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November 8, 2016

Training Advice for the Beginner Triathlete

When people find out I compete in triathlons, they always have lots of questions especially if they’re a beginner triathlete. I actually love talking about my sport. I’m not the athlete you’ll probably ever find on the podium or leading a race at the front of the pack. I’m an everyday wife and mom with a crazy schedule and I don’t look like what most people would think of when they think That’s a Triathlete.  So, people who are thinking about doing a triathlon and beginner triathletes feel comfortable asking me because they can relate to me. When they ask me how I train, I tell them that for me the most effective training is to focus most of my workouts on either swim, bike or run, but I also add in strength training and core work. Then I lay out my general practices for each of those sports individually:

Swim:

  • Most of my swim workouts are one of about a dozen workouts I keep laminated in my swim bag.
  • Every two weeks, usually on a Sunday afternoon when the pool is empty, I do a long lap swim of straight freestyle just to get a feel for how my training is going.
  • A couple weeks out from an event, I do freestyle lap swims more frequently and decrease the drill workouts.

 

Bike:

  • During winter months, I put my bike on the trainer and move Bella indoors. It’s amazing how many Netflix series you can catch up on doing your weekly miles.
  • When Spring hits, me and Bella hit the road! (Bella’s my bike in case you haven’t figured that out yet) The goal here is to spin 90. That’s the cadence that you want to ride when you’re not riding a hill.
  • I try to practice hills more than flats because that’s where improvement comes for me.
  • I always practice bike etiquette while on the road. This is a big pet peeve for me in races. There are so many people in races, believe it or not, that have no idea what bike etiquette even is. Sometimes I think some of them woke up one day and said hey, I’m gonna see if I can do that triathlon they are having done the road, but they have no idea how to pass left or inform anyone that they are doing so. These are the people causing other bikers to crash. OK, sorry, rant over…I kind of get lost in my tangents when it comes to sports etiquette.

 

Run:

  • As a rule, I never increase weekly training mileage by more than 10 percent per week. I learned that from my running coach!
  • For each mile that I race, I allow one day of recovery before returning to hard training or I learned this from my running coach too, but I follow it for all training not just running.
  • For safety, I always run opposite traffic. This allows me to see what’s coming at me rather than running with traffic and not knowing what’s behind me. Unfortunately, when biking you have to follow the rules of the road and ride with traffic, so just be careful where you ride.

 

Strength Training and Core:

  • I try to get in at least 2 days per week of strength training. One of them is usually Bodypump. The other is and on my own HIIT/Bootcamp style workout or just a heavy lifting session in the weight room.

 

If you’re thinking about training for your first triathlon or you’re a beginner triathlete, consider following some of my rules when you’re laying out your training plan. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask them below. I love helping people follow in love with triathlon!

How does your training advice stack up to these suggestions? What advice would you give a beginner triathlete or someone thinking about doing their first triathlon?

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12 Comments on “Training Advice for the Beginner Triathlete

GiGi Eats
November 8, 2016 at 12:21 pm

I could NEVER EVER do a Tri. ha ha ha ha! My brain just isn’t programmed for that – but for those who want to tackle that feat, HECK YES!! I am so cheering them on!
GiGi Eats recently posted…I’m GETTING MY VERY OWN GIRAFFE!My Profile

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Cassandra @ Powered By BLING
November 9, 2016 at 9:31 am

You would make a great announcer at the finish line though! The crowd would be totally entertained.

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Chrissy @ Snacking in Sneakers
November 8, 2016 at 1:43 pm

I LOVE tris. Great advice here. I think I’d add – don’t bring everything and the kitchen sink to transition. It drives me crazy when I end up next to someone that has a gigantic towel spread out taking up 3 spaces with their transition station. But I think if you haven’t done one before, you just wouldn’t know about proper etiquette in that regard.
Chrissy @ Snacking in Sneakers recently posted…Apple Pie Breakfast Bars {Vegan + Gluten Free}My Profile

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Cassandra @ Powered By BLING
November 9, 2016 at 9:30 am

That’s great advice, Chrissy! That annoys me too. That one and the buckets people carry in so they can flip them and sit down. Practicing your shoe changes standing is a great tip I should add to a future list. Thanks for inspiring a couple additional tips.

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Amy
November 8, 2016 at 2:46 pm

These are great tips! I love that your bike’s name is Bella.

Here’s an advanced tip from long course training. Different from straight run training you can use that 10% rule to do increases by time for the whole week as you build.
Amy recently posted…Setting myself up for success with keystone habitsMy Profile

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Carmy
November 8, 2016 at 4:23 pm

Love that you laminate your workouts! No more sharpies on arms for me!
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Cassandra @ Powered By BLING
November 9, 2016 at 9:28 am

I leave the sharpies to my swimmers for the meets! LOL Sometimes, I’ll even drag the whiteboard out of the swim team office and use that, but the laminating them makes them really easy to reuse.

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Ilka
November 8, 2016 at 5:05 pm

I think it’s great that you are taking on Triathlons Cassandra! So not easy – and I love how you have your training all planned out!
Ilka recently posted…My Training Log and Half-MarathonMy Profile

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Cassandra @ Powered By BLING
November 9, 2016 at 9:27 am

Thanks, Ilka. I’ve done so many sprints, but the longer distances are a little scary except as relays. So, 2017 is the year I decided to jump and move on to Olympics!

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Abbey Sharp
November 9, 2016 at 12:13 am

This is great advice!! I’ll def keep this in mind if i ever end up training in my own triathlon! Thanks for sharing.
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Julie @ Running in a Skirt
November 16, 2016 at 9:01 am

Such great tips!! One day I will do one! Just have to learn how to actually swim correctly!
Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…10 Home Gym Must Haves (That Won’t Break the Bank!)My Profile

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Cami Valenzuela
November 16, 2016 at 1:45 pm

Awsome tips. Definitely going to use your running tips since I am just restarting my running journey. Your coach sounds like he knows what he doing. Thanks for sharing

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