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3 Days a week training plan - can it be done?


Looking to get some advice from the collective wisdom out there.

I've just completed my 1st season in tri and it went great.
2 super sprints and 2 sprints and decent times, nowhere close to the podium but good for me - 39yr old male, background in half marathon running, married, 1 child of 3yrs and a wife who travels for work twice a month.

But now I want to move to Olympic distance and so far I've been preparing my own training plans because I only have 3 sessions available a week.

Tue/Thurs evening: 6:30 - 9:30pm
Saturday: 8:30 - 11:30am

So how do I manage to get everything I need into those sessions ?
I'm not looking for top ten but still I'd like to do the best I can.
I've tried to do an Olympic plan but I'm getting lost......

So any suggestions would be hugely appreciated





  • The best advice I can give you is to tell you to really try to optimize what you have. If you have very limited time you have to focus on more quality workouts instead of going long miles. You have to make sure whenever you do something you make sure you are doing it right and gaining every benefit from a workout that you can. I would suggest combining two sports into one workout. Bricks are always popular with a solid bike ride and then within five minutes after ending your ride you go out on a shorter run. However, something that most athletes don't do is swim-bike workouts or swim-run workouts. These can be just as beneficial. If you are feeling extra courageous you can even do swim-bike-run repeats. Short distances but quality workouts. The idea is to get multiple disciplines. Then of course take the recovery whenever you can get it!


    Hope this helps! 

  • I'm guessing that part of your time limitations may be down to childcare duties. If so, maybe you could get a turbo trainer and then fit in some extra early morning/evening sessions at home, whilst looking after your little one.

  • Thanks Max and Tamsyn for the advice. I'm trying to squeeze the last drop out of my training but when you see the plans in the magazine, there's no way I can replicate that in 3 days so I would love the training guys in 220 to address this and look at plans for real people with real lives who still want to train for tri. I'm looking at getting a turbo trainer so that will help but with my current plan I pretty much maxed out and so I need to know where to cut the distance/effort and where to redistribute that effort to fit in the turbo sessions.  Yep looking after my daughter while my wife travels twice a month for work is tough but we manage.

  • Absolutely. As others have said you just need to be focused on what you want.

    General rule of thumb is to have half your training time on the bike and the other half split evenly between swim and run. In terms of intensity 80% easy, 10% hard and 10% very hard.

    Also as others have said invest in a turbo and some free weights so you can add in strength and conditioning at home. Either before everyone gets up or after they have gone to bed.

    Good luck.
  • Hi Damian 

    Joining a local tri-club can be a boost in training and could maximize your time; as you get good advice from other members and the coaches with quality training opposed to winging it. My local club do a brick session on Saturdays which includes a Swim/Run or Swim/Bike. I feel you may need to concentrate on the swim aspect as its nearly double the distance in your step up to Olympic distance. Maybe two brick sessions (run to the pool and swim) then a long bike session as your third culminating in your three. But as everyone else said its better to get a turbo training and do quality time on the bike (as mentioned can be done when your girl is in bed) look at the Sufferfest sessions quality! - additionally that way you're not stop/starting etc when on the road. Good luck JH  

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