General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Sprint: 16/20 Week 2X or 3X Balanced Rss Feed  
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2014-02-28 8:08 AM
in reply to: faitrob

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Sprint: 16/20 Week 2X or 3X Balanced

Welcome Rob!  The last few years I have been loving open water swims too when I get a chance.  There is something about getting knocked around by the surf that is invigorating.  Good luck training and let us know what questions you have.



2014-07-20 6:29 PM
in reply to: BBShopMom

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5

Tucson, AZ, Arizona
Subject: RE: Sprint: 16/20 Week 2X or 3X Balanced

Hello I am planning on starting the 3X per week plan tomorrow.........new at tri..........anyone doing this program in Tucson????

Carolina

2015-01-30 2:17 PM
in reply to: BBShopMom


1

Subject: RE: Sprint: 16/20 Week 2X or 3X Balanced
Hi, I'm James. I'm new to Tri and only started to think about Tri's towards the end of 2014. I have mainly done running before 5,10K (and going for a half marathon this year).

My goal for this year is to take part in at least 2 sprint Tri's. I'm planning on starting focused training from the 1st Feb.

Any tips/gotcha's would be appreciated and I will keep you posted on my progress.

Cheers
James
2015-01-30 2:35 PM
in reply to: Choppertastic

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370
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, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Sprint: 16/20 Week 2X or 3X Balanced
Just saw this on the front page.

I'm a month into the 3x Balance program. Finishing up my last week of recovery.

I have done mostly zone 2 on the run and the bike for the entire first month. I really upped my run milage last fall and it really took it's toll on my legs. Doing a much better job of stretch and self massage on my calves and that has helped my running quite a bit. But, I am no where near the milage per week I was at last year. I'm only at about 4-5 miles a week through the first month where I was at closer to 12-15 miles. I am hoping to build to that by the summer.

Biking is going much better this year. I got a trainer for Christmas and have been riding that pretty good. Swimming is also going well. But my yardage is down from where I was at the in fall. I'll get back there soon enough.

Hope a few more folks decide to do this plan it seems like a good one!

2015-02-23 3:35 AM
in reply to: #4943861

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370
1001001002525
, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Sprint: 16/20 Week 2X or 3X Balanced
I'm on the second rest week(week 8).

Should all these workouts be easy/zone 2?

Going to get a sports massage this week too. Should I go beginning or end of week? Or am I over thinking it?
2015-06-24 8:17 AM
in reply to: #5095330


1

Subject: RE: Sprint: 3X Balanced
Are there specific workouts to be done at each short/medium/long sessions? If so at what pace? I know the plan gives examples but I do not see intensity given. Thanks.


2016-02-11 3:12 PM
in reply to: Jbrew013


2

Subject: RE: Sprint: 2X Balanced
I am starting training tomorrow 16 week. It says swim and bike. Is it OK to bike at home and drive to the pool? Also are those min I have to do next to swim, bike and run.looks like this 12-swim, 24-bike. I'm totally new to this so hopefully not a dumb question... Lol thx
2016-02-11 4:30 PM
in reply to: 0

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Veteran
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Subject: RE: Sprint: 2X Balanced
NickB - there may be an "optimal" point to do that, but yes you are mostly overthinking it. Let the rest week be restful and enjoy it

Jbrew - Since these plans are volume builders and not speed builders, no specific workout is given. The purpose is more just to get you out there moving for the specified amount of time. The times themselves are based on an "average back-of-packer", such that a "slow" person will have completed each of the S/B/R leg distances individually in training before going into the race. So, basically, the minutes shown are based on some average slow pace. That being said, it is probably safe to apply some more intense workouts for swim and bike - but this comes with some caveats. For swimming, it assumes that you are able to swim at that intense pace and still maintain proper form - if you are a newer swimmer, then the chances are that using the swim sessions to improve technique are going to be more beneficial to you than simply swimming hard. For the bike, it is pretty safe to pull a higher intensity for many of the workouts, but I wouldn't go at it so hard that you can't do the other workouts because your legs are toast. For running, see my response to Nicharman regarding the 10% rule and be mindful that adding intensity, especially as a new runner, can quickly lead to injury. Much better to start slow and get to the start line of your race healthy.

Nicharman - for the workouts that have two in a day, the description will be specific if it wants you to do the workouts immediately back-to-back. These are called BRICK workouts, and IIRC they show up towards the end of the plan (the last month or so). For all the others, some time in between the workouts is not only ok, I'd say it's actually recommended so that your body has a chance to recover from one workout and then give the 2nd one an honest effort level as well. Yes, the numbers by the workouts are in minutes - they are structured that way (especially for the running workouts) so that you don't increase the volume too quickly and put yourself at increased risk for getting injured. I believe the description refers to the "10% rule" - that's what it is talking about with the minutes and it is a great rule of thumb for increasing the workload.

Edited to Add: Sorry to Nick and Jbrew - I just looked at the dates of your posts and saw that my advice is monumentally late. Hopefully I at least still helped Nicharman

Edited by CycloneVM 2016-02-11 4:33 PM
2016-02-11 5:34 PM
in reply to: CycloneVM


2

Subject: RE: Sprint: 2X Balanced
Great, thank you so much for the reply!
2018-04-11 10:20 AM
in reply to: Tri Take Me Away

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Fort Worth, Texas
Subject: RE: Sprint: 16/20 Week 2X or 3X Balanced
Hello all! I began the 16 week program yesterday and am very excited to see how things go and the progress I make. I'm a noob to the Tri scene and the cardiologist scene in general lol. I was always a weight lifter but a botched back surgery a year ago ended my lifting days. I'm a year out from surgery and have found that I can do the trick workouts without too much pain, outside of the pain to my ego for feeling like I'm going to die after only swimming 50m. Good luck to all in the program!

Very Respectfully,
BerserkerKing
2019-12-02 7:23 PM
in reply to: Tri Take Me Away

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1

Los Angeles, California
Subject: RE: Sprint: 16/20 Week 2X or 3X Balanced
Made an account for the sole purpose of letting any novice triathletes know my results from this plan. I remember being disappointed at the lack of reviews on various plans when I was deciding what to do, so I hope someone out there finds this helpful. I did the 20 Week 3x Balanced plan for my first ever triathlon.

THE RACE - I used this plan for the 2019 Malibu Triathlon. They don't have a sprint distance, but rather a "classic" distance which has a longer bike and run: 0.5 mi ocean swim, 17 mi bike and 4 mi run--I explained it as "sprint +" to any of my friends who asked.

MY PAST EXPERIENCE - I do not consider myself an athlete. I like to set goals and challenge myself, but I am never the strongest, fastest or most athletic person in any given room and that's okay. As far as swim experience, I swam on a club team when I was a kid and was a varsity swimmer in high school but stopped swimming after that. Going into this, I knew I could swim a mile without stopping, albeit at a slower pace. I was comfortable in the pool but not the ocean--I had never swam in the ocean. I started running in 2016 with zero experience (used to get tired halfway through a 5K). I worked my way up to a marathon by February 2018 (completed three halves before doing the full). Running is not my forte but I'm competent at it. The only leg of the race that I had ZERO experience in was the bike. I knew how to ride a bike but hadn't done so since I was about ten years old. I had a phase where I was super into spin classes, but that's obviously not the same as riding an actual bike.

HOW I USED THE PLAN - As I mentioned above, I did the 20 week 3x Balanced plan. To the best of my ability, I bricked ALL of my short and medium length work outs. I am a member at a gym with a pool and a spin room. I would swim, towel off and go straight to the spin room and get the bike done. Sometimes, I would swap my swim and run so that I would swim on Tues/Thurs and spin/run on Mon/Wed. I am a professional who works from 8:30 am to 6:30/7 pm most days so it was inevitable that there would be days that I would not feel like working out. I think I completed about 80% of the plan and moved workouts around as necessary to complete my schedule. I never missed a long swim or a long bike. Around the start of Month 3, I swapped my long run and long swim, so that I was combining my long run and long bike on Friday and doing the swim on Saturday or Sunday.

This was because I started using those days to practice ocean swims. A note for all novices -- swimming in the ocean is VERY different from swimming in the pool and it is very easy to get panicked, even if you are an experienced swimmer. Do yourself a favor and PRACTICE in whatever body of water you are competing in, whether it's a lake or an ocean. I'd also advise investing in a wetsuit. It will keep you warm, which will make your body less likely to tense and panic but also it is a comfort to know that you physically cannot sink if you are wearing the wetsuit, your body will float no matter what.

Around when the long bike was consistently more than an hour, I started moving that to the weekend as well. So my schedule for the weekends was either: (1) Run Friday, Ocean Swim Saturday, Bike Sunday; (2) Run Friday, Brick Ocean Swim/Bike Saturday Rest Sunday; or (3) Rest Friday, Ocean Swim Saturday, Brick Bike/Run on Sunday.

I did the long workouts for Week 2 of Month 5 all together in one brick -- a practice triathlon so I could mentally prepare myself for the real thing. I took it at my own pace and did not try to push myself too hard-- I just wanted to know I could do all three principles straight through.

THE RACE: Oh boy was it nerve-wracking, waiting on the shore to see the condition of the ocean and whether I would be able to wade through the break. Thankfully the waves were very low that day but the adrenaline of hearing the gunshot and running into the ocean with a huge group of women in my age group made my heart speed up so much I actually had to turn over and backstroke out to the first buoy to slow down my heart rate and catch my breath.

I was an idiot: fellow novice triathletes, GET. A. ROAD. BIKE. The few mm extra on the tire of a mountain bike or hybrid bike generate enough friction that will be a much bigger setback than you realize. I was set back even further by the fact that the back tire on my hybrid bike was flat. Any lead that I had from the swim was immediately stripped in the bike, I watched all these road bikers, visibly putting in less effort, just barrel right past me--it was pretty disheartening. The bike is the longest part of the triathlon and the easiest place to catch up...or lose your lead. Train it and train it hard. The run was...the run. It was to be as expected, but I cannot stress enough that it is imperative that you practice your bike to run transition. The jelly legs for the first mile were really bad.

RESULTS: 19:31 Swim (2:26/100 m -- kind of surprised, in the pool I was swimming 1:35/100 m easy but I never timed myself in the ocean and the ocean changes things tremendously); 1:11:59 Bike (14.17 mph); 37:18 Run (9:20/mi). Overall 2:13:36 which put me at 25th place out of 97 in my age group. I was shooting for 2:30 so I was happy.

I'm pretty average in build (size 2/4 in a dress) and I wasn't looking at this as a way to lose weight but I dropped about five pounds in this process putting me comfortably in size 0/2 territory at the peak of training. My legs and abs also gained a bit of definition despite the fact I did little to no strength training outside the plan.

TAKEAWAYS: This plan is great. It makes you train more than the distance you actually will compete in which makes you very prepared for race day. Stick to the plan and trust the process. If you can't swim, make it a priority to learn how to swim comfortably. This is especially important if you are swimming in an ocean or lake. Go out there and practice your swim and, if possible, do so in a group.

Get a road bike. If you're a novice, I know you may not be sold on doing more than one triathlon. So you may be thinking to yourself, "do I really want to invest in a good road bike?" I thought the same thing so I bought a second-hand hybrid because I thought I couldn't handle the thin wheels of a road bike. The week after I finished this tri, I bought a road bike and resolved to learn how to navigate on these thin wheels. It's worth it, even if its a second-hand road bike. Take the time to learn and practice.

Brick your workouts, I'd say at least one of your workouts per week if not more. Just do it. Yes, you will be tired and may even be hangry but it mentally prepares you in a way that nothing else can. Plus, your body learns to shift gears relatively quickly which is very helpful during the race.

Have fun on race day and focus on yourself. What you're doing is a huge feat. I'm pretty sure more people complete a marathon in their lifetime than people who complete a triathlon so remember to be kind to yourself and celebrate all the little improvements you're making along the way.

I'll be competing in the Olympic distance for the Malibu Triathlon in September 2020. I'm starting my training in January with the Couch to Olympic then switching in April to the Olympic 20 week 2x or 3x balanced (haven't decided which yet).

If the author of this plan still reads posts to these threads, I want to extend a HUGE thank you to you sir. This plan was excellent preparation for my first triathlon and my performance in my first triathlon has encouraged me to sign up for more. I cannot thank you enough.


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