8-WEEK BE­GIN­NERS’ TRAIN­ING PLAN

IN JUST 8 WEEKS

220 Triathlon Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Want to en­ter the world of triathlon in 2019 but don’t know where to start? Look no fur­ther!

Want to do your first tri in 2019 but don’t know where to start? Bingo! Here’s the only train­ing plan you’ll ever need to help you smash out your first race…

No doubt the im­ages of triathlon can be a bit daunt­ing, with su­per-fit ath­letes in su­per-tight Ly­cra rac­ing around the streets, in broad day­light! You might also think that in or­der to be a ‘triath­lete’ you need to train for 20hrs+ per week and never eat a slice of cake ever again. Rub­bish! Lies! And we’re here to ban­ish those myths with a train­ing plan that will take you from com­plete be­gin­ner to race-ready in eight weeks.

It’s true that many triath­letes tick that afore­men­tioned stereo­type, but with our su­per-easy, no-pres­sure, eight-week train­ing plan you can sign up and be ready for your first triathlon with con­fi­dence that you’ll nail it. Triathlon is a sport that of­fers many dis­tance op­tions and can be raced any­where, which is why we love it! But in or­der to get on the path­way to start with, be­gin with the short­est dis­tance and aim to race lo­cally, as this will keep the race-day lo­gis­tics to a real min­i­mum.

The short­est dis­tance to race over, and your ideal first foray into triathlon, is a su­per sprint, which in­cludes a 400m swim, 10km bike and a 2.5km run. Quite of­ten a su­per-sprint race is also pool-based, so it re­moves the added stress of train­ing for open-wa­ter swim­ming. Win­ner! But, you will need to be ready to com­mit to train­ing and pos­si­bly con­sider a few lifestyle changes to get the work done.

This train­ing plan has been set out so that you com­plete one train­ing ses­sion of each dis­ci­pline each week, and, if you have the time, a ‘bonus’ ses­sion that might just give your race per­for­mance that added ex­tra. In the last few weeks where the bonus ses­sion is a bike/run brick ses­sion (where you prac­tise go­ing from one dis­ci­pline to the next as you would in a race), it’s more im­por­tant that you do in­clude it. The lay­out of the train­ing al­lows you to have a rest day in be­tween each ses­sion, but as the train­ing pro­gresses over the weeks you should try to com­plete back-to-back days so that your body can adapt to the fre­quency. As im­por­tant as it is to adapt to the train­ing and the vol­ume of ac­tiv­ity, how­ever, it’s also key to re­mem­ber the need for re­cov­ery, which in­cludes what you eat, how much sleep you get and the amount of time in be­tween train­ing. To get the best out of this plan, eat a bal­anced diet that in­cludes por­tions of pro­tein, keep al­co­hol in­take to a min­i­mum and don’t un­der­es­ti­mate how much a good night’s sleep can help you achieve your tar­gets.

If you’re al­ready an ac­tive per­son who ex­er­cises reg­u­larly then this will re­quire you to shift your fo­cus to trire­lated train­ing. If you’re a team sports player you may need to com­bine the tri ses­sions with your ex­ist­ing train­ing. If you’re a run­ner, then you’ll need to re­duce your vol­ume and in­crease your bike and swim time. But if you’re quite new to ex­er­cise full-stop then you must pre­pare your­self for the ef­fects of work­ing out. This will in­clude feel­ing fa­tigued, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing mus­cle sore­ness and maybe an in­creased ap­petite. But, on the flip side, you can ex­pect im­proved health and fit­ness and an in­cred­i­ble feel-good fac­tor! If you have any doubts about your health please visit your GP for clear­ance.

As with any sport, you’ll need a few pieces of es­sen­tial equip­ment that will en­sure you get the

“With our su­per-easy, no-pres­sure, eight-week plan you’ll nail your first tri”

most out of your train­ing and be ready on race day. At this level, the ba­sics are more than ad­e­quate so avoid spend­ing big on top-of-therange bikes or wet­suits. Get what you need and see if you en­joy it, for ex­am­ple: swimwear, trisuit, wet­suit (only if your race has an open-wa­ter swim), gog­gles, bike, hel­met, bike shoes (if you’re ready for them, if not train­ers will suf­fice and will save you time in tran­si­tion from bike to run), run shoes. There are loads of other items avail­able, but re­sist the temp­ta­tion un­til you know it’s money well spent. With any kit that you de­cide to use in your race, you must trial it dur­ing train­ing, make sure it fits you and al­low your­self time to make any tweaks.

In the fi­nal week of the train­ing plan you’ll do what is called a ‘ta­per’ for the race, which means re­duc­ing the over­all vol­ume but main­tain­ing reg­u­lar fre­quent ses­sions, as by now you’ll be used to ex­er­cis­ing 3-4 times per week. In the ta­per avoid any ex­ces­sive ses­sions and, es­pe­cially, try­ing new things. The same goes for what you eat and drink in the cou­ple of days be­fore the race. For now though, just en­joy this in­cred­i­ble jour­ney you’re about to em­bark on, and wel­come to the won­der­ful world of tri!

JAMES MITCHELL

SIGN UP TO­DAY! Now you’ve got THE plan, it’s time to find you THE race! Check out our 2019 cal­en­dar, from p112.

TRAIN­ING PLAN COACH DER­MOTT HAYES

JOSÉ LUIS HOURCADE

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