Tips For Triathlon Beginners

7 Top Tips as you get started in Triathlon Training

I was recently emailing a new coaching client with some initial training guidelines, and I thought I might turn it into a blog. He’s fairly new to triathlon, so I wrote him an initial 7-day training plan. The guidelines apply to all new triathletes, so I hope they are of some use to you!

Training Phases

Let’s start by splitting your training year into phases. The first six weeks are the “Prep” phase. The main goal during this phase is to get into the routine of regular triathlon training and to try some new things out (such as a Masters swim club). Don’t expect to get everything right during this phase. Hopefully, by the end of six weeks, you will have worked out a really efficient and effective training routine to move forward with.

Consistency

Consistency is the golden ticket, more than any single workout. Triathlon training is a bit like investing in stocks and shares – it’s better to think in terms of long term gains, rather than overnight success. Don’t get too focused on good days or bad days or over analysing your data. Each session is another jelly bean in the jar. We’ll adopt a pattern of two weeks of hard training, followed by one week easy (plus an end of season break) to help you stay consistent.

Racing Goals

I think you should enter several triathlons in 2014 for the experience. Racing well at a triathlon is about skill as much as fitness, especially in your first few seasons. It’s easy to waste loads of time making schoolboy race errors (everyone does it!) so it’s better to go through that learning curve in your first proper season, in low-priority races, rather than the big ones. Therefore, between May and September, I would recommend you to enter several triathlon races (one every 3-weeks or so), with at least a 2-week gap between each one. I would do some local sprints, as they are a good experience and you can recover quickly from them. Also a couple of Olympic distance races too. Races fill up fast, so it’s important to get on the case now. Start by using the events guide on Tri247.com.

Prioritising Races

Once you have a list of races, we can assign a priority to each one (A, B or C). ‘C’ races are for training and experience, nothing more. ‘B’ races are important, but not the main target of your training. ‘A’ races are the ones you really want to do well in. They are the focus of your training. You can have a couple of A races, about 5 B races, and another 7 to 10 C races in a season. The idea is that it’s not possible to be in Peak shape for every race, so it’s better to have your Peak period around your A races.

Strength and Conditioning

Let’s not worry about this just yet. It can be useful, but we’re talking marginal gains compared with what we can achieve in swim/bike/run at the moment. Let’s get a good training routine going, and then we can look to add strength work later.

Swimming

The quickest way to get fast at swimming is by getting as much 1-1 coaching as possible. I would try a tri club or Masters club session. I always prefer you to do all your swimming in group sessions, rather than solo. However, if you swim solo you should always follow a structured session.

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Training Zones

Don’t be a slave to the training zones or worry when you’re not “in the zone”. For beginners, they are a useful guide, but the most important thing is that you’re out there training consistently.

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Phil Mosley (Coach & Founder)
Phil Mosley (Coach & Founder)

Phil is a recognised endurance expert who founded MyProCoach in 2010 to offer smart training plans that still leave quality time for your family, friends & career - complete with highly-rated coach support (he has sold over 40,000 so far). Learn more here!

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Planning Your Off-Season

You can start our Off-Season (Fitness Maintenance) plans anytime you like.

They’re designed to help you maintain a good level of fitness when you’re not specifically targeting an event, such as, during the off-season, or anytime you’re taking a break from racing.

Planning For Your Event

For the best outcome, input the date for your “A” target race and the tool will default to a plan that will fill that gap nicely. If you want, you can then adjust the plan length to start it on a different day.

Note that you can still work in other, smaller races during your plan too!

Unlimited Athlete Price Rise - Dec 1st 2021

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, after 2 hugely successful years of our Unlimited Athlete subscription with over 1300 active members, we’ve decided to increase our prices for the first time on December 1st.

The feedback has been outstanding (rated 5.0 from 100’s of testimonials), and recently we’ve also added further personal coach time… For example, our coaches now check your personalised training zones are set up correctly, and also keep you accountable by getting in touch if you haven’t logged any training for 2 weeks.

So, to maintain this great customer service and to support our coaches, on Dec 1st we’re increasing both price options by $5 per month, or by $4 per month if you pay annually (but for all existing Unlimited Athletes, to give a fair warning, renewals will not increase in price until Feb 1st, 2022).

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