Beginner Exercise Program: Month 7

author : acbadger
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Introduction:

This program is a continuation of the Beginner Exercise Program: Month 6 designed for the beginner exerciser/triathlete for the month of August. We have used the past six months to build endurance and strength on the bike and in the pool and have recently added a run/walk portion to our workouts. Now we are going to work on increasing our endurance in each discipline so we are ready for our upcoming Fall triathlons! Don’t forget our implementation of our transition training. We have to become as proficient from the swim to the bike to the run as we are when we are competing in each discipline!!!  So we have included several 'brick' workouts where the bike and run are back-to-back.


This program is meant to aid in weight loss by incorporating low to no impact exercises that will be gentle on your joints while strengthening muscles, bones and cardiovascular systems. All new athletes/exercisers should do what they are capable of doing. If you find that one week is difficult, DO NOT move onto the next week until you feel comfortable with the week you are on currently! There is no time limit to this program. Work at your own fitness level. Feel good! Feel invigorated! Feel like you are accomplishing your goals…and at the end of a session, feel like you WANT to do these workouts!!

 

Also, please keep in mind that any of these workouts (aside from the programmable ones on the stationary bikes) can be done outside if you prefer to start on your own road bike. However, if you are like me and do not live around any hills, you may have no choice but to take the “hills” inside to a stationary bike in the gym or to an indoor cycling class where the instructor cues you to add resistance when simulating a climb.
 

At the end of this months program is strength exercises (unchanged from month 2), swimming definitions and also two new nutrition tips.

 

Please read the Medical Clearance article and the Restrictions and Terms of Use so that you are aware of certain medical conditions which could negatively affect you if not checked-out by a physician beforehand.

 

Day

Week 1
Goals: Increase stamina/endurance in the pool, on the bike and running. Use our extra day of exercise for long rides/runs.

1

Lift: Legs (include abductors and adductors)*, Back and Abdominals. 2 sets of 20 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.

Swim: Warm-up 200 Yards (100 swim, 100 kick), 4 x 50, 3 x 100, 2 x 200 swim, 1 x 400 (with a concentration on long slow strokes with a longer glide between strokes)…take 30 to 45 second rest breaks between sets. Cool Down 4 x 75 (each 75 slower than the last).
Bike: 30 minutes indoors/outdoors EASY. Use an Upright Bike as opposed to a Recumbent Bike**. Work on keeping feet and upper body relaxed. Keep your resistance moderate to simulate a flat road. This workout is an easy spin. Maintain the same cadence*** on the bike for the entire 30 minutes. 5 minute cool down!
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching! Stretching reduces DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

2

Lift: : Shoulders, Chest, Abdominals. 2 sets of 20 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.

Bike: 50-60 minute ride. Keep bike at moderate resistance for the entire ride. Still working on endurance. Pay special attention to cadence. Keep it consistent. 5 minute cool down.

Run: Use the elliptical trainer for 25 minutes EASY
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

3Lift: Biceps, Triceps, Abdominals. 2 sets of 20 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: Little bit longer run.  Feel free to run/walk this one.  35 to 40 minute run.  If you opt to run/walk it…run for 8 minutes and walk for 2 minutes for 4 cycles (that will get you your 40 minutes). 5 minute cool down.
Stretch: 15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching. Aids in injury prevention as well.

4

Run: 150 yard warm up (100 swim, 50 pull). Upper and lower body endurance test today. 3 x 200 pull, 3 x 200 kick, 200 yard swim, 200 yard cool down (100 back stroke, 100 side stroke). Be sure to take 30 to 60 seconds between each set to recover.

Bike: 60 minute bike. This is your longer workout this week. Be sure to put your bike in a moderate gear on the flats and get some hill work it. Try to find hills that take you 2 to 3 minutes to climb. 5 minute cool down.

Stretch: 15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching. Aids in injury prevention as well.

 

Day

Week 2
Goals: Focus is running.

1

Lift: Back, Biceps and Legs. 2 sets of 20 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Run: Run 30 minutes outside. Time to hit the streets. Be sure to bring WATER with you!! Hydration is VERY important. If you start feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated!!! This is your practice run with water and getting used to hydrating on the go!  Cool down for 5 minutes with an easy jog or quick walk.
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

2

Lift: Chest, Triceps, Abdominals. 2 sets of 20 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 60 minutes of hill/climbing intervals. 5 minutes flat road, 5 minute hill, repeat 6 times. This will give you the ‘hill and valley’ effect! 5 minute cool down.
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

3

Lift: Shoulders, Back, Abdominals. 2 sets of 20 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Swim: Endurance swim. 150 warm up (100 yard thumb scrape, 50 kick). 300 yard free, 200 yard free, 100 yard free, 2 x 50 yard free, 100 yard free, 200 yard free, 300 yard free, 200 yard cool down (strokes of your choice).  TAKE 60 TO 90 SECONDS BETWEEN YARDAGE CHANGES TO RECOVER.

Run: Take your run outside. 20 minutes, walk run if you need to. Try to get off the elliptical/treadmill. Run 4 minutes walk 1 minute. Repeat 4 times.
Stretch: 15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

4

Bike: 35 minute ride. Easy spin before a quick run/walk off of the bike.  Don't forget your 5-10 minute cool down.
Run BRICK: 35 minutes, walk/run if you need to. Try to go right after your bike ride. Run 5 minutes walk 2 minute. Repeat 5 times. This will help your legs adjust when it come to transitioning for your triathlon. 5 minute cool down.
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

 

Day

Week 3
Goals: Continue focusing on form and endurance on the bike.

1

Lift: Chest, Triceps, Legs. 2 sets of 20 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.

Bike: Easy ride. Keep cadence at 75 to 85 rpms. This ride is a bit longer as we are focusing on the bike this week. This is a 45 to 55 minute ride. Be consistent in your rpms, but add a gear/more resistance every 10 minutes. For the last 3 minutes, come up out of the saddle….this will prepare your body for the run you are going to take directly after you get off of your bike.

Run BRICK: 15 minute run directly off of the bike. We need to be focusing on how our bodies feel off the bike and into the run. Cool down for 5 minutes with an easy jog or quick walk.

Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

2

Lift: Back, Shoulders, Abdominals. 2 sets of 20 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Swim: Long Swim; 250 yard warm up (50 kick, 50 pull, 50 swim, 50 pull, 50 kick). 4 x 100 yard pull, 4 x 100 yard kick, 4 x 100 yards swim, 4 x 75 yard sprint, 50 breast stroke recover. 100 yard cool down. REMEMBER 20 TO 60 SECONDS RECOVERY TIME BETWEEN 100's.

Run: 25 minutes. Easy run to maintain running stamina.
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

3Lift: Biceps, Chest, Abdominals. 2 sets of 20 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: 60 minute interval ride. You should have moderate resistance on your bike if you are doing an indoor workout…OR be on a flat with a steady cadence of 80 rpm's. Every 10 minute we do a different timed pick up. Intervals are broken up into the following; 8 minute spin 2 minute pick up, 7 minute spin 3 minute pick up, 6 minute spin 4 minute pick up, 5 minute spin 5 minute pick up, 6 minute spin 4 minute pick up, 8 minute spin 2 minute pick up. 5-10 minute cool down.
Stretch: 15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

4

Swim: Easy swim today. Swim BEFORE you bike (race simulation). Swim an easy 500 yards continuously. Concentrate on pulling, using your legs as little as possible (conserving leg energy for the bike) and take long, gliding strokes. Take as few strokes as possible from one end of the pool to the other. This can even be a 500 pull if you want to really work your upper body. 100 yard cool down.
Bike: Longer ride 80 to 90 minutes. Concentrate on your pedal stroke for this ride. Focus on pulling up on the pedals as much as you concentrate on pushing down. For the first 10 minutes of the ride, concentrate on the push (on a clock, the 12 to the 6), for the next 10 minutes, focus on the pull (on a clock, the 6 to the 12), the next 5 minutes, focus on the right foot pedal stroke (keep your left foot in the cage…it’s just along for the ride). The next 5 minutes, focus on the left foot pedaling only (keep the right foot in the cage…it’s just along for the ride). For the remainder of the ride, focus on the ENTIRE pedal stroke. Keep your RPE at 4 to 5. 5-10 minute cool down.
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

 

Day

Week 4
Goals: Swim, swim and swim some more.

1

Lift: Back, Biceps and Legs. 2 sets of 20 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Swim: Drills, Drills, and Drills! 200 yard warm up (stroke of your choice), 2 X 100 yard pull, 2 x 100 yard thumb scrape, 2 x 200 yard pull, 2 x 100 yard finger drag, 3 x 100 yard pull, 3 x 100 yard kick, 50 yard pull, 50 yard slow stroke count, 200 yard freestyle (put it ALL together), 100 yard cool down (stroke of your choice). REMEMBER 20 TO 30 SECONDS RECOVERY TIME BETWEEN DRILL CHANGES.

Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

2

Lift: Chest, Triceps, Abdominals. 2 sets of 20 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Run: 35 minutes. Running a little bit harder than normal (RPE 5 to 6). Try to maintain a faster pace than usual, as your next run is going to be a shorter, easier run! 5 minute cool down.
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

3

Lift: Shoulders, Back, Abdominals. 2 sets of 20 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Bike: Shorter bike. 40 minutes at an even comfortable pace. Don’t push on this one. Just feel comfortable for the entire ride.

Run BRICK: Shorter run, about 20 minutes, again, directly off of the bike. This is going to be a huge help in your transitioning from the bike to the run.
Stretch: 15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

4

TRANSITION: Set up your transition area as close to the pool you are swimming in as possible. Set up everything by your bike as you would if you were competing in a triathlon. Bike shoes, race belt, helmet (which should be the FIRST thing you put on out of the water), sunscreen (if needed), sunglasses, socks (if you wear them in your sneakers or bike shoes).Laying Out A Transition Area & Race Prep: The Day is Near, So Where is Your Gear? Part 1 of 2
Swim: 1000 yards easy. 250 swim, 250 pull, 250 kick, 250 swim. Try to go straight from the swim to the bike…tri/swim suit and everything. We are going to practice your first REAL transition here.
Bike: 45 minutes at an easy pace. RPE between 3 and 4.
Stretch: 15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

 

*Abductors: Outer Thighs and

Adductors: Inner Thighs

** Upright Bike: Looks like a regular stationary bike at the gym. A Recumbent Bike has a chair on it with a back. Aids in lower back support. Some beginning bikers may need to start on a Recumbent Bike and graduate to an upright bike.

 

***Cadence: Check cadence by placing one hand above one knee. Every time the knee comes up on the upstroke of your pedal it should hit your hand. Hold your hand above your knee and count the number of times your knee hits your hand for 6 seconds. Take that number and multiply it by 10 to get your cadence.


RPM: Revolutions per minute. The number of times you pedal stroke in a minute.

 

Brick: Doing two sport back-to-back with little-to-no rest in between.  Simulates race day.


STRENGTH TRAINING

When you are choosing weights, you need to choose weights that will allow you to complete the set, but not so little weight that you are not feeling the work by the 8th or 10th repetition. It is smart to start with lower weights, complete a full workout and then make the adjustments as you go or during the next workout.


Sets: The number of times you perform a series of repetitions.
Repetitions: The number of times you perform a particular exercises in a row.


Examples of exercises: (see previous months for other exercises)

 

Legs:
3 Way Calf Raises: Take a dumbbell in each hand. Begin by positioning your feet so your toes point straight ahead. Come up and down on your tip-toes for 15 reps. Next set, turn your toes IN, heals OUT and rise up and down for 15. Final set, turn your toes OUT, heals IN and rise up and down for 15. This gets the two MAJOR muscles in the lower leg.


Chest:
Wide Arm Push Ups: Just like regular push ups, but you will position your hands outside of your shoulders. This creates a shorter ROM (range of motion). You may do these modified (with your knees on the floor), but be sure your chest comes down between your hands, not your nose. This helps keep the hips in line with the back and ensures proper form. Perform the push ups SLOWLY both up and down.


Back:

Reverse Grip Bent Over Rows: Take a straight bar/body bar in both hands, palms facing the ceiling. Bend over at the waist, hinging your hips back. Keep your shoulders back and chest out. Your back should not be curved. Take the bar out in front of your body and then pull it into the bottom of your rib cage. Be sure on the pull that you try to touch your shoulder blades on each contraction of the muscles.


Shoulders:

Upright Rows: Using the same body bar/straight bar, grab the bar shoulder width apart, palms facing your body. Raise the bar up to your chest pulling with the back of your shoulders (deltoids). Keep your elbows above the bar on each pull.


Triceps:

Overhead Tricep Extensions: Take a moderate to heavy dumbbell. Hold the dumbbell over your head with both hands. While keeping your elbows as close to your head as possible, slowly lower the weight behind your head. Once lowered, raise it back up over your head. Repeat. Keep those elbows in!


Biceps:

Concentration Curls: Seated on a bench, take a moderate to heavy dumbbell in one hand. The same hand that holds the weight should hang down between your legs with that elbow LOCKED IN to the inside of the same knee. This give you a bit of leverage. Curl the weight up, keeping your elbow into the knee. Slowly lower the dumbbell back down and be sure to get a FULL EXTENSION. Don’t lower the weight down half way and then curl it again. Go through the entire ROM. Repeat with your opposite arm.

Abdominals:

Accordions: Lying on the floor, back to the mat, bring your knees up to a 90 degree angle and put your hands behind your ears. At the same time, pull your knees into your chest and raise your upper body (shoulder blades) off of the floor. Perform 15 to 25 each rep.


STRETCHING:

Be sure to hold stretches for 10 to 20 seconds. DO NOT bounce when you stretch. All stretches should be held where you feel a stretch only. You should feel NO pain while stretching!! Most health clubs have posters of what stretches to do for what body parts. If you are unsure of any, please consult an exercise specialist at your local gym. You should rotate through each stretch at least twice. This part of your exercise regimen is as important as your strength or cardiovascular component.


Warm Up:

Take 5 minutes to jump on a cardiovascular machine/walk in place/etc. to get your body moving, blood flowing and muscles warmed up. We encourage warm ups to loosen muscles which will prevent any strains, sprains or tears.


Cool Down:

It is IMPORTANT to bring your heart rate back down after a workout. Be sure to walk around the gym, walk slowly on a treadmill, pedal slowly on a bike, and etc. 5 to 10 minutes after a workout. If you workout hard and then stop immediately with no cool down, this could promote blood pooling in the legs!! Be sure to keep moving SLOWLY after a workout until your HR (heart rate) is back down TO less than 100 bpm.


SWIM DRILL DEFINITIONS:

Kick: Grab a flutter board and just kick. There is no use of arms for this drill.

Pull: Use a pull-buoy; place it between your legs. Squeeze it with your legs so you cannot kick. Swim down the length of the pool using your arms only. Preferably freestyle.

Finger Drag: When you raise your elbow up in your freestyle stroke, your fingers should gently drag through the water by your side as you come up for a breath. This keeps your elbows high out of the water.

Bilateral Breathing: Being able to breathe on both sides of your body. To practice this, take three strokes then breathe. Take another three strokes and breathe again on the other side.

Thumb Scrape: After you’ve reached above your head for your stroke and are now pulling your hand through the water, as your arm is coming up to take another stroke, your thumb should graze your thigh on the way up. This ensures that you get the fullest stroke possible.

 

Rest breaks between sets

For the SHORTER lengths (25's to 50 yards) take a 30 second break to recover. For the longer yardage, take up to a whole minute.

 

Bilateral breathing

If bilateral breathing is too difficult, alternate between bilateral breathing and breathing every stroke. It's best that you start trying/experimenting with bilateral breathing early since it is so difficult. We don't want to introduce it too late in the game so you panic about it come triathlon time. *But definitely keep it to breathing every stroke if oxygen uptake becomes an issue and you find yourself gasping and not getting enough air. Bilateral breathing mostly helps to stay in a straight line and to be able to site from both sides as necessary in a open water swim.

 

Slow Stroke Count

Take as few strokes as possible to get down to the end of the pool. Glide as long as you can before taking your next stroke. This will help relax you in the pool. Keep your head in natural alignment with your spine (not up, not down, but neutral).

NEXT MONTH:

Next month we are going to do even more work with transitioning (from bike to run). Now that you have started simulating triathlons we are going to take two days a month to work on EVERYTHING (swim, T1, bike, T2, run).

You should be feeling a bit more comfortable with your runs now. Most of your runs should be outside at this point. Feel free to do one run a week on an Elliptical Trainer, Treadmill, or even Water Jogging. This is the best way to prevent burn out and injuries!!!

You should have an “A” race on your calendars at this point. Next month is going to be the key month for you. Everything pulled together…more transition training, more brick workouts, and more confidence to participate in your first TRIATHLON!!!!


….Keep up the GREAT work TRIATHLETES!

 

Beginner Exercise Program: Month 8 - Race Month!

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date: August 2, 2006

Author


acbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

Author

avataracbadger

Four Sprint Triathlons and 2 Olympic Distance Triathlons. Several marathons and Boston qualified. Because of my new found love of these sports, I got my Personal Training Certification and USAT Level I Coaching Certification so I could help others attain their goals!

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