TRIATHLON: SPRINT & OLYMPIC DISTANCE

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1 TRIATHLON: SPRINT & OLYMPIC DISTANCE TRIATHLON: SPRINT & OLYMPIC DISTANCE By Mark Yeoman (Bsc) Mark is a qualified Physical Education teacher and has represented Great Britain at the World Triathlon Championships three times! Q: WHAT IS A TRIATHLON AND HOW DOES A SPRINT VARY FROM AN OLYMPIC DISTANCE RACE? Triathlon is the fastest growing sport in the world. Introduced into the As Olympics in 2000, the sport has risen from strength to strength. It comprises of three popular activities, swimming, cycling and running which are combined back to back to form one event. Distances range from the sprint through to an Ironman which has replaced the marathon as the ultimate modern day physical challenge. Everyone can achieve and train for a triathlon as most gyms have a pool, stationary bike and running machine. As a result, it becomes a great motivational and physical goal to work towards as the three disciplines allow you to vary training and keep it fresh and interesting. Sprint and Olympic are the two most common distances. They cover different distances per discipline, those being: SPRINT: m swim, 20km & 5km run. OLYMPIC: 1500m swim, 40km & 10km run. Just in case you wanted to know how hard an Ironman is: IRONMAN: 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles & 26.2 mile run. It s not called an Ironman for nothing, that s why it s known as the longest day! The elite will finish in just over 8 hours, with the rest happy with 14 hours. The following programmes will cater for the first timer looking to race over the sprint distance and the individual who wishes to push themselves physically and mentally to race over the popular Olympic distance. SPRINT: Triathlon programme will be based on an 8 week programme. OLYMPIC: Triathlon programme will be based on a 12 week programme. 1

2 SPRINT DISTANCE TRIATHLON TRAINING PROGRAMME MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT SUN WEEK 1 5 mile Cycle 1km x 8 or 3 mile 400m WEEK 2 50m x 3 400m x 8 rest Cycle 30km 2 mile WEEK 3 or 3 mile Cycle 3 km 800m 4 WEEK 4 200m x 8 150m x 6. or 30 lengths swim Cycle 5 mins 2.5 min rest Cycle 20km 2 mile fast FAST WEEK 5 50, 100, 150, 200 x 2 5 mile or 10km easy rest WEEK 6 50m or 10km s Cycle 1km Cycle 35km 2.5 mile WEEK 7 or 10 km 5 00.Cycle. 200m 15km 3km 5 mile 400m Cycle 30km 2 mile WEEK 8 or 3 mile 4 200m x 8 SPRINT RACE S = m SWIM B = Bike 20KM BIKE R = 5KM RUN 2

3 OLYMPIC DISTANCE TRIATHLON TRAINING PROGRAMME MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT SUN WEEK 1 Cycle 5 mins 2.5 min rest 5 mile or 30 lengths swim WEEK 2 or 3 mile 150m x 6. easy or 3 mile 400m WEEK 3 400m x 8 or 10 km 50m x 3 800m 70 mins Cycle 35km 2 mile WEEK mile TT Cycle 1km x 8. Cycle 20km 2 mile fast FAST or 3 mile WEEK 5 200, 150, 100, 50 x 2. 5 mile Cycle 1km O & B Cycle 40km 2.5 mile WEEK 6 200m x m x 8. easy WEEK 7 50m or 10km mile.cycle. 400m 20km 5km WEEK 8 250m x 6 6 mile TT 800m O & B or 3 mile 400m x 6 Cycle 50km 3 mile WEEK 9 or 10km 150m x 8. Then 100m Cycle 200, 150, 100, 50 x 3. WEEK 10 or 30 lengths swim.cycle. 400m 20km 5km 800m x 8 400m O & B Cycle 55km 3 mile WEEK 11 50m mile TT or 3 mile 70 mins WEEK 12 or 30 lengths swim m 200m x 12 5 mile OLYMPIC RACE S = 1500m SWIM B = Bike 1500m SWIM R = 10KM RUN 3

4 Q: WHAT ARE THE RUN SESSIONS ON THE PROGRAMME? RUN TEST Known as the Cooper 12 minute run test, you should endeavour to perform this once every three weeks or so as it is designed to monitor your progress. Basically see how far you can run within 12 minutes and keep a record of the distance. The fitter you become, the further you will go! O & B = OUT & BACK the set time or distance out in one direction, turn around and try to come back quicker. Conserve your energy on the way out to ensure your return run is a negative split which means it was quicker than the outward run. INTERVALS These are designed to improve muscular speed so when you run at your desired race pace, your legs will operate more efficiently. The rest in between should be just under half the time it took to cover the set distance. HILLS These are designed to make your legs stronger and develop power so when you experience an increase in gradient, you don t slow down and end up going backwards. Either locate a local hill which is around m long or set the incline on the running machine to 4%. TT = TIME TRIAL GOLD SILVER BRONZE () Set your self a target time to achieve the set distance. Look to win a medal for your time. GOLD is quicker, SILVER is your target time and BRONZE is slower than your target time. It s amazing how this will motivate you to push harder. TEMPO This is where you run hard, but under control. This is normally slightly quicker that your goal race pace. You need to maintain focused to avoid stopping when the going gets tough. Show your body who s in control! L.S.D = LONG SLOW DISTANCE This is your getting back to basics session, normally performed at the weekend when you have more time to complete the run. The Long Slow Distance is designed to physiologically develop the body s ability to sustain long periods of low intensity exercise. Basically you are developing stamina and teaching both the body and mind to handle long, slow runs. This can either be constant or the time can be broken down into run and walk blocks. Make sure the walks only last one to two minutes, as this is sufficient time for your body to replenish energy stores. Make sure that your mind isn t playing tricks and encouraging your to stop without just cause. 4

5 Q: WHAT SPEED SHOULD I BE RUNNING AT? In order to ensure that you are working at the correct intensity for each session, follow this simple guide to how hard you should be working. Warm up Jog, 45 50% effort: This is a gentle slow. You should be able to hold a conversation Long Slow Distance, 50 55% effort: Able to give sentence answers to questions Out & Back, 55% to start moving to 60 70% effort: Controlled pace going out, with the intensity / speed picking up on the return Time Trial, 60 70% effort: Aim to build the pace up until you feel you are close to your limit of sustained pace Test, % effort: You are aiming to go as fast as you can for as long as you can, yes no answers only Tempo, 70% effort: Few words spoken if asked a question Intervals & Hill, % effort: Only able to grunt! 5

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