Olympic - Balanced Lifestyle - 8 Week Triathlon Training Plan
Why you would want to use this plan
This plan would be used by someone who is time constrained and has very little time to commit to a full bore plan. The workouts are all high quality so if you do miss a workout or two, you aren’t ruining the core of the plan, which is high quality above anything else.
This plan was specifically designed for the triathlete who wants to 'cut back' on the hours training while still being able to be race ready. If you are looking to just cut-back and have fun, spend more time with your family and work on personal growth, this is a perfect plan for you.
This program should be used for an athlete who is coming off a season where:
You have already completed an Olympic race
You have a strong swim or run background where you can run up to 7 miles and swim for at least 2000 yards.
You have trained for at least 12 weeks prior to starting this program for at least 8 hours per week with the maximum run being around 7 miles.
*This is NOT a 'build' plan in that we are not significantly building volume. You do not want to train for your first triathlon on this plan. This plan assumes you have been training at a higher level and you want to cut back.
The schedule includes 2 workouts per week in each sport including an extra run workout as a brick. This plan has 2 days of strength training and core work too. The maximum trisport volume is around 7.5 hours per week towards the end of the 8 weeks.
Every week there are also and optional 'lifestyle idea' section to implement to make your life more efficient and fulfilling.
You should be able to swim at least 2000 yards in a workout.
You should be able to bike at least 25 miles.
You should be able to run at least 7 miles.
These minimums constitute the average distance and times for the first few weeks of workouts.
Every week in the 'Overall Comments' section of the training plan there are also optional 'lifestyle ideas' to implement to make your life more efficient and fulfilling - Ron is the author of this section. If you need to refocus your life on your family - or just to create more time, these are some great time-saving ideas to use in conjunction with this plan.
What to expect, performance-wise, on this plan.
Performance-wise this plan may surprise you with the race results if you go into the races rested – although the lack of volume could be a hindrance. I certainly wouldn’t expect a PR on this plan, nor would I expect to qualify for any special teams or world championships. In general this plan is about maintaining a level of fitness while you are in a holding pattern, and not about getting faster or going further. For example, if you know work is going to take up the majority of your time over the next 6 weeks and training time is limited, this might be the plan to keep your fitness from going south, but the workouts are short enough that you can get them in while in a time constrained circumstance.
If I had to drop one workout, which one would it be?
If you had to drop that should be the core training and then strength training. The next workout to drop would be a bike. Running is usually the easiest workout to do anywhere, anytime, and swimming is so technique based that I would not drop those two workouts. Swimming even 2x per week will help maintain the technique and although your fitness will not improve, at least you won’t lose your feel for the water. Running is the best exercise you can do to maintain cardiovascular fitness in the least amount of time, and even on two run workouts a week you can maintain a decent fitness base – some of which will translate over to the bike.
After this plan
Once you have completed this cycle of training and you are ready to get back on a more traditional schedule here are your options:
Coming from this Olympic Plan you could move to the 7-10 hour Winter Maintenance Plan or back into any of the regular Olympic training plans.
Racing on this plan
Only use days 57-63 as an optional taper week if you are racing. If you don't have a race, use days 1-56 and repeat as needed. You can easily insert the taper week every 3-4 weeks of this plan to race.