Congratulations! If you’re reading this, I take it this means you’ve decided to undertake the challenge of training for your first triathlon. This weekly blog is designed to help guide you in training for UBC’s Sprint Distance triathlon, coming up on March 11th.
Last week, I introduced myself and set out a basic swim, bike and run workout designed to get you moving and assess your base level of fitness. This week, we are going to add a bit more structure to each workout.
Swim – If you successfully made it through the 30 minutes last week, good work! It wasn’t the most exciting of workouts, however, it is important to begin by familiarizing yourself with the water and to help you gauge your abilities in the pool. This week, the workout is a little more broken down.
300m warm up. (12 lengths in the 25m pool)
10 X 100m Freestyle/Frontcrawl, Rest 20 seconds after each. (10 repeats of 4 lenghts of straight swimming)
200m Cool down. (8 lengths)
The purpose of this workout is consistency. The first 100m should be done at a fairly relaxed pace. Note your time using the big clock at the far end of the pool. After you’ve taken your 20 seconds of rest, the goal is to do the following 9 100s at the same speed (time) or faster. The first few should be really easy but they will get progressively harder.
If you don’t feel confident swimming 30 minutes, I want you to repeat last weeks workout. (30 min of straight swimming, taking breaks as needed)
Bike – With the weather being very dangerous at the moment for outdoor riding because of snowy road conditions, I am again going to write the workout so that it could be completed on a stationary bike at the gym. This week will be your first introduction to a brick workout.
10 minute warm up with a few speed bursts thrown in at random. Increase your leg speed, or stand up and pedal hard
Main set – 4 times through the following:
2 minutes steady 90 pedal revolutions per minute (RPM) (90 rpm is a high rate of turnover/pedal revolutions per minute. If your machine does not indicate the rpm, use the resistance on the stationary bike to make pedaling harder for the slowe rpm counts)
1 minute seated power 85+ rpm (increase resistance slightly)
1 minute hard power standing 70+ rpm (increase resistance even more)
1 minute easy (ease off resistance and let your legs spin freely)
Rather than a cool down on the bike, I want you to immediately go to a treadmill and do a 5 minute very easy jog.
One of the hardest parts of triathlon is to run after biking. To get used to this you must accustom your legs to this sensation and Brick workouts (biking immediately followed by running) are the best way to do it.
Run – This weeks workout will be a fartlek (Swedish word for speed play). This kind of workout helps build both speed and endurance, since you are running continuously, but varying your effort/speed throughout. The idea of a fartlek workout is to run a little harder than your optimal race pace during the hard sessions, but then running a little easier during the 1 minute recovery. If the continuous running proves too much, just keep the hard part consistent, however, take the recovery easier and walk it as needed.
10 minute warm up jog
5 X (2 minutes hard, 1 minute jog recovery)
10 minute cool down.
(35 min total)
In light of this cold weather, I have also written an article on how to dress appropriately for cold weather training, which will be featured on the Point on Thursday.
Vincent Lavallee has been around the triathlon scene for over 9 years, starting out when he was just 16. He started out with sprint distance triathlons and now races Half-Ironman distance triathlons. He is a former coach of the UBC Triathlon club. He’ll be racing the Olympic Distance Triathlon at UBC TriDu on March 11th.