Hey guys, in case you missed it my triceratops tri race recap is now up. Be sure to check it out!
When I first started training for the tri, I had a few people request that after the event I talk about my training plan and how prepared I felt during the race. Remember I am NOT a professional and created this plan myself! But given the requests, I figured it would be easiest to lay out what worked for me in a post.
For the 800 m (.5 mile swim): Every week I tried to fit in two swim workouts. I chose to do them after a shorter run but I think I would have been fine swimming in the mornings and running in the evenings or vice versa (I just prefer to have my evenings free). I also probably would have been okay just swimming too. I chose to swim 1,650 meters (mile) but I’m sure 1,000 would have been sufficient for the shorter distance. I also alternated swimming laps at a constant pace “for distance” with interval workouts. The interval workouts kept things more exciting while also forcing me to speed up in the water. I felt prepared during the swim portion of the race but for my next triathlon I would probably add another swim (I would go too long without a swim sometimes and I’d lose the feel of the water) and I would practice in open water. I didn’t feel like I was at a huge disadvantage without doing these things but they would have helped!
For the 12.4 mile bike ride: I chose to keep bike training really simple. Part of this was because I knew that I’d probably not be riding my bike during the race but also because my old bike was too small and uncomfortable for me to ride too long. I opted to do one brick workout a week (bike with a quick transition to run) and varied the bike distance between 9 and 13 miles. I also rode my bike to and from work every day (5 miles a day). Had I not been cycling to work, I most definitely would have added another day or two of biking into my schedule. I also would not recommend buying a new bike just a few days before the race and riding it for the first time that day. I was very lucky and it worked for me but there were definitely some kinks with the bike that I couldn’t figure out. In terms of endurance though, I felt pretty prepared for the race.
For the 3.1 mile run: I started off running about 20 miles/week and then gradually increased to a little over 30 during the course of training. I ran 6 days a week, only because I wanted to get my body back in the habit (marathon training is fast approaching). I ran between 4-5 miles the two days a week that I swam, a 6-8 miler in the middle of the week, two 4-7 weekday runs, 1-2 miles on brick day, and then a longer run on Sunday (I capped it at about 9). In terms of distance, I ran a lot farther than necessary to do this triathlon. I probably could have run 4-5 days/week and kept the distances around 5 miles and been just fine. The most important running workouts were definitely the bricks. Even if you’re a strong runner, the feeling of running right after cycling is like no other. The first time I did a brick I couldn’t believe how weird it felt! I wish I could have done a few more, especially on my new bike.
For the transitions: I didn’t practice at all. I recommend you do!
In terms of a weekly training plan, here is an example week:
Monday- OFF/ bike to work
Tuesday- 4 mile run + 1,650 meter swim + bike to work
Wednesday- 7 mile run
Thursday- 5 mile run + bike to work
Friday- 6 mile run + bike to work
Saturday- 10 mile bike ride + 2 mile run
Sunday- 9 mile run
So this is the plan that worked for me and I felt totally prepared for the race but like I said, I’m not a professional. Do what works and feels best for you!
Yesterday was a traveling day. I woke up early in Michigan, finished packing my things, made a sandwich for the bus ride, and got dropped off at the Megabus stop in Detroit. 2 hours later, I was on the bus 1/4 of the way to Chicago, munching on my almond butter and applesauce sandwich.
The bus ride was uneventful, save for the kid next to me eating sour cream & onion chips and drinking a 2 liter of coke at 9 a.m. (it was the smell of the chips that really got me) and before I knew it, it was 1:30 p.m. and I was in my apartment.
I made sure to give the furball lots of love.
I’m off from work today but have some other stuff to do. Happy Friday!