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Newbie Training

Ive decided that triathlon is the next challenge for me, but after two years of next-to-no exercise due to a snowboarding back injury I want to take my time and build up slowly. Most plans I have seen get you ready for a sprint tri in 3 months, however I want to build up over 6 months. I understand that the plans are carefully balanced with rest/recovery periods and cant just be doubled to the time I want.

Can anyone recommend a plan or how to adjust the existing 3 month plans?




  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425

    Assuming that the 3 month plan you have is well thought out and progressive, i.e put together by a decent tri coach and increases the quality of the sessions as the race nears consider the following.

    Do the plan twice but first time round do it at say 75-85% of the planned volume and second time round as scheduled. Keep to the intensities and do the warm ups & downs as scheduled. So it you have a 100 min steady bike ride then do 75-85minutes instead. If you have a quality swim session of say 400m warm up then 10x100m hard then cool down only do 7 or 8x100s.

    By doing the plan twice you should be able to fine tune it to your own circumstances the second time round. Also second time round you should be fitter and better able to benefit from the extra work.

    Hope this helps

  • LancsRiderLancsRider Posts: 205
    Snootch I would certainly agree with HarryD to do the plan either again in its entireity, or by repeating week 1 on the next week as 1a then do 2, 2a etc... All too often I think we are concerned as triathletes about getting through our training, and quality tends to slip as a result. By repeating either the plan or each week the second time round you will be confident of getting through the workload. What this does is free the mind to focus on quality second time around. Working on a good swim stroke, even splits, becoming more aware of your pace when you will not have the benefit of walls at the end of a pool. On the bike getting a smooth and powerful pedal stroke groved, focusing on gear choice maintaining even cadence etc.... On the run developing good form and even running pace maintaining trining in the correct heart rate zone/ level of exertion etc...

    All of these things are important in training injury free and in improving performance. See the fact that you are not pushing to cram in a training block to be able to get through your first race as a real advantage. See this time more about laying down the ingredients for a quality foundation to your future triathlon aspirations. At the end of the day training is important in achieving our race aims but above all else it has to be enjoyable in its own right, so don't add pressure into the equation if it does not need to be there, leave that for the pro's to deal with.
  • SnootchSnootch Posts: 2
    Thanks for both your replies.

    I will run through the programme twice as you suggest, at a lower volume the first time.

    The programme I have is from "Your first triathlon" by Joe Friel, anyone know if this is any good?

    Thanks again
  • LancsRiderLancsRider Posts: 205
    Joe Friel, is a top rate author and writer in my opinion. I have not read this particular book, but have based all my own training for longer distances and my cycling in the past on the 'Triathlon Training Bible', the 'Cyclist Training Bible' and now 'Going Long', all by Friel.

    What I will say about all of these books and it might be the same for the one you mention is that Friel is not as prescriptive as other authors, rather he sets the framework, gives you the knowledge, and then hands over the responsibility to develop your own training on a sound basis listening to what your body tells you.

    Other books do go as a far as saying it is week 4, Tuesday morning, go do the prescribed swim workout, personally this is not how I work, I want to be in control rather than told what to do, that is why I like friel's approch to writing. I know not all people are the same, and so can't say what will suit you, its simply a case of take opinions for sure, read them yourself and decide on an approach which suits your own circumstances. What I do know is that in all triathlon training consitency is key, and that schedules help us to be considtent in what we do. They are not the law however so be prepared to listen to your own body and know when to push it a little harder and when to back off. If I have a critisism of some of the Triathlon training plans I have read for example is that they do not say when to push on a little in your training rather they can be quite conservative, but this depends on what you want to achieve.
  • 1. 7 sets of hack machine squats
    2. 2 sets of barbell squats
    3. 5 sets of lying machine leg curls
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