Complete this easy to do 8 week Triathlon Training program, and you’ll be sure to finish your first SANDMAN sprint triathlon.
Summer is almost upon us and you are itching to do that sprint triathlon down at the Sandman Triathlon. You want to finish it don’t you? Good, follow this easy to use 8 week program and you will easily cruise through a 600m swim, 20km bike and 5km run
I have divided the program into 4 parts
- 2 weeks of easy regular training
This will allow you to get a feel for the way a triathlete should train. It will help you build up some strength, allow you to loose the stiffness in the muscles, show up your strengths and weaknesses. Basically, you should know exactly where you stand after the first two easy weeks.
- weeks 2 to 4
Here we shall keep the program structure the same, but up the mileage by some 20%. It means you go a bit harder and will allow you to build up a good base from which to work. It is important that we do not overdo it, injury prevention and lack of energy are two issues we want to avoid.
- weeks 4 –6
These will be the two peak weeks and will be most important. Consistency is the name of the game. You have to keep your sessions regular and not skip if possible. Obviously illness, injury of exhaustion can be taken into account, but if possible, stick to the program as best you can. You can play around with some of the sessions, so mix and match where necessary. As long as you do the weekly sessions of four in the pool, bike and run.
- week 7
This week will be used specifically for speed work. Everything is short and sharp. The countdown has begun.
- week 8
This is basically rest, rest and more rest. You do not become fitter in the week preceding the event. If anything, you can do your chances of having a good race, some serious damage by overdoing it. Relax and enjoy the rest. Wait for the big day and give it everything you have got. For most, it is just a question of finish, so take up the challenge and enjoy the race and the atmosphere. It could be the start of a very long triathlon career.
HELPFUL HINTS AND TIPS
- The first aspect before we start is to be in possession of the right equipment.
- The basics include a swim costume, swim cap and goggles. Please note that it is compulsory to wear a swim cap during the swim leg of a triathlon, so make sure you buy one. Most indoor pools require that you use them, so most should already have this basic item. Goggles are also important. If you wear specs or contact lenses, then they are an absolute must. One must admit that you are certainly not going to see any marine life under water, so the goggles are there more for comfort and eye protection.
- You will have noticed the use of wetsuits at all the races. The original thought was to use this suit to keep you warm in the cold water. However things have changed and manufacturers now design suits to make you fast. These are however quite costly, so if your on a budget, rather opt for the speedo. Unless the water is really cold, do not wear the old faithful skin diving suit. This will only weigh you down and hinder your swim stroke. Two options, either buy the expensive triathlon wetsuit or go with the costume.
- As for the bike, here once again it’s a choice between expensive and “good enough”. As a novice, I would recommend that you keep faith in whatever bike you have presently, be it a jalopy or a mountain bike. As long as it has two wheels and is roadworthy, it’s certainly good enough for your first triathlon. Once you have passed the beginners stage and wish to go faster, then one can look at getting something slightly lighter and more efficient. I would not spend too much money until I am completely sure that this is the sport for me.
- Most novices will ride in their running shoes, which is not a bad thing. If you want to look the part, then buy yourself a decent pair of cycle shoes and pedals. These two items will definitely make you go faster.
- A Helmut is also compulsory, so don’t go to the race without it!!
- Running shoes are also an essential item to add to the list. Don’t go and run in new shoes on the day of the race. Wear in the shoes first, the run is hard enough without having to worry about blisters.
RACE DAY HINTS
- In transition area, make sure you know exactly where your bike is. It may sound stupid but when you have a thousand bikes all lined up together and you’re not totally sure where you put yours before you started swimming, you may end up losing plenty of time looking for the trusty steed.
- The swim start is also vitally important. Don’t go to the front unless you can swim with the big boys. Rather start at the back or on the sides, where you have a good amount of freedom to swim at your own pace. It is also a good idea to continually look up during your swim to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.
- Before you start the bike, take your time and ensure that you have what you need to complete the bike ride. A spare tube and pump in case of puncturing. You do not want to train for weeks only to find that you puncture and cannot repair!
- Start the bike easy and build up speed. If you’re a slow swimmer, do not try and make up all the time lost within the first couple of kilometers on the bike. Pacing is of vital importance.
- The run is also approached with a certain amount of caution. Start slow and finish like the wind.
- If it’s hot, please drink adequately during the bike and the run. Performance does take a dip if you’re dehydrated, so just keep that in mind during the race.
- A good pointer is to look and learn. Nothing better than learning from those in the know.
Our first three sessions will begin on a Friday. The idea here is quite simply, to show you what your limitations are and to gauge your start up fitness levels
Put on your watch and run for a total of 20 minutes at a good comfortable pace. See what distance you can cover in the time limit allowed. Don’t go hard, easy is what you want.
Go down to your nearest pool and attempt to swim non-stop for 5 minutes. It may sound short, but if you are not a swimmer, it could feel like an eternity. Rest if you have to, once again measure the distance you complete within the 5-minute limit.
Take out your bike, and see what distance you can cover in 60 minutes. Once again, take it easy and do not over exert.
You might be slightly stiff and somewhat tired, especially if you’re a complete couch potato. None the less, at least you know where you stand in terms of limitations. Now for the hard work as you begin the 8-week cycle.
MONDAY (S): This is a day of rest throughout the 8 weeks. A perfect day to relax and enjoy. Perfect to sort out those post weekend blues.
CYCLE 1 (Weeks 1 – 2)
Swim bike run
Tue 8 x 25metres rest 4km easy jog
Rest 30 secs between
100m easy swim
4 x 25m hard, rest
Wed rest 20 – 60km easy rest
Thursday 4 x 100m straight swim 4km easy
Rest 30 secs after each
Friday rest 20 – 40km easy 4km hard
Sat 8 x 50m swim 15km easy 4km easy
Sun 2 x 200m straight swim 60km easy
Rest 1 minute after each
Tue 400m straight swim 20km moderate 4km moderate
Wed 16 x 25m swim rest rest
Rest 30 seconds after ea.
Thursday rest 40 – 60km moderate rest
Fri 4 x 100m swim rest 4km time trial
Rest 1 minute after record time!
Sat 8 x 50m swim rest 4km easy
One easy, one hard
Rest 30 secs after ea.
Sun rest 80km moderate 4km directly
After the bike
Swim bike run
Tue 4 x 200m straight rest 8km easy
Swim, rest 1 minute
After each one
Wed rest rest 6km of hills
Thursday 8 x 100m swim, 40- 60km easy rest
Rest 30 secs after
Fri 16 x 50m swim rest 4km hard time
Rest 15 secs after each trial, record
Sat 32 x 25m swim, rest 20km ride after rest
10 secs after each one swim
Rest 1 minute after each 4
Sun rest 80km ride at good run 2km after
Pace bike ride
Tue 800m straight swim 20km easy 7 km easy
Wed 2 x 400m sw rest 7km moderate
Rest 2 min after
Thursday rest 20km moderate rest
Fri 4 x 200m swim rest 4km time trial
One hard, one easy record time!
Rest 1 min after ea
Sat 800m straight swim rest rest
Sun rest 40km TT hard effort 2km after bike
Take time! Run easy
CYCLE 3 (WEEKS 4 – 6)
This is your most important training period. Stay healthy, eat well and rest. You need these next two weeks to give you that peak needed for the event. If you do get injured or sick, take time off, don’t try and play catch up by stacking your days with increased mileage.
Tue 1000m straight swim rest 8km easy
Wed rest 40km hard 5km moderate
Thursday 10 x 100m on 2:30 40km moderate rest
Fri 5 x 200m, one easy rest 4km time trial
One hard, one easy record time!
One hard, last easy
Rest 1 min after each
Sat 20 x 50m, rest 20km easy rest
Rest 10 secs after each
Rest 1 minute after set of
Sun rest 90km hard ride 5km run
Tue 2 x 500m swim, rest 5km easy
Rest 2 min after each
Wed rest 40km easy 8km moderate
Thursday 10 x 100m on 2:30 rest rest
Rest 1 min after 5
Fri 20 x 50m on 1:30 rest 4km time trial
Rest 1 min after 4 record time!
Sat 40 x 25m swim 20km moderate
4 hard then
4 easy, do 5 sets
Sun rest 80km bike hard 5km run direct
The hard training is over, we know just have to sharpen up and have some good rest. The important thing about speed is, go all out, but rest in between. Your sleep is also important during this period.
Tue 200 easy rest 8km fartlek
4 x 50 hard efforts run, jog 400m
Rest 30 secs after ea sprint 100m,
200 easy for the 8km
8 x 25m swim
hard, rest 30 secs
After each on
200m easy swim
Wed rest 20km, easy ride for 4km rest
hard ride for 1km. Do it
Thursday 500 m swim as rest 4km
Hard as possible easy
Fri rest 10km time trial as rest
Hard as possible
Sat 5 x 100m sprints rest 4km
After each 100m rest time
1 min trial
sun rest 20km time trial as
hard as possible 4km
LAST WEEK (RACE WEEK)
The most important aspect here is rest, rest ,rest. You are not going to get any faster or fitter in this last week.. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Tue run 8km nice and easy
Wed ride for 20km also nice and easy
Thursday swim 500m at leisurely pace
Sunday RACE DAY (ALL OUT!!!)
To enter the SANDMAN TRIATHLON or for more detail, click this link