Posted by: David D. Daggett | February 14, 2011

Getting Started

Getting Started

       We’ve had a little bit more sunshine the past couple weeks and perhaps spring is in the air. Several folks have discussed with me the possibility of doing a triathlon this summer, with the possibility of doing an Olympic or half-Ironman distance race at some point in the future. Of course, I am always enthusiastic to support and encourage people who want to start or expand their fitness lifestyle.

Getting Started

Triathlon can be a tremendously addictive activity. Accordingly, my first recommendations for folks interested in starting triathlon training is to first sit down and discuss their plans with their spouse, family, or significant others. Hopefully these initial discussions will ease establishing a training schedule while at the same time inclusively including those closest to us in also pursuing a lifestyle of health and fitness. Family must come first, and as long as remember that priority it is easier to integrate a training lifestyle.

Let’s look at the basic concepts of multi-sport training. Understanding and implementing these concepts at the very beginning, even if only training for shorter races, is a critical piece in establishing a training routine that is sustainable and consistent with our life obligations. Then, as the training and the goals increase the same basic plan is already in place and has been integrated into our lifestyle.

Basic training generally includes three workouts per discipline per week. So, we are planning on nine workouts a week. It is always recommended that we take one day off, so we are fitting nine workouts into six days. I recommend figuring out blocks of time the old-fashion way. First, take out an old-fashioned paper calendar. Then cut out nine squares. Three squares each will be swim, bike, and run. Then, within each discipline you will want one short, one hard, and one long. Try to avoid putting two longs or two hards on the same day. Now, take your nine blocks of workouts and arrange them during the six training days in a way that fits into your lifestyle. Typically this will look something like having five morning workouts, two lunchtime workouts, and a double workout on Saturdays. The nine exercise blocks can be moved around from day to day and time of day in order to best fit them into your lifestyle.

The beauty of coming up with the plan with identifiable blocks of time first, is that as training increases and distances increase we already have our basic training blocks and concepts in place. This will sustain us as our goals progress.

Now let’s look at the three workouts per discipline. We already mentioned that one is easy, one hard, and one long. We typically look at those workouts, distance or time wise to be in a ratio of 1:2:3. For example our three swims for the week could be 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 45 minutes. Our mid-length workout will be our hard workout, in which we include tempo or interval training.

The goal is to start off modestly and conservatively while we work out and iron out our routine. Soon, we will naturally, and with the advice of friends, figure out how to fit the workouts into our lifestyle in a fashion that allows us to be satisfied and progress with our fitness lifestyle. Beginning triathlon training is exciting. If we put the basic concepts in place at the beginning our experience and our triathlon career will be much more sustainable and rewarding.

Still covering the basics,


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