How to Train for a Triathlon
During the triathlon season, triathletes face countless hours of training. On the flip side, triathletes must be sure that the high-levels of exercise do not cause over-training or worse, injury. As a result, triathletes are best served by planning out a week of training in advance. This helps to develop a well-thought-out and balanced schedule, which in turn, allows for sufficient muscular and neuromuscular recovery.
Balancing endurance exercises with conditioning and strength workouts will also yield greater results, as it trains the body across three different domains. Additionally, it has been proven that anaerobic activity helps condition the body aerobically. However, this logic does not work inversely. Therefore, it’s in a triathlete’s best interest to train across various levels of intensity, distance, weight, and capacity to best prepare for the upcoming event.
This training should include distance, interval conditioning, and some strength work. More important is maintaining a proper diet and nutrition plan. Be sure to remain adequately hydrated and nourished throughout the week. The integration of these two components will adequately prepare a triathlete for a successful race. For more information on dietary aspects for triathlon training, please see the guide titled Triathlon Nutrition Programming.
Creating a Training Schedule
Below is a one-day training schedule for a typical triathlete who is eight weeks out from an Olympic Distance triathlon event. It is typical training procedure before a triathlete begins to taper and reduce the workload. This sample schedule should give you an idea about how to create your own routine. Please note that hydration consumption is not included in the schedule, as it is assumed that the triathlete will consume the recommended dosage — at least half of their body-weight in ounces per day.
|Sample Triathlon Training Schedule|
|4:45 am||Wake Up|
|5:00 am||Pre-workout meal|
|6:00 am||Workout #1- Swimming||Stretch; 300-meter warm up|
|4x500-meter sprints, 80% effort; rest 90 seconds between efforts|
|10x100-meter sprints, max effort; rest 60 seconds between efforts|
|300-meter warm down; stretch|
|7:00 am||Post-workout meal|
|11:30 am||Pre-workout snack|
|12:00 pm||Workout #2- Running||Stretch; jog one mile|
|10x100-meter sprints; rest 60 seconds between efforts|
|5-km run at 90% effort|
|Jog one mile as a warm down; stretch|
|1:00 pm||Post-workout meal|
|5:30 pm||Workout #3- Cycling||Stretch; 5-km ride as a warm-up|
|40-km ride at 80% effort|
|5-km ride as a warm down; stretch|
|8:45 pm||Pre-bed time snack|
Eat Right, Work Hard
Along with rigorous training, liquid and caloric consumption plays an extremely important role in a triathlete’s schedule. It is important for triathletes to constantly feed and hydrate themselves throughout the day. It is recommended that an average adult should drink half their bodyweight in ounces with just water (does not include coffee or other beverages). For an athlete, though, it is recommended that they consume 10 to 20 additional ounces on top of the daily recommended consumption.