Lesley Paterson

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - GEAR -

Brave­heart Coach­ing, San Diego, Calif.

For new­com­ers to triathlon I would sug­gest a min­i­mum of two ses­sions in each sport per week is re­quired, with the ad­di­tion of a short run as part of a brick work­out. This should add up to at least five to six hours of train­ing. The fo­cus, ul­ti­mately, needs to be on VO2 Max ef­forts for one ses­sion in each sport per week, with the other work­outs be­ing a more sus­tained race pace (or just be­low race pace) ef­fort that in­cor­po­rates some kind of strength el­e­ment.

For ath­letes aim­ing at the half dis­tance or longer, a min­i­mum of 10 hours per week for half and 12 hours for full, with an em­pha­sis on build­ing longer bricks of four hours or more to build up to a half and six hours or more for a full-dis­tance event. Key work­outs for both should be longer bikes and runs that should in­clude over-geared tempo in­ter­vals at just above race pace in each.

The in­door trainer is a very time-ef­fi­cient tool as its easy to hop on the bike and not have me­chan­i­cal is­sues and there’s no free­wheel­ing, so ev­ery pedal stroke counts. VO2 Max ses­sions are very ef­fec­tive and can help with your en­durance, too. In­door swim benches like the vasa er­gome­ter are amaz­ing for triath­letes that don’t have time to get to the pool. You can build strength and work on tech­nique in as lit­tle as just 30 min­utes. Gym work and core strength are es­sen­tial, too, but can be com­pleted in as lit­tle as just a few min­utes per day.

It’s im­por­tant to cy­cle your train­ing – fo­cus on hav­ing one big week ev­ery four to six weeks where you com­mit some ex­tra time. This can be like a mini train­ing camp – pre­pare your fam­ily, work and life to ac­com­mo­date for these blocks of train­ing.

Kerry Hale is a triath­lete and free­lance writer from Co­mox Val­ley, B.C.

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