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Triathlon Training - Triathlon 1

An 8-week multi-sport training program for fitness

Interested in Total Fitness? Looking for a new and different training program? Afraid that if you run more that three times a week, you’ll get hurt?

This Triathlon 1 program is designed for runners (and other athletes) who want to use a variety of sports and exercises to get fit and stay fit. Triathlon 1 combines the three sports of the triathlon (swimming, biking, running) with strength training and walking. It is not designed to prepare you to compete in a triathlon, although you certainly could do one if your goal is mainly to finish. If you want a more ambitious training program aimed at a triathlon, check out my Triathlon 2 Training Program, or my Triathlon Supreme Training Program, which combines Triathlon 1 and Triathlon 2. Interactive versions of all three training programs are available through TrainingPeaks.

If you are interested in general fitness, no better combination of exercises exists than the three events of the triathlon. Swimming develops the upper-body muscles. Cycling and Running develop the lower-body muscles, although somewhat different ones. (Cycling's focus is more on the quadriceps; running, the hamstrings and calves.) All three exercises develop the cardiovascular system, running probably the best of the three. Add an occasional walk as a respite from running; strength train a couple of days a week; stretch when the opportunity presents itself; and you come pretty close to possessing the Total Fitness that will allow you to both live longer and better.

Here is my eight-week Triathlon 1 Training Program for those whose goal is physical fitness as much as running a fast 5-K. The schedule suggests three running workouts a week. If your main competitive focus is running, you probably will want to make days dedicated to running your hard workouts. I have prescribed time rather than distance, since people differ in ability to cover miles in each of the three sports. On several days, I suggest strength training. This is best done after your biking or running. But I like to swim after strength training rather than before. Weather conditions also may determine on which days you do certain workouts.

The Triathlon 1 schedule only suggests how you might train. Try different combinations to see what works best for you. More detailed instructions on how to work out each day, along with training tips, are available with the interactive version available through TrainingPeaks. Click here to learn more.

Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 Bike & strength Run 30 min Strength & swim Run 30 min Rest Run 30 min Bike 60 min
2 Run 30 min Strength & swim Run 30 min Bike & strength Rest Walk 60 min Run 35 min
3 Strength & swim Run 35 min Bike 60 min Run & strength Rest Run 40 min Walk 60 min
4 Run 30 min Strength & swim Run 30 min Bike & strength Rest Run 45 min Bike 70 min
5 Strength & swim Run 40 min Bike & strength Run 30 min Rest Run 50 min Walk 60 min
6 Run 30 min Strength & swim Run 30 min Bike & strength Rest Walk 60 min Bike 80 min
7 Strength & swim Run 45 min Bike 60 min Run & strength Rest Run 55 min Walk 60 min
8 Run 30 min Strength & swim Run 30 min Bike & strength Rest Run 60 min Bike 90 min