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OLYMPIC / STANDARD DISTANCE TRIATHLON – 12 WEEK – BEGINNER PLANThis 12 week training plan is designed to get a novice triathlete through astandard distance triathlon. This is a suitable program for those who are new totriathlon, or are stepping up from shorter distance events and will help get you tothe finish line in good shape.In order to be able to complete the training you should have a reasonable level offitness at the start of the training. A pre-requisite would be that you can swim750m continuously, you can cycle for 45mins and run for 25mins. However,because this program still needs to work around your schedule, you cancustomise and adapt where necessary. You may double up on some training daysto allow other days off, or include “B races” as part of your training, but try tostick to the rough volumes prescribed to allow sufficient recovery.The intensity of the training in this plan is executed using the RPE (Rate ofPerceived Exertion) scale, this allows the athlete to work to their limits withspecific barriers. The full RPE scale is detailed in the appendix at the back of theplan. If you use a Heart Rate Monitor and/or GPS tracking, we recommend youuse this in conjunction with RPE to monitor pace and effort as this will help youjudge your pace more effectively.Strength and ConditioningThis plan includes weekly strength & conditioning sessions that you can find at theback of this document in the appendix. We’ve broken these sessions into threephases to allow adaptations to your strength through the program that meet thedemands of your training.Base PhaseThis is intended to prepare the joints and soft-tissue for the upcomingtraining load. Key elements include mobility, flexibility and balance work,core work with some easier compound movements to increase strengthendurance.Core PhaseThis phase builds on the work you’ve done, adding in more demandingmovements which challenge single legs strength and control of morecomplex movements. This added skill is essential to good performanceand injury prevention.Performance PhaseBuilding on the complexity of the existing program, this phase alsoincludes the addition of explosive movements that build your power,completed as a circuit that will increase anaerobic fitness too. Exercises inthis phase are targeted at improving your ability to maintain a strongform, and increase speed.Flexibility and MobilityIf you are finding you’re getting tight and sore muscles throughout training youcan perform the ‘Mobility/Warm-up’ section of the ‘Strength and ConditioningSessions’ more frequently as required to help loosen tight muscles.Getting a sports massage once in a while can also be a good way to help keepyour muscles moving well, if you’re new to sports massage be careful not to getone too close to race day as you may find your muscles have a fatigued feelingafterwards like you’ve done a tough work out.Missed a Session?From time to time your busy lives may get in the way of the training schedule,sometimes this is unavoidable, don’t feel guilty! In this situation don’t try andmake up the session you’ve missed, simply pick up your schedule as normal thefollowing day. Also, don’t train on your rest days! These are in there for a reasonto allow your muscles to recover and repair themselves ready for the nexttraining sessions in your [email protected]

WEEK mBikeRunRestStrength &RunSwimBike1 km10 km4 km45 min/2.5 km1.2 km15 kmTechniqueSwim:Session 1(Your swim sessionsare listed at the backof this document inthe appendix)AerobicAerobicStart off easy andincrease effort to acomfortablesustainable pace.Note your cadence,and heart rate ifyou’re measuring it.This will give you agood idea of youraerobic effort andHR for futuresessionsSteady effort run,using breathing rateas an indicator ofeffortComplete thedistance workingwithin a comfortableeffort levelTempoStrength:Base PhaseEnduranceSwim:Session 2Run:At a firm pace,faster than youraerobic paceGet out on yourbike, spend timegetting used togearing, handling andjust spending time inthe saddleRPE 8RPE 7RPE 6-7Aim to ride at acomfortable pacearound RPE 5-7KEYFOCUSBody position,comfort in thewater, drill work toimprove techniqueGetting the legsmoving, working outdifferent effortlevelsGetting into running,establishing abaseline pace foraerobic effortStarting strengthprogram. Core &flexibility workNOTESTechnique sessionsare aimed at givingyou short sets ofdrills and swimmingto make it easier tofocus on oneelement of yourswim stroke at atime. Being efficientin the water is thekey to swimmingmore quicklyIf you've not already,look at getting abike fit. This is aboutmore than beingquick, a proper fitcan help preventinjuriesMake a note of yourpace/speed duringthese sessions as areference of yourspeed for a giveneffortFirst strengthsession of theprogram, focus ontechnique andexecution of themovements.Then work from thispace or effort whencompleting faster orslower effortsMost of yourimprovements earlyon will come frombetter mobilityPace judgement willbe crucial come raceday, these sessionswill help you learnto judge pace better‘Just Ride’Riding outsideprovides naturalchanges in intensitythrough the terrain,conditions andlayout of the roadHolding a steadyeffort, andconsistent strokenumber per lengthfor same speedLearning to holdyour pace isimportant.The easiest way tojudge and controlpace in swimming isby focusing on yourbreathing; ifbreathing is easythen stroke willremain relaxed.Hard breathingmeans hardswimmingGetting used tobeing on your bike,experiment withgearsEstablishing a routineof allocating time totrainLetting your musclestart to work intofocused trainingLearning skill/drillwork for techniqueimprovementEmbarking onstrength training toimprove strengthenduranceUse this week to seta sort of bench markfor each discipline; towork out where yourfitness levels are andto work out a basepace from which towork from in latersessionsWEEKLYDISTANCE:33.7 KMTime in the saddlewill allow you to getused to your bike,and if you’rethinking aboutchanging thepositions or usingaero-bars then themore you can getused to them [email protected]

WEEK SUNDAYSESSIONSwimBikeSwim & RunRestStrengthRunBikeDURATION1.1 km12 km45 min6 km20 kmINTENSITYSpeed WorkIntervals1 km/3 kmTechnique/TempoResistanceHillsAerobicHead out for asteady run aroundRPE 5-7Steady ride,outside. Playaround withposition on thebike, using thedrops to get moreaero when goingfaster on the flats.This will saveenergy and makeyou fasterDAYSESSIONDETAILSSwim:Session 35 min Warm upRPE 4-5Swim:Session 13 min RPE 62 min RPE 8Run:RPE 8Strength:Core PhaseAim to includesome undulation inyour route, holdingthe effort level onthe hills, both upand downRepeat until there’s1 km left, thenfinish with:1 km warm downRPE 4KEYFOCUSSpeed & fitness. Aimto keep good formeven when tiredMaintain steadypace then buildeffort towards endof the bikeBody position,comfort in the water,rotate through hipsto create powerFlexibility, corestrength, balance,leg strengthNOTESThe key to quickswimming isefficiency. Rememberto use breathing todictate your pace.And when you’regetting tired think;“swim smooth, notfast”Session may bedone on indoortrainer wherepractical, howeverdon't ignore valueof getting out onthe bikeBeing efficient in thewater starts withbody position; theflatter you are andthe higher your legssit, the smootheryou’ll flow throughthe waterStrength training isvaluable for makingyou more "robust",but exercises mustbe performedcorrectly; focus ontechniqueYou can combinethis with an offroad element toosince this willstrengthen yourstabilising musclestooMaintaining paceeven on undulatingterrainYou may utilisesessions like theseas trail runsessions, runningoff road takesmore skill andcontrol so youbuild strength onthe muscles of thehips and coreWork throughyour gears tomaintain effortBuilding on the firstweek slightly, but nottoo much, so as toallow recoveryPace judgement andlearning times forcompleting distancesetc.Getting to know theexercises on thestrength programThe newer you are tocycling, the morebenefit you’ll get fromjust being outside onyour bike, getting usedto it. So, valueoutdoor sessions overindoor structureRPE 6-7Working atthreshold andbelowWEEKLYDISTANCE:43.1 KMLearning to varythe pace on thebike will keeptraining interesting,but will also teachpace judgment andyour ability toovertake [email protected]

WEEK SUNDAYSESSIONSwimBikeSwim & RunRestStrengthSwimBrickDURATION1.2 km15 km1.1 km/5 km45-60 min1 km15 km/3 kmINTENSITYSESSIONDETAILSEnduranceMixed effortSpeed/AerobicTechniqueSteady stateDAYSwim:Session 23 km RPE 43 km RPE 53 km RPE 63 km RPE 83 km RPE 5Use the gearing tokeep your cadencebetween 85-95KEY FOCUSNOTESLeg & head positionin the water. Pace& speedPacing & cadenceBuilding yourendurance, yourability to holdconstant speed andbe able to repeatefforts of the samedistancePace control, havingthe ability to switchpace based onperceived effort willbe a key skill inpacing in a raceSwim:Session 3Strength:Base PhaseSwim:Session 1Run:‘Just run’, steadyeffort, relaxedbreathingRPE 6-7Swim, speedenduranceRun posture/form andability to hold paceand techniqueThe focus of this runshould be feelingcomfortable with thedistance, focusing onyour posture and runform, finishing feelingstrongBike:RPE 5-6steady effortRun:RPE 6-7steady effortComplete the runstraight after thebike with as littlebreak between thetwo as possibleExecution &posture duringexerciseBody position, legshigh in the water,low head positionwhile swimming looking downGetting used torunning off the bikeThird week in, theexercises shouldstart to get easieras your body beginsto adapt. Keeppaying attention togood body positionWorking intechnique toimprove bodyposition in thewaterFirst Brick, runningoff the bike can feelodd as the legmovements differ.Start slow and tryto settle into acomfortable runrhythmConsistency, keep theroutine going. Modifysession timings to fityour schedule if needbe or if you find onesession fatigues you foranother too muchYour first brick sessionwill be a chance to feelwhat it's like to run offthe bikeUse these sessions asbenchmarks for youreffort and speedWEEKLYDISTANCE:41.3 [email protected]

WEEK SUNDAYSESSIONSwimBikeRunRestStrength &RunSwim & RunBikeDURATION1.4 km20 km6.5 km60 min/3 km25 kmINTENSITYTechniqueIntervalsEnduranceTempo1.7 km/5 kmEndurance/IntervalDAYSESSIONDETAILSSwim:Session 45 min RPE 55 min RPE 8Repeat until withinthe last km thendrop to RPE 4 forcool downKEYFOCUSNOTESBody position,rotation through thehips. Arm position atthe beginning of thestrokeYour kicking shouldbe already feelingbetter, but still keepbody position inmind and legs high inthe water. Thinkabout rotationthrough the hips.Long and smooth isfast through thewaterRun:RPE 6-7Let your breathingcontrol your paceStrength:Core PhaseSwim:Session 5Run:Tempo run at bestsustainable paceRun:1 km warm upRPE 4HillsSteady state ridewith some hillsincluded. Maintainsteady cadence andrhythm. Pacejudgement on hillsRepeat 4 times:600 m RPE 9400 m RPE 5RPE 6-7Pace judgementand working athigher effortsKeep it light so youcan hold a steadypace throughoutLearning to run atfast pace andmaintain itSpeed andconsistencybetween sets ofsame effortPace judgement onhillsThis may beperformed on aturbo or outside,whichever isconvenientSteady effort at abelow max pace,focusing on holdingform and keepingeach km the samespeed. If your formsuffers then slow thepaceThe strengthprogram should begetting easier andyou should beincreasing yourresistance/times ofeach exerciseSpeed Endurance,improving yourspeed is important,but be sure toremain consistentbetween sets of thesame distanceRunning up anddown hillsincreases strength.Control pace onascent so you'reable to continue ata good pace onceat the topOne month in you'llbe starting to feelimprovements infitness from trainingStick to the increasesin distances as bestyou can, and where itfitsBy now you should begetting more familiarwith judging youreffort on the RPEscaleWEEKLYDISTANCE:62.6 [email protected]

WEEK SUNDAYSESSIONSwimBikeRunRestStrengthSwim & RunBikeDURATION1.6 km20 km7.5 km60 min/5 km1.4 km/5.2 km30 kmDAYINTENSITYSESSIONDETAILSSpeed WorkSwim:Session 6Intervals5 km warm upRPE 4-5Aerobic Hilly3 min RPE 62 min RPE 8Run:Head for a steadyendurance run, usingbreathing rate and HRto gauge your effortRepeat until you’ve1-2 km left, thenspin easy to cooldownIf possible aim to runan undulating route sothat your legs arechallengedTechnique/ TrackStrength:Base PhaseSwim:Session 4Run:Track session 1Use longer rides topractice pacing andgetting used todifferent positions,gearing and pedalcadence (legturnover)RPE 6-7KEY FOCUSNOTESPacing is key,consistentbreathing overefforts. Keeptechnique evenwhen tiredSwimming hard willhelp your top endspeed, but ensureyou are able topace yourself soyou can maintainyour intensity tooAerobicHead out on aroute with varyingterrain, aiming tokeep a steadytempoWorking above andbelow your aerobiclevelHolding steady pacethroughoutLeg strength, cardiofitness, recoveryArm position,rotation & speedworkMaintaining pace onbike. Running hardoff the bikeIf you judge thisright you shouldfeel on the limit ofsustainable efforton RPE 8, butwithout dropping.This will be aroundyour race intensity.Pace it so you canrepeat each effortMaintaining a steadypace when the terrainisn’t flat is difficult, sothis session will helpyou manage yourefforts, almost likenatural intervalsThe strengthprogram should begetting easier andyou should beincreasing yourreps/times of eachexerciseYou should befinding the drillseasier now andnoticing thedifference in yourformThe bike section ofthis workoutshould be fairlyeasy, focus on pedalefficiency. Then onthe run, pushyourselfTrack sessions aregreat for pacing,and working onspeed developmentBy week 5 you shouldbe more settled withthe routine and movingany sessions to fit inwith your day to daylifeAs the bike distanceincreases you shouldstart to find acomfortablespeed/rhythm withyour pedalling that willbecome your naturalcadence. Use gears tokeep you in this rangeAs the weekly distanceincrease make sureyou’re sleeping andeating enough torecoverWEEKLYDISTANCE:70.7 [email protected]

WEEK DAYSUNDAYSESSIONSwim &StrengthBikeRunRestStrengthSwimBrickDURATION1.7 km/60 min35 km8.5 km45-60 min1.6 km15 km/5 d WorkRun:Steady pace, use paceand effort fromprevious runs astarget speedStrength:Performance PhaseSESSIONDETAILSSwim:Session 55 min warm upRPE 5Strength:Core Phase6 min RPE 65 min RPE 74 min RPE 8Repeat until youreach 34 km thenride easy forremaining timeRPE 5Swim:Session 6Warm up for a fewminutes then rideat a steady paceRPE 7Try to run hard offthe bikeRPE 7-8If you're consideringthings like elastic lacesin your shoes, orperhaps runningwithout socks toimprove transitiontime, then practice thisnow to give you timeto get used to itHalf way through, youshould be feeling fitter,but also make sureyou're resting enoughand getting suitablerecovery nutritionMake sure you'retaking enough waterout on longer rides &experiment withelectrolyte drinks &any race fuel you mightbe planning to useKEY FOCUSLeg position high inthe water, speedjudgement onintervalsHarder efforts forimproved powerand speedHold a steady pacethem aim to negativesplit the second halfIncreasing volumefrom previoussessionsSpeed endurance,breathing andconsistent lengthspeedsLearning to runhard off a hard bikeNOTESIf you struggle withkicking, you maybreak up yourlengths withbreaststroke & freestyle leg kicks, whichwill also workdifferent musclesWhile this sessionmay be doneoutside on a flatloop, it's a goodone for theturbo/indoortrainer tooLearn to go by feel toimprove pacejudgment come racedayTake care withnewer exercises,making sure you'rehappy with thembefore pushing toohardMonitor your timefor each set, eitheruse a stopwatch (orswim watch) or usethe pool clock togo off a fixedturnaround time.This will help withyour consistentpacingPractice withgearing to find andmaintain a steadycadence/rhythm soyou can controlyour effortWEEKLYDISTANCE:66.8 [email protected]

WEEK SUNDAYSESSIONSwimBikeSwim & RunRestStrengthRunBikeDURATION1.4 km30 km1.7 km/7.5 km60 min9 km40 kmTempo/TTHillsStrength:Performance PhaseRun:Tempo run at bestpossible pace. Thiswill be a goodindicator of whatspeed you may beable to hold comerace daySteady state ridewith some hillsincluded. Maintainsteady cadence ession 4Time TrialSpend a fewminutes warmingup and thenattempt a 30 kmbest effortUse your pace fromprevious sessionsaim to hit yourthreshold speed forthe distanceEndurance/HillsSwim:Session 5Run:Find a hilly route withcontinuousundulation, or a singlehill that you can useas part of a small loopRPE 5-9 for durationof distanceRPE 8Warm down, easyleg spin afterwardsfor a coupleminutesIf you don’t havemany local hills youcan rep a single hilla few times duringyour ridePractice seated andstanding climbing soyou can use both.Gain confidence ondescentsKEY FOCUSFollowing each drill,use the freestyle tofocus on what thedrill highlightedMaintainingintensity withminimal change inpacePacing on hills,descending undercontrolNOTESIf you’re using finsfor your kick sets,try using thefreestyle setsimmediatelyafterwards to keepthem on as youswim and feel whata stronger kickdoes to your hiprotationThis should bedone on a flattishroute. Alternatively,this may also bedone on a turbotrainer, WATT bikeor gym bike. Theidea is to test howwell you can hold agoal race paceBoth up & down hillrunning is good forstrength. Constantlychanging heart ratewill also bring aboutfitness adaptationsGood form,flexibility & core,progressing youroverall strengthHolding a steadypace, finishing asstrong as youstartedPace judgement onhillsEnsure you warmup prior to running;foam rolling &mobility work toallow better runform. A chance totest your run legsand see what paceyou can sustainPlay with positionon bars for flat &climbing, try to getinto a more ‘aero’position on theflats. Use yourgears and keepyour pedal cadencesmoothWith a good basefitness behind you it’s agood opportunity torest your speed insome of the sessions.Over the longer runsand rides, or swimsections think aboutyour target race paceMake note of whereyou’ve madeimprovements so farand where you thinkyou might need tofocus a little more timeimprovingIf you've not already,start thinking abouthydration and fuellingfor longer rides andperhaps experimentwith variousdrinks/gels if you'replanning to take themcome race dayWEEKLYDISTANCE:89.6 [email protected]

WEEK DAYSUNDAYSESSIONSwim &StrengthBikeSwim & RunRestStrengthSwimBrickDURATION1.6 km/60 min35 km45-60 min1 km20 km/7.5 kmINTENSITYSpeed WorkIntervals1.5 km/10 kmTechnique/EnduranceOpen WaterBrickAcclimatisation tothe wetsuit, waterclarity, temperatureNegative splits areuseful for teachingpacing and holdingback for a strongersend half of yourraceSESSIONDETAILSSwim:Session 65 min warm upRPE 5Swim:Session 7Strength:Core Phase5 min RPE 64 min RPE 73 min RPE 8Run:Steady effort, usingbreathing to controlspeed and focus ongood run formRepeat until youreach 33 km thenride easy forremaining timeRPE 5KEY FOCUSWorking hard topush yourself onthe shorter, fastereffortsNOTESBe strict with yourturnaround time,it’s good to pushyourself to workhard when

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