Training Programme for Triathlon

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Training Programme for Triathlon

Introduction:

  • The advice given below is mainly intended for athletes specialising in Olympic distance triathlons.
  • A well-planned training programme helps you reach your peak fitness at the right time.
  • It is important to note the training sessions you perform in a training notebook.
  • The programme will depend on your own sport history, your goals and your availability.
  • The sport or sports you practised before starting triathlons affect your capacity to make quick progress and to withstand a heavy training routine. The programme must therefore take these points into consideration.
  • Before planning your training, you must define the goals you want to achieve. These goals must be measurable, realistic and in the not-too distant future. It is important to make a note of your goals so that you can check, later on, whether you have achieved them.

Training periods:

  • A triathlon season is made up of several periods: the post-race recovery period, the basic training period, the race preparation period and the race period.
  • Each of these periods is made up of 3 to 6-week cycles.
  • During each cycle, the training volume and intensity is gradually increased, except in the last week which is for recovery.

Post-race period:

  • The purpose of this period is to recover fully, both physically and mentally.
  • This period lasts between 2 and 6 weeks depending on the fatigue accumulated during the race period and the rate of recovery.
  • During this period, it is important to keep up a physical activity which can, however, consist in sports other than swimming, cycling or running.
  • Here is a suggested training programme for one week during this period:
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Rest 30 mins easy running Rest 1h squash, badminton or aerobics Rest 20 mins easy swimming 3h walking or mountain bike

Basic training period:

  • The purpose of this period is to develop all the physical qualities required to do a triathlon. The emphasis is, however, on basic endurance.
  • This period lasts from 3 to 6 months according to your age and the length of the race period. I would advise young triathletes to take this period very seriously, as their ability to build a successful sports career depends upon it.
  • The volume and intensity of the training is gradually increased throughout this period.
  • The beginning of this period is used to work on technique as well as on weak points.
  • Here is a graphic illustration of this period:

 

  • Here is a suggested training programme for one week during this period:
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1h30 complete swimming

1h fast endurance running
1h30 endurance swimming

45 mins cycling on home trainer with a few sprints combined with 45 mins body-building
1h30 complete swimming

45 mins running in short intensive series + sprints
2h basic endurance running 1h30 complete swimming

45 mins cycling on home trainer with a few sprints combined with 45 mins body-building
1h30 endurance swimming

45 mins running in long series at anaerobic threshold
3h endurance cycling

Race preparation period:

  • The purpose of this period is to accustom your body to race pace.
  • This period lasts between 3 and 5 weeks.
  • The volume of training is slightly lower than during the basic training period.
  • Training sessions at race pace are performed in each discipline with training times gradually building up to the race time.
  • Here is a suggested training programme for one week during this period:
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1h30 complete swimming

40 mins running in short intensive series + sprints
2h endurance cycling

30 mins body-building
1h30 complete swimming

1h fast endurance running
1h30 power cycling

20 mins running at race pace
1h30 complete swimming

40 mins running in short intensive series + sprints
2h endurance cycling

30 mins body-building
1h swimming with timed test

1h cycling at race pace

20 mins running at race pace

Race period:

  • The purpose of this period is to reach your maximum level of fitness on race day.
  • This period lasts between 2 and 4 months (possibly more). If this period lasts more than three months, it is advisable to insert a basic training cycle in the middle (2 to 5 weeks) in order to avoid a drop in performance at the end of the season.
  • The emphasis is on recovery and optimising the points worked on in the rest of the year.
  • The training volume is low except at the beginning of the week.
  • The training intensity is low, except in mid-week and on race day.
  • Here is a suggested training plan for one week during this period:
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1h endurance cycling

1h complete swimming
2h endurance cycling

40 mins running in short intensive series + sprints
1h30 complete swimming

1h cycling at race pace

20 mins running at race pace
Rest 30 mins speed swimming

20 mins endurance running + sprints
1h endurance cycling + sprints in low gear Race or race simulation

 

Le site Mission Triathlon est la disposition de tous les triathlètes souhaitant optimiser leur préparation au triathlon. Vous y trouverez des conseils comme la technique de natation pour le triathlon, la technique de vélo pour le triathlon, technique de course à pied pour le triathlon, l'alimentation pour le triathlon ou la musculation pour le triathlon. Vous pouvez aussi utiliser gratuitement le carnet d'entraînement online ou demander un devis pour un programme d'entraînement de triathlon personnalisé.