Training for Tris

Some of you are training for Kona (good luck Angela K & Mama S)... others have finished an ironman or other distance triathlon. Congrats Angela G! Since doing something like a half iron also entails running a half marathon, how in the world do you fit in all the training? What is your weekly running mileage in addition to everything else? Do you do maybe a bike one week, swim one week and mostly run? What about lifting and abs? I'd love to hear what your training is like. I used to do 30 miles a week minimum - but it easily made me burnt out. I think I ran 4-5 days a week which isn't alot for many of you. I can't do that anymore. I will hate running.  I'm en route to visit a site to come up with a training plan to do an Olympic distance tri in the spring -that's my goal! I'm excited about this.   The only thing is -- whoa!! I've looked at one race and the entry fee is $200??! That's crazy!! Oh - and why is the swim the shortest part??

This morning I was supposed to meet up with the running group that I joined and do 10 miles. Instead, I slept in and went by myself and did 9.2 miles. I was afraid to listen to music with all the rain we had and possible falling tree branches - but I think that would have helped me do a few more miles. It was a gorgeous morning for a run nonetheless! While I was running, I was thinking how I ran 3 days this week (6+ miles, 7 miles then the 9.2) and that 3 days really isn't enough but 4 days of running might just be boring for me! Can I get by with 3 days? I can surely run tomorrow to reach my mileage goal, but that was to be my day off. What should my weekly mileage be? Here's what the week turned out to be:

Monday: Yoga/Pilates/Strength or Bike - morning or use gym daycare
actual: bike 6 miles + Jillian kettleballs
Tuesday: Run - morning
run 6.27 miles
Wednesday: Swim/Strength or track workout and swim on Monday - morning or night track
swim 2200 yds/45 minutes + pilates/abs
Thursday: Run - morning
run 7 miles
Friday: Swim/Strength - morning
swim 3200 yds/1hr
Saturday: Long Run with group
9.2 miles
Sunday:Yoga/Pilates/Strength or Bike - class at gym OFF(good idea Kaz)
run 3 miles to get to 25 miles for week? off? lift? pilates?


  1. I think you are doing great! Even with out a family and kids, I sometimes have trouble squeezing it all in! So pat yourself on the back!
    Maybe try that book by Runnersworld, the Run Less book? I think they have you do 3 days a week then onto 4? It might help you reach your mileage goals!

  2. Thats amazing! I dont know how you do it all and still manage to be a great mom to! So inspiring! :)

  3. I would take the day off - recharge your batteries and renew yourself for the next week - if you don't rest you'll just start the next week tired. I had to tell myself to do that today - really wanted to walk to hit that mileage but realised that sometimes rest helps you move on.

    There is a program for training for a marathon on 3 quality runs per week and adding cross training - which would suit your tri training. It is called The FIRST marathon training programme.I googled it for you and it appears they have programmes for different distances too. Here's a link. Hope it helps. You've done amazingly this week BTW. I'm just about hitting 20 miles including my XT!

  4. It is definitely tough to fit it all in. For the record, while I will be in Kona this week, I'm not racing this year... kinda bummed about that but then honestly, training for Kona might have thrown me right over the edge this summer. ;)

    That said, with your background, your best bet training for a tri would be to swim at least 2x/week, bike at least 2x/week, and run at least 3x/week. If you want a day off during the week you'd have to double up one of those days, which would be recommended anyway (running after one of those bike rides). And since your vour weekly volume won't be particularly high with only doing each sport 2-3x/week, you need to make the most of each workout with some quality... triathletes are a crazy bunch indeed.

    To answer your question about volume, while training for the half ironmans I did this summer, my run volume was 30-45 miles/week... on top of about 9,000M swimming and 120-180 miles biking. It's a lifestyle. ;) For an Ironman I would only actually bump that up a bit- maybe swimming 10-12,000M, biking 150-200 and running 40-50... That is not every week, but 3-4 peak weeks for sure.

  5. Compared to running, triathlon is crazy expensive and requires a lot of gear. It is so much fun, though! And like you mentioned, the swim during the race is short compared to the run and the bike. Since you will spend more of your time biking during the race, most people believe that you should spend a good amount of time training on your bike. I have heard that some of your bike fitness can translate to run fitness so don't worry about running as much as you used to training for an open running race.

  6. I wrote a comment - and then for some reason the connection dropped when I went to post it! I would say rest day - even super mama's need a break to refuel :)

  7. My peak weeks for the IM were about 7-8K swimming (two days a week with another optional 3K swim), 30-35 miles/wk running (2 quality runs, 1 long run and at least 1 transition run off the bike) and then about 140-150 miles/week on the bike (2 shorter quality rides and 1 long ride).

    For shorter distance stuff, I swim 2days/week, run 3 days/week and ride 3 days/week. I double the bike/run 1 day and then double another day with a swim/run or swim/bike so that I can have a day off....just adjust the mileage or time according to the distance race.

    You'll do great.

  8. It can be tough to fit it all in. Sometimes I have to use a shoe horn.

  9. Very exciting about the Olympic distance tri. That's a great goal! What do you do with your kiddos when you're working out? Do you take the in a jogging stroller, have a sitter, leave them with your husband? Rich and I are both training right now and we're used to training together but we're finding we're having to switch off and have one of us keep the baby while the other runs. What works for you guys?

  10. yea, i was adding up the cost of doing a few tris next summer and i think it's safe to say andy will never call running expensive again!

  11. whatever you do don't be intimidated by it all. you are a swimmer and a runner, so get confident on the bike and even training once a week on everything will be enough to get you through. have fun!

  12. Triathlons are EXPENSIVE! It's crazy! As for weekly mileage, it depends on what distance triathlon you are planning on doing. With everything, you running miles are probably going to be quite a bit lower than they are when you are training for a half or full marathon.

    I try to run 3 times a week, and swim 2 times, and bike 2 times. I try to do yoga and or pilates once a week, and weight lifting class (BodyPump) once a week, and then some random core strengthening and stretching a couple other times a week. It's all about balance and finding out what works for you.

    CHeck out beginnertriathlete.com for some great training plans and alter them to fit your needs!