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tri-newbies online training programs
10 Week Olympic Distance - Beginner
1k/.9mi swim - 25mi/40k bike - 10k/6.2mi run

 

Date

Swim

Bike

Run

W1

     

Mon

--------------------------

--------------------------

--------------------------

Tue

300 yds a.m.

 

3 miles p.m.

Wed

 

8 miles

 

Thur

300 yds a.m.

 

2 miles p.m.

Fri

 

 

 

Sat

 

 

3 miles a.m.

Sun

 

10 miles a.m.

 

W2

 

 

 

Mon

--------------------------

--------------------------

--------------------------

Tue

300 yds a.m.

 

3 miles p.m.

Wed

 

10 miles

 

Thur

500 yds a.m.

 

3 miles p.m.

Fri

 

8 miles

 

Sat

 

 

4 miles a.m.

Sun

 

10 miles a.m.

 

W3

 

 

 

Mon

--------------------------

--------------------------

--------------------------

Tue

500 yds a.m.

 

3.5 miles p.m.

Wed

 

10 miles

 

Thur

500 yds a.m.

 

3 miles p.m.

Fri

 

10 miles

 

Sat

 

 

5 miles a.m.

Sun

 

12 miles a.m.

 

W4

Recovery Week

Recovery Week

Recovery Week

Mon

--------------------------

--------------------------

--------------------------

Tue

300 yds a.m.

 

3 miles p.m.

Wed

 

8 miles

 

Thur

300 yds a.m.

 

3 miles p.m.

Fri

 

8 miles

 

Sat

 

 

3 miles a.m.

Sun

 

10 miles a.m.

 

W5

 

 

 

Mon

--------------------------

--------------------------

--------------------------

Tue

500 yds a.m.

 

4 miles p.m.

Wed

 

10 miles

 

Thur

750 yds a.m.

 

3 miles p.m.

Fri

 

10 miles

 

Sat

 

 

5 miles a.m.

Sun

 

15 miles a.m.

 

W6

 

 

 

Mon

--------------------------

--------------------------

--------------------------

Tue

750 yds a.m.

 

4 miles p.m.

Wed

 

15 miles

 

Thur

750 yds a.m.

 

3 miles p.m.

Fri

 

10 miles

 

Sat

 

 

6 miles a.m.

Sun

 

15 miles a.m.

 

W7

 

 

 

Mon

--------------------------

--------------------------

--------------------------

Tue

750 yds a.m.

 

4 miles p.m.

Wed

 

15 miles

 

Thur

1000 yds a.m.

 

3.5 miles p.m.

Fri

 

10 miles

 

Sat

 

 

6 miles a.m.

Sun

 

20 miles a.m.

 

W8

Recovery Week

Recovery Week

Recovery Week

Mon

--------------------------

--------------------------

--------------------------

Tue

500 yds a.m.

 

3 miles p.m

Wed

 

10 miles

 

Thur

500 yds a.m.

 

3 miles p.m

Fri

 

10 miles

 

Sat

1000 yds optional p.m

 

5 miles a.m

Sun

 

15 miles a.m.

 

W9

 

 

 

Mon

--------------------------

--------------------------

--------------------------

Tue

1000 yds a.m.

 

4 miles p.m

Wed

 

15 miles

 

Thur

1250 yds a.m.

 

4 miles p.m

Fri

 

15 miles

 

Sat

1000 yds optional p.m

 

6 miles a.m

Sun

 

25 miles a.m.

 

W10

 

 

 

Mon

--------------------------

--------------------------

--------------------------

Tue

1250 yds a.m

 

5 miles p.m

Wed

 

20 miles

 

Thur

1500 yds a.m

 

4 miles p.m

Fri

 

15 miles

 

Sat

1000 yds optional p.m

 

7 miles a.m

Sun

 

30 miles a.m.

 

 W11

Race Week

Race Week

Race Week

Mon

--------------------------

--------------------------

--------------------------

Tue

1500 yds

 

6 miles

Wed

 

30 miles

 

Thur

1000 yds

 

3 miles

Fri

--------------------------

--------------------------

--------------------------

Sat

 

 

 

 

The following program is designed for the individual who would like to complete or finish his or her first Olympic distance triathlon with no regard to time. This also takes into consideration that the individual can run 3 miles, three times per week and cycle a minimum of 8-10 miles (about 60 minutes) regardless of speed.

The entire program should be completed at an easy, aerobic pace. If you own a heart rate monitor and are familiar with aerobic heart rate training, than train at the lower end of your aerobic zone. I subscribe to the 180-method of determining your aerobic heart rate zone. This is just one method and certainly not the only one. According to this method, the following formula will give you your aerobic heart rate zone:

180 minus your age will give you your upper range in beats per minute. Then subtract 10 to find your lower range in beats per minute. If you feel this range is too high then bring everything down 5-10 beats per minute.

Ex: A 37 year old individual in descent shape-

180 – 37 = 143 This would be the upper range.

143 – 10 = 133 This is the lower range.

Therefore, the aerobic range of this particular individual is 133-143. Now according to this method, this should be fine for the run and the bicycle. However, some folks have a hard time sustaining that high a heart rate on the bike. So an adjustment downward may be necessary.

Because this 10 week program is designed for the beginner, a heart rate monitor should be used as a means of keeping yourself in “aerobic” check. BE STRICT with yourself and do not let anyone else influence your training. If you have been training with a partner or are currently looking for one, explain to the individual what your goals are to make sure he/she will go along. If you are a runner and because you are now incorporating three different sports in a week of training, your running pace may be slower than normal. Thus, running with an existing partner who is used to you running faster than your new “aerobic” pace may cause you to run too fast. Stick to YOUR training program and not someone else's. If someone chooses to train with you according to your needs, terrific! If not, then head out on your own. The beauty of a heart rate monitor is it will allow you to train solo. It is like having a personal coach running/riding along side of you.

And the same goes with cycling with a partner. However, unless you are cycling on a deserted highway, the opportunity to ride side by side and chat will not always arise, so you will be forced to ride front-to-back. If you wish to ride with someone who is faster than you for safety reasons, etc., spend more time drafting behind your partner. This will help keep your heart rate lower while still keeping up with your partner.

**** You will notice walking was added to the program. I am a huge believer in walking. You can use it as a means of recovery after your long ride as well as a means of building leg strength. I usually walk a pretty fast pace with a long stride. I like to think of it as an extra day of running without the pounding. I personally do not do a lot of arm pumping when I walk, however feel free. It wont hurt you.

Swimming: I have included a set of swimming workouts for the entire program. You will find them at the bottom of this page. They are designed around training in a 25 yard pool. If you are swimming in a 25 meter pool, you can use the same workouts. For a 50 meter pool, there will be some changes. You are certainly not bound by these workouts so feel free to tweak them as you see fit. Please see the breakdown below:

25 Yard (meter) Pool – usually standard length
1 lap = 25 yards (meters)
2 laps = 50 yards (meters)
4 laps = 100 yards (meters)
1 mile = about 1700 yds (meters) = 68 laps

50 Meter Pool
1 lap = 50 meters
2 laps = 100 meters
1 mile = about 1500 meters = 30 laps

You will notice that I did not include any stroke drills as part of the workouts. By all means, insert them where you would like, but do not replace the main set of each workout. If you are having difficulty with your stroke and you are without a swim coach, I suggest you purchase Terry Laughlin’s book and/or video series (800-609-SWIM).

The main set of each workout is based on repetitive swims with very little rest after each. DO NOT swim these fast. Swim them slow enough so that you are not gasping for air at the wall. And check your heart rate periodically throughout the set. The quickest way to do this is place your finger under your chin/neck, find your pulse and count the beats for a six second count and add a zero to the total. For example:

14 beats in 6 seconds = 140 beats per minute.

This reading is not as accurate as would be displayed on a heart rate monitor but it is all we swimmers have! Try to keep your heart rate between 140 – 160 beats per minute. The older you are the closer to 140 the better. For athletes in their twenties or early thirties you should be fine on the higher end. The idea behind this method of training, is to have you properly prepared for the bike ride upon exiting the water during a race. The closer your heart rate is to your bike training rate, the better the outcome of your entire race. For example:

For ten weeks you have been training on the bike at an average heart rate of 125bpm (beats per minute). Come race time, you exit the swim with a heart rate of 175 bpm. You are now a full 50 beats per minute above your bicycle training level! Within a couple of miles into your ride, your heart rate will drop, but probably not the full 50 beats. More than likely, it will settle in at about 145-155 beats per minute or a 20-30 bpm recovery. Thus you will be riding the 25 mile/40k bike coarse with a heart rate some 20-30 beats higher than your training rate. And this will be the beginning of the end, for you will pay the price on the run. Now, if you were to exit the water in the same race with your heart rate at or near 150 beats per minute, and you recovered the same 20-30 bpm during the bike ride, your heart rate would settle in somewhere between 120 and 130 bpm – your normal bicycle training rate! This would only leave better prepared for the run.

Flip turns – do not worry about flip turns while you swim. Unless you feel very confident doing them, simply take a quick breath on the wall and push off. Flip turns will cause your heart rate to rise.

Breathing – you should get in the habit of breathing every stroke. The more oxygen you take into the body, the lower your heart rate will remain. However, alternating your breathing or breathing every three strokes, will help you in two ways.
1. It will balance out your freestyle stroke.
2. It will get you used to looking in both directions, which may help during a race when trying to find your mark.

Also practice lifting your head and looking forward when swimming…say once or twice per lap during your main set. Yes, you may have a black line to follow in the pool, but unless you are racing in the clear waters of the Caribbean, the open water in most tri’s will be fairly dark.

Cycling: Again, all of your bike rides should be aerobic, concentrating on staying within your heart rate zone. Remember, for some, the running heart rate zone may be higher than that of cycling, so you will need to experiment to find out what works best for you. Attempting to cycle within your running HR zone may do more harm to your aerobic system than not. To experiment, subtract 5 to 10 beats from your running zone and determine how it feels during the ride. For example:

If you are 40 years of age, and in pretty good shape, your aerobic heart rate zone based on the Maffetone method, should be 130-140. If you were to subtract 10 beats for your cycle training, your zone would be 120-130. And this is where you should experiment.

Obviously, the flatter the terrain on which you ride, the easier it will be to monitor your heart. If you live in a hilly or mountainous area, your rate will definitely rise when cycling uphill. If this be the case, shift to higher gears (so you are spinning) and try to keep your ride smooth. Avoid pumping the pedals if possible. The harder you pump, the higher your heart rate will rise. This will not always be as easy as said but you should at least attempt to keep your heart rate as low as possible during the uphills. Also, try to remain in the saddle while riding uphill and only climb out as a last resort.

Aero position: If your bike does come equipped with aerobars, get used to riding in the aero position. You will notice some stress on the lower back at first, but practice and a good lower back stretching routine should lead to successful acclimation. If you cycle on flat roads, you will get plenty of practice. If you live in a hilly or mountainous area, your chances will be limited. And do be careful when speeding downhill. I recommend you do not ride in the aero position on steeper downhills, and certainly not on mountain descents. Practicing on a stationary bike trainer will certainly help if conditions are not favorable.

Bike trainers: if you live in the northern states or in the Pacific Northwest during the winter month's Mother Nature does not provide many opportunities to ride outdoors. Therefore, a stationary bike trainer is the next best alternative. And you can spend anywhere from $150 - $1500 on a bike trainer. For now, be frugal and buy the least expensive model. If you decide to stick with this sport, you can always spend more money! Stationary trainers can be boring, so mental toughness will come into play. Get yourself a Walkman® to keep you going. For the most part, you will not be able to accurately measure your mileage on the trainer, so to be safe, figure about 15-17 miles covered in an hour. If during the winter month's you are able to head outside for a ride, pay attention to your average speed over the coarse of an hour. You can then transfer that knowledge to your indoor training.

Running: At the risk of sounding redundant, determine your aerobic heart zone and train within this zone. Again, I tend to follow the methods of Dr. Phil Maffetone regarding heart rate training. And according to Dr. Maffetone, when you head out on your run, spend the first 12-15 minutes as a warm-up, slowly bringing your HR up to the aerobic zone, while the last 12-15 minutes should be spent trying to lower your rate.

Without getting into details about this method, (you can read about it in Dr. Maffetone's book, "In Fitness and in Health" ) at the very least, it offers a safe, comfortable warm-up and cool down period. For example:

An individual with an aerobic HR zone of 130-140 bpm heads out for a 30 minute run. The first 12 minutes is spent slowly bringing the heart rate up to 130 bpm. After the warm-up, the individual then runs for 6 minutes keeping his/her heart rate between 130-140 bpm. Finally, for the last 12 minutes he/she will want to bring the heart rate down below 130 bpm and maintain until the run is completed.

The running distances in the program are listed in miles. If you feel comfortable with that, then you will have to do some converting form miles to minutes. The key is to allow yourself a sufficient warm-up and cool down period with the bulk of your run being within your aerobic HR zone. If you would prefer to run minutes rather than miles, than transfer the mileage to a 10 minutes per mile pace. Thus 3 miles = 30 minutes. For some this may be too slow, or too fast and feel free to adjust accordingly. Just make sure to run aerobically.

Running hints: If you can, run on a grass path, or gravel path. The softer the ground, the better the shock absorption for your legs. Concrete is the worst, asphalt is next, tar is very soft (running track) with any type of dirt trail being the best. Actually, running on a golf coarse is ideal. Unfortunately, concrete sidewalks surround the entire island on which I live, so remember, you get what you get. Whatever the surface, stay aerobic and you should be fine.

If you run on the roads, try to stick to the flattest part. However, this usually means running down the middle of the road, so most of us run on one side or the other. For some this may lead to leg or hip soreness. Refer to the figure on the right. When running on the side of a road, the natural camber of the road causes the runner to have an uneven position relative to the surface. Therefore, if you are running on the left side of the road, the left leg is forced to extend further downward than the right. You will also find similar problems among runners who run on the beach. So when possible, shoot for the flats.

If you feel a particular running distance is too long, especially your Saturday long run, than incorporate some walking into the run. For example, run for 5 minutes, and walk for two. If you do decide to run/walk on your long run, do not run until you become fatigued and then decide to walk. Many folks will say to themselves “I'm not stopping, I feel fine” subscribing to the no pain, no gain philosophy. However, you may find you will not recover fast enough for the next run segment. If you have set a 5 minute limit to your run, then stop at 5 minutes! If you want to build your mileage as pain free as possible then stick to your limits regardless of how good you may feel.

Weights: I suggest you lift weights at least 2 days per week and no more than 3. Do circuit training and 2 sets of 15 reps per exercise. Keep the weights light. You do not want to build bulk. We just want to build some strength for endurance. You may feel sluggish the first couple of weeks but it will get better. A basic circuit consists of Lat Pull Downs, Bench Press, Leg Lifts, Leg Curls, Squats (or dips and lunges), Tricep Pull Down, Bicep Curls, Calf Raises and sit-ups or crunches. Feel free to add or leave out what you see fit.

Swim Workouts

(1)

Warm-up............................50 yds

8 x 25’s swim (1 lap each)

5 sec. rest bet ea. .............200 yds

50  real easy ......................50 yds

Total ................................300 yds

 

(2)

Warm-up..............................50 yds

4 x 50’s swim (2 laps each)

10 sec. rest between ea. .....200 yds

100 swim down real easy......50 yds

Total ..................................300 yds

 

(3)

Warm-up............................100 yds

12 x 25’s swim (1 lap each)
sec. rest bet ea. .................300 yds

150  real easy ....................150 yds

Total .................................500 yds

 

(4)

Warm-up............................100 yds

6 x 50’s swim (2 laps each)

10 sec. rest between ea. .....300 yds

100 swim down real easy ......100 yds

Total .................................500 yds

 

(5)

Warm-up # 1.......................200 yds

16 x 25’s swim (1 laps each)

5 sec. rest between ea. .......400 yds

200 swim down real easy ......150 yds

Total .................................750 yds

 

(6)

Warm-up # 1.......................200 yds

8 x 50’s swim (2 laps each)

10 sec. rest between ea.......400 yds

200 swim down real easy ......150 yds

Total .................................750 yds

 

(7)

Warm-up # 2.......................300 yds

20 x 25’s swim (1 laps each)

5 sec. rest between ea. .......500 yds

200 swim down real easy ......200 yds

Total ................................1000 yds

 

(8)

Warm-up # 2 .....................300 yds

10 x 50’s swim (2 laps each)

10 sec. rest between ea. .....500 yds

200 swim down real easy ......200 yds

Total ...............................1000 yds

 

(9)

Warm-up # 3 ......................400 yds

28 x 25’s swim (1 laps each)

5 sec. rest between ea. .......700 yds

200 swim down real easy ......150 yds

Total ................................1250 yds

 

(10)

Warm-up # 3 ......................400 yds

14 x 50’s swim (2 laps each)

10 sec. rest between ea. .....700 yds

200 swim down real easy ......150 yds

Total ................................1250 yds

 

(11)

Warm-up # 3 ......................400 yds

40 x 25’s swim (1 laps each)

5 sec. rest between ea. .....1000 yds

200 swim down real easy ......100 yds

Total ................................1500 yds

 

(12)

Warm-up # 3 .....................400 yds

20 x 50’s swim (2 laps each)

10 sec. rest between ea. ...1000 yds

200 swim down real easy .....100 yds

Total ...............................1500 yds

 

Warm-Ups

Warm-up # 1

100 swim easy .100 yds

50 kick easy .....50 yds

50 swim easy ....50 yds

Total .............200 yds

 

Warm-up # 2

150 swim easy .150 yds

100 kick easy .100 yds

50 swim easy ....50 yds

Total ................300 yds

 

Warm-up # 3

200 swim easy .200 yds

100 kick easy ..100 yds

100 swim easy .100 yds

Total ................400 yds

 

 

 
 
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