Last updated 17 December 2015

Tri Training Tips For Beginners

  1. Before each training session, ask yourself what the aim of the session is, (skills, endurance, recovery etc) and stick to it.

  2. Write out a weekly training schedule taking care to spread out your swim, bike and run sessions and rest/recovery periods.

  3. The percentage of time you train in each discipline should roughly mirror the percentage of each discipline in triathlon, i.e. 20% swim, 50% bike and 30% run for an Olympic length triathlon.

  4. Concentrate on your weaknesses without neglecting your strengths.

  5. At the end of each session, your aim should be to still have some energy left in the “fuel tank” for the next session. Avoid completely exhausting yourself.

  6. Don’t use up your race mileage in your training. Look at it like a bank account; steady training is like putting money in the account that builds up, over time, to an amount that you can then withdraw to pay for the race. Constantly taking money out of the account by training too intensively/extensively leaves you “overdrawn” for the race.

  7. If your legs are feeling a bit tired, bike instead of running.

  8. When increasing your training load, increase intensity or distance/time but not both at the same time.

  9. Try to keep training time increases to no more than 10% extra per week.

  10. When swimming, to go faster, concentrate on lowering your stroke count, by making your strokes longer, rather than speeding up your stroke. Less strokes = more efficiency = faster speed for the same effort.

  11. Avoid very long runs. 18 miles maximum even for Ironman training. You will get your endurance from long bike sessions and bricks (bike/run combos). Very long runs require very long recovery periods resulting in lost training time.

  12. Try using a heart rate monitor to gauge your effort.

  13. Have at least 1 rest day per week.

  14. If overly tired, have an extra rest day. It takes 4 days to start de- conditioning so you are losing nothing by resting the extra day.

  15. Your rest/recovery time is as important as your training time. Improvement happens during rest and recovery which you then see in your next training session. Treat rest/recovery time as an integral part of your training instead of “dead time” between training sessions.

  16. On the bike, try and spin a lower gear faster (90 rpm) rather than “mashing” a higher gear slower. This will increase efficiency and save your knees from blowing up!

  17.  Above all, enjoy your training! Although primarily used to get you race fit, training can be a means to an end in itself with many triathletes quietly admitting to enjoying the training more than the racing!

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