harder; S: 200 yds easy warm up, 100 yds with a pull buoy, 100 yds kickboard, 6 x  (alternating 50 easy swim, 50 push with only 10 secs in between 50’s) 30 secs RBS, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds easy cool down (total: 1200 yds)

Tue – B: 40 mins on the bike or trainer with 5 x 2 mins push with 1 min RBI easy spin in the last 20 mins of the ride/spin

Wed – OFF

Thu – B: 20 mins easy bike or spin on a trainer; R: 10 mins easy, 5 x 1 min hard with jog RBI of 1 min, 5 mins easy jog cool down

Fri – S: 200 yds warm up, 100 yds pull buoy, 100 yds push, 6 x 50 yds push with pull buoy, 100 yds easy swim, 100 yds easy pull buoy, 100 yds cool down (total: 1000 yds)

Sat/Sun – RACE