There is an Olympic distance triathlon (swim 1500 meters, bike 24.8 miles, run 6.2 miles) in a nearby city. The event is only six weeks away, is there enough time to make your triathlon debut? While I usually encourage first-timers to try a sprint distance event before moving to Olympic status, a reasonably fit person can be ready to race in five to six weeks. Want to tri?
This six-week crash training plan is designed for a person who maintains their health and remains fit throughout the year. Your fitness might include some combination of running, spin classes or outdoor biking. You may currently swim a few laps or have swimming experience from past years. You may also be involved in other sports. Your current regimen gives you the capability to run for about 30 minutes, twice per week. Your can bike comfortably for about an hour. If your race is held in open water, you must be comfortable swimming in an open water situation.
Given the assumptions in the last paragraph, the goal is to complete an Olympic distance triathlon in about six weeks, with a race finish time between three and four hours. The estimated finish time comes from assuming a two to three minute pace per 100 meters for the 1500-meter swim. This puts total swim time between 30 and 45 minutes. If you are capable of riding a bike for about 25 miles, averaging 15 to 18 miles per hour, the bike leg of the race will take around 1:22 to 1:40. Finally the run, averaging 10 to 12 minute miles, will take 1:02 to 1:15. Throw in a few minutes for transition time and the event will total some three to four hours. Please see the Plan Preview for the Week 1. This plan gently builds on Week 1 so you can have a successful race.
Originally appeared in the May 2000 issues of “Triathlete” magazine
Plan is available in the book “Training Plans for Multisport Athletes”