General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Oly tri training program: question about times and intensity Rss Feed  
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2021-01-28 1:27 PM


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Subject: Oly tri training program: question about times and intensity
Hello all

New member here, and just starting to train for my first tri. I am aiming for an Olympic distance as a beginner, and am thinking of following https://beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/training/training-plans-vi... Couple of questions
1. Has anyone used this program, and would you recommend it? I have two little kids, so dont have an hour each day to train, but Ill get close to maybe 4 hours a week. Also I can swim only one a week.
2. What do the number mean, are they minutes? For example 24-Swim, is that a 24 minute swim? Any specific guidance on what to do those 24 minutes? Similarly 24-Run, I assume thats a 24 minute run. Should I be doing any intervals, or just do whatever as long as I run 24 mins straight?

Thanks all!



2021-01-29 4:07 PM
in reply to: sshrinivasan

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Subject: RE: Oly tri training program: question about times and intensity

Hi, and welcome to BT, and congratulations on your journey into triathlon!

For your first question, we'll need to know a little more about your background and experience before giving some advice on that.  Are you an athlete (like a former competitive swimmer or cyclist or runner, even back in high school or something)?  Can you swim (and I don't mean in a resort pool ...I mean have you any experience in lap swimming)?  What is your access to indoor cycling (either a spin bike or trainer)?  All of these questions are to help determine your baseline fitness and what you'll be able to do, because 4 hours a week is a tough ask for an Olympic triathlon unless you have a significant "base" (experience) or you're a genetic freak.  To put it in perspective, my last Oly plan had me cycling 4 hours a week and close to ten hours total.  Also without significant swim experience 1x/week is also a big limiter.

As for your second question, yes the numbers are minutes.  It's a free plan so no details, but for swimming I'd break it up into 100 yard repeats with a few seconds rest in between, easy runs with maybe some quick "pick-ups" here and there, and ride pretty hard.

Hope this helps.  If I were thinking about a tri with only ~4 hours a week to train, I'd look at a sprint.

2021-02-01 11:34 AM
in reply to: jmhpsu93


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Subject: RE: Oly tri training program: question about times and intensity
Hi Mike

Thank you so much for the detailed response, I really appreciate it. I am not an athlete, and never have been. That being said I am relatively fit for a 40 year old with 2 little kids, I have done a half marathon last year, and regularly run 6-8k albeit slowly once every 2 days or so. I bike about 25k every couple of days, aside from cross country skiing once a week. So not very fit, but decently active. Swimming is the issue, I can swim about 250m nonstop in a lap pool, and have swum 1k after a lot of breaks. I can get access to a pool 2 times a week in needed, thats why I chose that plan.

I would be happy to pay for a more detailed plan if there is one you recommend. I have my sights set on the Oly distance, so dont really want to do a Sprint since I may only get the one chance this year. However I dont really care about the times, I just want to finish my first one without dying, so my bars pretty low!

Thanks again.
2021-02-02 12:16 PM
in reply to: sshrinivasan

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Subject: RE: Oly tri training program: question about times and intensity
My .02$ is start showing up at your pool the 2x/week it's available right away. The sooner you get in the habit of that, the easier actually structuring those workouts will be later. I've always thought the biggest hurdle to prepping for a first tri is showing up at the pool consistently(unless of course swimming was in your background - then it's the lowest hurdle). An oly is a very decent challenge for a first race and given the fitness base you described, if you'll do the training volumes laid out in that plan, I predict you'll have a very satisfying experience. Careful, these things are addictive..
2021-02-02 4:00 PM
in reply to: sshrinivasan

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Subject: RE: Oly tri training program: question about times and intensity
Welcome to the world of triathlon. A lot of good points have been made by BT members. I'd reaffirm the point of maximize your pool time. If you burn all your matches in the swim, the bike and run will probably prove more challenging than you'd otherwise expect. Exiting the water with energy reserves could make the difference between enjoying or hating your first triathlon. Happy training!
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