Plan 1: Beginner Sprint Distance from Gale Bernhardt Plan A
This 12-Week training plan is for the beginning triathlete looking for an endurance goal. The goal is to complete a triathlon that is roughly 450 yards of swimming, 15 miles of cycling and 3.1 miles of running or running and walking. This training plan is written for a currently hibernating athlete needing a new goal. This athlete is presently not swimming, does minimal cycling, is not running and needs some inspiration/motivation. Before beginning the program, you are capable of swimming 50 yards (or meters) nonstop, cycling 30 minutes three times per week and you may do other aerobic activities at the gym. You are currently not running and may have some running experience in your past. Please refer to the Plan Preview link to preview the first two weeks of the plan. At the end of the plan you will have the fitness to complete your first sprint distance triathlon!
Whether you use this plan to complete a competitive event or you stage your own personal event, the plan can guide you to improved fitness.
Plan 2: Beginner Sprint Distance from Gale Bernhardt Plan B
Your athletic profile begins with swimming. You know how to swim, but it has been a long time since your arms and legs have actually propelled your body through water. In other words, you have no swimming endurance.
As for cycling, you might ride a bicycle now and again, mostly noodling around the neighborhood. On occasion, you might ride a stationary bicycle at the health club while waiting for aerobics to begin or to warm up before weight lifting. As with swimming, you have no real endurance on the bike.
Finally, running. The running you do is mostly short duration, like running bases in softball, trying to avoid the outfielders. Maybe you chase a ball in racquetball. You might have even run a 5K once.
So your multisport profile for endurance sports isn't great, but you're not sitting around channel surfing either. This plan assumes you are currently active in sport three to six times per week. The specific sport isn’t as important as the fact you are active doing something. If you aren't currently active and decide to use the plan to get back into shape, be sure to consult a physician before beginning an exercise program.
One of the most common mistakes made by people just beginning to train for a triathlon, or any other endurance event, is doing too much too soon. Early enthusiasm can lead to injury or overtraining. This plan gently builds aerobic endurance in all three sports and gives specific workouts to do each week.
This 12-week plan ranges in training volume from about two hours per week to just over four hours per week. The plan goal, and your goal, is to go from a current state of no swimming, minimal cycling, and no running to completing a 450 to 500 meter swim, 11 to 15 mile bike, and about a 3 mile run, consecutively – your first triathlon.
Plan 3: Beginner Olympic Distance from Gale Bernhardt
You might be a beginning triathlete or maybe you have a couple of races under your belt from previous seasons. In either case you are fit and are NOT a beginning athlete. Before beginning Week 1 of the plan you are capable of riding a bike 30 to 60 minutes two days a week and completing a long ride around two hours on a third day. You can swim 100 yards (or meters) nonstop and swimming for 30 minutes a couple of times per week is easy. You can run two days per week, one 30-minute run and a longer run of 45 minutes.
With the profile in mind, have a look at the plan preview. If the first couple of weeks of training look like training loads you can handle, this is your plan. Weekly training hours range from 5:15 to a maximum between 8:15 and 10:00. There is some flexibility built into the plan to accommodate individual differences. For example there is no time posted for the swim workouts. Obviously there can be big differences in swimming abilities between people with a competitive swim background and those just getting into swimming. Some of the run and bike workouts also have ranges built into the workouts.
The plan has a general pattern of cycling and strength training on Monday and Wednesday, heading to only Mondays as the plan progresses. Strength training is optional in this plan. If you decide not to strength train, you can replace the strength training time with more time on the bike on those days. If you are currently strength training, you can keep your current routine. Be aware and notice if strength training is taking too much energy away from your swimming, cycling and running. If this is the case, consider reducing the exercises, sets or repetitions to allow higher quality workouts during the aerobic sessions.
Novice Sprint Distance Swim Plan from Dave Scott
This 6-week plan is designed to help a novice athlete prepare for, and complete a triathlon with a strong swim component. You may train 2x per week or increase training to 3x per week by repeating one of the workouts. Training days may occur on any day of the week according to your schedule.
Intermediate Olympic Distance Swim Plan from Dave Scott
This 6-week plan is designed to help an intermediate level athlete step up their swim component for triathlon. You may train 2x per week or increase training to 3x per week by repeating one of the workouts. Training days may occur on any day of the week according to your schedule.
Dave Scott 6 Week Strength and Injury Prevention Program
The premise of the program is to build up stabilization muscles and incorporate balance, moves and ultimately, strength. By mastering all 3 of those areas, you’ll find that, in doing these exercises, the support muscles, primarily in your hips, glutes, low back, and lower abdominals, will be engaged and strengthened to enhance your overall triathlon performance. These exercises were selected to initially isolate the smaller muscle groups. You will be quite surprised at how easy they are to perform but how difficult they are to sustain.
Depending on your level of fitness and strength, this program can accommodate everyone. If you find that the latter weeks of the program become overly challenging, select your favorite 7-8 exercises from the previous week’s workouts and repeat those until they are more manageable before moving on to the remaining weeks of the program. If you find that you have more time or wish to continue with this program, expand your exercise base to 9-10 exercises each week.
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Of course there's plenty of tools to incorporate your TIMEX IM watch as well!
More on the latest watches and HR trainers to come........