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Triathlon Training Schedules

Triathlon training schedules can differ for each competitor, but there are some basic recommendations for setting up a training schedule. These basics include training for all portions of a triathlon -- biking, running, and swimming.

Overall Approach to Training

Triathlon training schedules can be intimidating. At first glance, it may look like training will be overwhelming and take all your time. However, the key to overcome the fear is to take the first step and then create a manageable training schedule.


Many beginners tend to start their training off with running. This is a good idea because it is a low risk endeavor. Racers don't have to purchase a bicycle or buy a membership at a pool. Beginning competitors should do a gut-check by setting up a running schedule. If they find themselves setting aside time on a regular basis for running, then adding biking and swimming would be a next and natural next step.

Once you find yourself ready to commit, then you can create and establish a full training program. Most experts recommend that you divide the week into training for the different events. They also recommend getting general strength training worked into the program.

Training for Swimming

Training for the swimming portion of a triathlon can be the most intimidating for many competitors for several reasons. This could be because they don't feel they are strong swimmers or that they have had a bad experience in the water. If that sounds like you, you can overcome these fear factors with a gradual increase of activity into a swimming training regimen.

It's important for competitors to set their swimming training in a similar setting to race conditions. If the race is in open water, you should do your training in open water. Experiencing the waves and turbulence of the open water along with the temperature of the water will go a long way to preparing you for the race.

Training for Biking

Since the cycling portion of a triathlon is usually the longest portion of the competition, triathlon training schedules need to allow for enough time to build up endurance. You should use these training periods to stretch out your leg muscles for the long ride ahead in competition. Most experts suggest riding for 45 minutes two to three times each week as a way to achieve the best results.

Training for Running

Establishing a running training program is probably the easiest portion of a training regimen. Most expert trainers suggest that you set-up Brick" workouts in conjunction with your running training. Brick workouts are back-to-back biking and running workouts that press you to build endurance. It's recommended that, as you get closer to the event date that you try to find running conditions that simulate to those where you will be running on race day.

Strength Training

Expert trainers also recommend that you set aside time for strength training. Lifting lighter weights with an emphasis on getting in a high number of repetitions builds endurance. Lifting heavier weights with a limited amount of repetitions is a good way to build strength. Mixing the two of these approaches can help make you a complete triathlete.

It's important that rest time become a part of a training program, too. Most experts consulting on triathlon training schedules strongly encourage racers to build rest into their schedules. Muscles need time to recuperate and repair from the daily toll of training. So while you're training, don't forget to get the rest you need as well.

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