I can hear it now: “It’s the middle of winter! The race is months away!” Health and fitness are year round, lifetime commitments! Think of this early season training as preparing to train. The goal of this first month of training is to get you moving on a consistent basis. Some considerations: How much time daily/weekly do you have to devote to your fitness? Do you like to train alone or with friends? Are you a morning, afternoon or evening exerciser? How can you arrange your schedule to fit in regular exercise? Is your family supportive of your goals? If not, how can you change that?
You can comfortably enjoy and participate in the Tri for the Cure sprint triathlon with as little as 4-7 hours/week of training. Find a way to make regular exercise part of your daily and weekly schedule. Make it a priority. It is a good thing you do for you and will inspire everyone around you. All bodies need to move; your commitment to taking care of yourself will prove a positive example to those around you.
The monthly calendar is posted on a separate with a link to a printable version. To get the most out of your training, read here first, then put the two together. The program is geared toward first timers. There is often a wide range of time posted for some activities. This takes into account some of you who are, for example, avid hikers, skiers, etc who are exploring triathlon as a new sport, a new challenge. But, if you have not exercised in years and are using triathlon as a way of getting your body moving, please start small and grow, one step at a time.
Customize this plan to you: to your needs and time availability. Move the workouts around as needed. Make it your own and make it work in your life. Here are some ideas on how to accomplish the various workouts planned.
Contact Coach Melissa here.
1. Do a new thing! Choose your activity: Really! Do what you like to do: ski, hike, snowshoe, run, swim, bike, skate, etc. For beginners, keep it short, for those experienced athletes, do what you might normally do. OR, do a new thing. Try something you’ve always wanted to do. Enjoy winter, the snow and cold are here for a while! Get your friends and family involved with your training activities. Having buddies makes it more enjoyable for all.
2. Cardio: General cardiovascular training. Get your heart and lungs ready for more specific training that is coming up. Examples: spin class, elliptical trainer, row machine, aerobics or dance class, etc. Mix it up, keep it at an easy endurance pace. Try to increase your time each week. Triathlon is an aerobic event. It is very important to train your aerobic system (heart, lungs & circulatory system).
3. Walk: Pretty self-explanatory! Walk indoors or outdoors, uphill or on the flats. Walking is a great low intensity, low impact sport that prepares your muscles and joints for more rigorous exercise. Also, you may do a lot of walking instead of running while training and racing. This is fine!
4. Rest Day: Just as your body needs the stress of exercise, it also needs the rejuvenation rest provides. Stress, recover, stress, recover, etc…. this is the path to improved fitness. Make sure you are getting adequate sleep (8 hours is best). Get a massage, take a yoga or stretching class, take a nap! Honor and reward your body for all it does for you.
5. Strength Training: Below is a simple strength training program for triathletes. If you’re new to strength training, consider working with a personal trainer for a few sessions. Yoga and Pilates also work as strength training. Be sure to stress your muscles enough to get a training effect. Improve your core strength and stability as this will improve your swimming, biking and running. Upper body strength is particularly important for women to help with swimming.
Basic Strength Training Routine for Triathletes
Lat Pull Down
Shoulder Lateral Raise
Walking Lunge/Leg Press/Squat/Step ups (choose 1-2/session)
Abdominal Crunches & Obliques
Complete 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps
For month number one, just get moving! Get to the gym, get outdoors, do whatever it takes to get and stay active. The program below provides some ideas on how to make that happen and how to fit it into a week. If you need help, ask! Coach Melissa is available for one on one or group training sessions. Group clinics start in April. Contact Coach Melissa here.