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Beginner/Intermediate Training Schedule

hi all - newbie here whos going to 'attempt' to do a OT in August here in Ireland.

Been training since Jan (mainly cardio running and weights - and done a 10km and half marathon just in prep to drop a bit of weight to start proper Tri training (lost nearly 2stone!)) but starting swimming this week (got a couple of lessons booked to kick me off as Im not a v strong swimmer) and getting a bike tomorrow with any luck and start asap on it.

Just wondering has anyone got or got links to a good training schedule for beginner/intermediate?

Thanks in advance all

(Oh and just subscribed to 220 yesterday!)




  • ardkeenardkeen Posts: 152

    You could try beginnertriathlete website dont' have the exact address but just google beginnertriathlete and they have free programs. I'm based in West Cork, what about you, where's the tri in Aug? . Good luck with the training.


  • garydee77garydee77 Posts: 63
    Cheers ardkeen!

    Looking at that now...

    Thanks for the reply - I thought for a bit that I'd posted a stupid question and everyone was ignoring it - perhaps I have, but forgive me as alot of information is flooding my head recently - types of bike, prices, specs, swim lessons, etc...

    Just want to make sure I'm doing enough of each disipline each week - have set myself 3 of each per wk with a long run and long bike in that - along with 2 weight workouts if I have time.

    Just wanted some info on distances, techniques, buildup to the event - for a schedule!

    The Tri is at Ballyronan in Co. Derry - I live just 15miles away in Tyrone - so not too bad.

    Hoping to enter a sprint tri 3-4 weeks before that also for the experience.

    Website for the main OT Im gonna attempt to do is : [color=#008000]www.loughneaghtri.com[/color]


    [color=#000000]Cheers for the pointer again! :)[/color]


  • epacseepacse Posts: 92
    Hi Gary

    thought i;d drop a note say hi, and good look!

    It's my first Tri in June, and training going..Ok!

    Only Ok, becuase i'm struggling hugely now with the SWIM!!

    I have a coach, and yet seem to go backwards rather than forward!!

    All good fun though and good luck!


  • garydee77garydee77 Posts: 63
    thanks a million epacse - good luck to you to!

    haha funny you say that as I had my first lesson yesterday and it was an overall FAIL!

    Didn't realise how bad I actually was - had thought I could swim breaststroke but was told that it wasn't anything the coach had seen before!! lol - Im hoping to look back at this all and laugh in 6months!

    Was a bit disheartened after the session (was working with a float out front and concentrating on kicks and breathing which I was having diffs with)

    I've two practice sessions on my own planned before next lesson next Wed (Fri morn and Mon morn) so gonna work hard on trying to 'get' it properly.

    Even plan to hit the bath tonight before the masters golf starts to just practice breathing - IF ITS POSSIBLE IN THE BATH LOL :) anybody else even do this or am I being a complete numpty?

    lol im even laughing at myself here - but I will persevere and GET the breathing technique - think im trying to take in too much air and then getting timing wrong, then paniking and then swallowing half the pool!

    anyways - thanks for your message of support :)

    im thinking of starting a blog as even the above was good to get down in writing lol

    Read that book - "how triathlon ruined my life" hehe pretty good book - actually does give you a bit of good pointers and what to expect I think :)

    Think the author frequents the boards here - so cheers bit guy and well done!


  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    No, practicing breathing in the bath is not stupid at all. Yes it wont be quite like you are when you are actually swimming, but it does have its benefits.

    The problem I had when I started swimming again was just not being comfortable in the water, with breathing I thought I was going to suck in water and drown! I had a quite odd problem that despite how much i breathed out underwater when I tried to breath in it felt like I had no more space for air. It was like my body was stopping me breathing. So I just kept doing lengths without breathing at all, putting my face to the air but not breathing! finally I got comfortable with it, and do u know how? THE BATH! just breathing out then turning my head to the side got me used to still having part of my head in the water as i breathed in, got back in the pool and bingo, it worked!

    good luck mate!
  • garydee77garydee77 Posts: 63
    ah good stuff Tommy - thanks for that - makes things alot more positive for me! :)

    I've no probs in the pool - no real fear of water - just cant get it right - I will just practise and practise til I get it ;)

    I sure won't let it beat me! :)
  • epacseepacse Posts: 92
    TommiTri....thank GOD someone else has witnessed that!! I breathe out under water like Orca the killer whale and yet when i turn for air, just can't seem to get enough!!

    I also find that when i concentrate on say my stroke, i forget to breathe, then i remember to breathe and forget to kick, so sink, then i start to get worked up, and nearly drown!! [:)] Such an arse!

    I had 2 sessions this week, and both were tha same! No coach this week, yet last week with the coach, i was ending the week on 30 lenghts!!

    Back in tonight, and i'm being told to 'shut up and get on' but it's good to know 'm not the only one struggling with this damn swimming lark!

  • Just my 2 cents.

    I have never actually had a proper swimming lesson, I do keep intending to but never quite managed/found a coach.

    I taught myself though, I did read a bit of literature but mainly just applied from what I know from Rowing to it. The key I found was

    Be as long as possible


    Combine these two and it works wonders. Basically when I say go long try and reach out as far as possible each stroke at the front and back end and concentrate on a powerful pull with the arm, as opposed to a quick one.

    For relax I just mean that, the basic in rowing is that you have to learn to row well slowly before you can row well fast. As speeding something up normally just covers the flaws in your technique. I think the same is true in swimming, just try and take as few strokes per length as possible (i'm on about 17 in a 25m pool, but have read that pro's do about 12).

    Hope that helps,

  • epacseepacse Posts: 92
    armstrong_jack...well i'm swimming tonight, so will give it a go!

    Makes a lot of sense!?


  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Very true armstrong jack, the other important principles are push on your chest, and swim on your side, sounds a bit funny, but when you get the balance right, i.e. pushing on your chest your speed goes shooting up.

    I know everyone goes on about total immersion when talking about swimming, I have the book, I think it ok, but I dont think its as new a concept as the author seems to think, some of the drills can be fairly handy, but dont really give you the whole picture. but 4 5 pounds of amazon it helped me quite a bit!

    but yeh, what armstrong jack said about being tall in the water is very important, reach out on every stroke, as if you are reaching for the wall, and dont move the extended hand until the recovering hand is passing your goggles, that will keep you as long as possible.

    I had horrible trouble with swimming at the start, but I found, once it clicked, and i got the breathing sorted I could go quite fast, and far as my fitness from all the other training came into play.

    so keep at it!

    and try to go as much as possible, in the early season I go 5-6 times a week, every morning, i just spend half an hour working on my stroke technique, 15 mins playing swimming golf, and 5 mins watching the pretty blond ;)
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    also Espacse what tri are you doing in june?
  • What is swimming golf - trying to minimise the strokes per length?

    How often do you put speedplay into your swims. I find that on the whole I just aim for distance, endurance and technique. But now I can happily swim 120 lengths (3k) but the longest event I have this season is a 70.3.

    Say I do three sessions, should they be:

    1 - 100 lengths UT2 incorporating technique

    2 - 76 lengths, aiming to improve speed each week

    3 - 80ish lengths, incorporating 4-8 100m bursts with either 1min ish rests or 50/100m light swimmin inbetween?

    Sorry, I know I started out giving advice but just going from the base stage to the build stage for my 70.3 and need some tactics.

    Also similar for the run I guess, about to do a running Marathon this sunday - so my running is pretty good (aiming for sub 4 as i'm no lightweight!). But after that how should I reset my distances/workouts for tri?

    Sorry, quite bored at work today!

  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    ah, swimming golf is great fun! basically all you do is swim a length, count the number of strokes, or stroke cycles, then add that to your time for that length.

    Your first length, at what you consider your normal pace is your par

    so then you repeat the length, keep doing the same, adding time + strokes, its quite simple but its designed to measure both an increase in stroke length (and so stroke efficiency) and a shorter time.

    The way I do it is to concentrate on different things per length, like trying to have a longer stroke length, or you can concentrate on smaller things like how quickly you push forward your recovering hand to how high your elbow is etc.

    It helps to try and find out which combination of factors of your stroke provides the greatest rewards.

    On the training side I dont think I can be much help, as im very much a sprint progressing to olympic distance, as I have never been much of a long distance runner, but I'm pretty quick over 5-10 k.

    But In my opinion I find doing fast intervals is useful, but not essential, working on your aerobic efficiency is by far the most important thing for longer distance.
  • epacseepacse Posts: 92
    again, great advice!

    Will give it a go!

    TommiTri...i'm doing the Tatton Tri, June 8th! I have a MTB week before and so will be tough, but looking forward to it!

    Thanks all again!

  • legalbeaglelegalbeagle Posts: 208
    Hi Armstrong Jack - I sent this to someone on another thread - thought it might help,. You'll need to up the ditances as this was for a 1.5km swim but it will give you something to go on, it's my 6 week plan that our club coach, Pete, put together for me last year - it was for my first open water swim - so there is an extra session each week specific to open water- I don't know if that bit will be relevant to you, but it was for me as it was my first one. I used it for training up to a race date hence the taper at the end. I found this helped my swim loads and gave me great stamina - enjoy!

    If you can get a coached session in each week on top that would be good, if not, have a 45 min session of drills and technique work

    All the sessions are front crawl, have a 10 min warm up first and a bit of a wallow at the end to recover

    week 1

    4 x 400m alternate each 400m with pull bouy - and aim to go fastetr with the pull bouy 25 secs rest between sets

    1600m straight swim take a time split every 400m - aim to keep them all the same

    15min open water swim - with focus on breathing and sighting

    week 2

    8 x 200m alt with pull bouy 25 secs rest between sets

    1600m straight

    15min open water

    week 3

    4x500m alt with pull bouy 25 secs rest between sets

    1600m pyramid 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m, with 30 second rest between sets and if you can, aim to be quicker on the last half

    20min open water

    week 4

    10 x 200m alt with pull bouy 25 secs rest between sets

    2k straight take splits evey 500m

    20min open water

    week 5

    10x 200m 25 secs rest between sets - all same pace

    2k pyramid 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m, 20secs rest between sets as before, aim to be quicker on the way down

    25min open water

    race week

    easy swim session

    10 x 100m 30 secs rest between sets

  • Thats really useful thanks - looks like quite an easily doable swim programme.

    I don't have anywhere for regular open water swimming unfortunately (normally live in Tottenham, London - incase anyone has recommendations?). There are some specific open days at Dorney/Docklands that I will try and attend though.

    Thanks again for the advice.

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