Beginner Exercise Program: Month 8 - Race Month!

author : acbadger
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Introduction:

This program is a continuation of the Beginner Exercise Program: Month 7 designed for the beginner exerciser/triathlete for the month of September leading into your FIRST TRIATHLON IN 4 WEEKS! We have used the past seven months to build endurance and strength on the bike and in the pool and have recently been able to do some solid run workouts.

 

Now we are going to work on increasing our endurance in each discipline to peak, while also practicing some bricks so we are ready for our upcoming triathlon at the end of the month! The last two weeks we will be tapering to give us needed rest before our race. 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!!!

 

Upcoming triathlon notes:

Hey everyone!! You all did a great job working up to your first Triathlon!! This is going to be an amazing experience for you all! We here at BT look forward to hearing your success stories!!

For those of you who have a few weeks before your specific triathlon, feel free to repeat week one and two of this month before heading into your taper weeks. That way you have a bit more time to focus on drills and endurance while having a scheduled transition practice in the mix!

You’ll see that the only real difference in the training program for your taper weeks are that you will not do much, IF ANY lifting those weeks. Rest those muscles for the endurance event you have coming up. Also, your training for each discipline is a bit shorter, but is just as important as all of the other workouts you have done up until now.

I know you are all going to have a FABULOUS time during your event. Remember, hydrate, fuel, work at your own pace, enjoy the experience and HAVE FUN!!!

 

*Please drop a note in the blog of this article or send us a note as to how this program worked for you, how you improved your fitness and how your race went, we would love to hear about it!

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. First transition practice of the month.

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 pull, 100 kick), 4 x 100, 3 x 200, 2 x 300 swim, 1 x 400…take 45 to 60 second rest breaks between sets. Cool Down 2 x 100 (50 breast stroke kick, 50 side kick, 50 opposite side kick, 50 flutter kick).
Bike: 30 minutes indoors/outdoors EASY (directly after swim). 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 - 10 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. Add speed surges for 2 to 3 minutes every 7 to 8 minutes. Visualize someone trying to pass you and fight the pass! 5 minute cool down.

Run: Use the elliptical trainer for 20 minutes EASY.  Flush legs (directly after your ride).  5 - 10 minute cool down
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

3Lift: Biceps, Triceps, Abdominals. 2 sets of 20 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Run: Little bit longer run. Feel free to run/walk this one. 40 to 45 minute run. If you opt to run/walk it…run for 9 minutes and walk for 1 minute 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

Swim: 150 yard warm up (50 kick, 100 pull). Working on lower body strength today. Kick focus for first 500 yards!!! Swim 200 yards, kick 300 yards (every other 25 kick with HARD effort, second 25 kick at moderate effort), 300 pull, 200 kick (see above), 200 swim. Be sure to take 30 to 60 seconds between each set to recover. Cool down 150 yards (100 easy kick, 50 stroke of your choice).

Transition: Set up a simulated T1 the EXACT same way you will set up for your triathlon. Lay everything out (including your bike) that you will need for your bike ride [i.e. helmet, sunscreen, sunglasses, race belt, water, bike shoe (if you have clips), socks (if you use them on the bike), food (i.e. Power Bars, Gu’s, etc.), towels, etc.]. Directly after your swim, run out of the pool to your bike and time your T1.

-->Laying Out A Transition Area & Race Prep: The Day is Near, So Where is Your Gear? Part 1 of 2

Bike: : 45 minute bike. This bike is a bit shorter than usual on our ‘long ride’ day, but you will have just jumped out of the pool and immediately started your ride. Focus on cadence, and just get through this one. Our focus today is your Transition.  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 endurance and transitioning from one discipline to another.

1

Lift: Back, Biceps and Legs. 2 sets of 20 repetitions for 2 exercises each body part.
Run: Run 35 minutes outside. Back to 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.
Swim: Short today! 100 yard warm up (25 swim, 25 pull, 25 kick, 25 swim). 500 swim (focus on breathing, and staying relaxed during the swim), 100 kick, 100 pull, 100 cool down (50 breast stroke, 50 side stroke). Don’t forget your 45 to 60 second rest between drill changes.
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: Endurance ride. We’re going longer on the bike today. Plan on a 75 minute ride and be sure to incorporate hills, sprint surges, and cadence checks. We’re getting close to our triathlon and want to include all things you’ll experience in this ride. 5 to 10 minute cool down.
Stretch: 15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

4

Bike: 60 minute ride. Moderate resistance keeping cadence at 75 to 80 rpm’s.  Don't forget your 5-10 minute cool down.
Run: 30 minutes, walk run if you need to. Try to go right after your bike ride. Run 9 minutes walk 1 minute. Repeat 3 times. This will help your legs adjust when it come to transitioning for your triathlon. 5 to 10 minute cool down.
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

 

Day

Week 3
Goals: Focus on endurance and rest. This is our taper week.  No weight training is scheduled.

1

Swim: Easy swim. Drills today…and lets add another small challenge, time to practice flip turning!!! 200 yard warm up (50 back stroke, 50 breast stroke, 50 side stroke, 50 freestyle). 200 finger drag, 100 thumb scrape, 200 kick, 100 slow stroke count drill, 200 bilateral breathing focus, 100 swim (incorporating all above drills). 200 cool down (strokes of your choice). Again, remember you 30 to 45 second recovery between drill sets.

Bike: 25 minute bike. Easy spin. Cool down for 5 to 10 minutes with an easy jog or quick walk.

Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

2

Bike: Longer Bike. 45 minute ride. Maintain cadence and simulate race ride. 5-10 minute cool down.

Run: 15 minutes. Easy run to maintain running stamina. 5 to 10 minute cool down (easy walk).
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

3Run: 35 minute interval run. Warm up for 5 minutes to a mile. Every 5 minutes there after, sprint for 30 to 60 seconds, then recover (easy jog) until your HR (heart rate) is back down a bit. Once HR is down a bit, pick it back up to regular running pace. When you hit 5 minutes, sprint again. If it takes you the full 5 minutes to recover, that’s fine. Just add your sprints when your HR and breathing rate is down to a more comfortable rate. 5 to 10 minute cool down (easy walk).
Stretch: 15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

4

Bike: 35 minute ride. You are in race mode today. Ride hard, but monitor your pace. Try to start out a little easier pace than you intend on finishing at. End your ride out of the saddle. This will help flush your legs and prepare them for the run.

Transition: Set up your transition with what you’ll need for when you get off of your bike and set out on your run. Be sure that you RUN your bike into transition as you cannot ride your bike into the transition area at the race. Set up what you need EXACTLY the way you would set it up for the run (i.e. hat, sunscreen, running sneakers, race belt, fuel belt/water, etc.)

--> Laying Out A Transition Area & Race Prep: The Day is Near, So Where is Your Gear? Part 1 of 2
Run: 25 minute run. Easy run, remember to hydrate and walk if necessary. Get through this run paying special attention, again, to pacing. 5 to 10 minute cool down (easy walk).
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

 

Day

Week 4
Goals: Triathlon...here we come.

1

Swim: 300 yard warm up (150 pull, 150 kick), 500 yard swim, 200 yard pull, 200 yard kick, 200 yard swim, 300 yard cool down (150 pull, 150 kick). REMEMBER 20 TO 30 SECONDS RECOVERY TIME BETWEEN DRILL CHANGES.

Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

2

Bike: 45 minutes. Spin! Keep this ride at a moderate to moderate-hard effort. Don’t go all out, as we’re hoping you have a Triathlon to participate in this week!!! 5 to 10 minute cool down.
Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

3

Run: Shorter run, about 25 minutes. Keep it simple, running non-stop, no walking, but keep your RPE between a 3 and a 5. 5 to 10 minute cool down (easy walk).

Stretch: 15 to 20 minutes of FULL BODY stretching.

4

RACE DAY!!! Find yourself a Super Sprint or Sprint Triathlon. You are ready to go. Put all of the components together that you have been working on for the past 8 months!! You are going to do great! Listen to your body, stay hydrated, brush up on the USAT Rules and Regulations, but most importantly HAVE FUN!!!!
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).

….Keep up the GREAT work TRIATHLETES!

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date: September 5, 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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