Skip navigation

NEED HELP?|

Q:  Hi Gale, I am using your training plan for “Faster Olympic Distance Triathlon Time” in your book. I have one question. How come you have so many hours of training each week dedicated to swimming? A lot of the weeks we are swimming as much as running if not more. I am not a big fan of swimming but I was also curious why this is just because the swimming is a smaller chunk of the race than biking and swimming.  J.B.

 

A:   Hey J.B. ~ Thanks for using my book to help you get faster - and great question on the plan. When I designed the plan for the "average" triathlete and that person is generally a weak swimmer. I like people to swim three times per week to improve economy (less energy cost for time in the water) and to improve speed. It is best if I can get both.

 

I'll give you some real data. I did a sampling of the top 100 triathletes at the Loveland Lake-to-Lake Triathlon from the 2010 results. (Data table below.) This is a competitive race with a 30-mile hilly bike ride that has served as a regional championship event in the past.

Last year, the first place overall finisher had a swim of 19:27 and a run of 38:30. The 10th place finisher had a swim time of 28:28 and a run time of 38:26. As you can see, if the tenth place person wants to be in the top five or maybe top three, this person needs to work on that swim because they are losing way too much time to the leaders on the swim. The 10th place person could likely gain time on the bike as well.

Same race, the second place finisher had a swim of 23:32 and a run of 37:19. The bike times between first and second were similar. The second place person gave up time on the swim.

Another thing to note is the column tallying the difference between run time and swim time. Though the run does take more time, this can be as little as 4 minutes (56th place overall) and up to 22 minutes in the top 100 finishers. (Not all of which are listed on the chart.)

If you happen to be a strong swimmer – perhaps you swam competitively in your past history - I think you can cut the swims to twice per week and do okay.

 

For you specifically, look at your race results from previous seasons and see where you are losing time to the category leaders and set about making improvements to that sport.

Hope that helps ~

Place

Overall time

Swim time

Bike time

Run time

Difference between run   time and swim time

1

ALLEN

GARDNER

2:10:02

0:19:27

1:10:37

0:38:30

0:19:03

2

JOE

MUNCHAK

2:12:45

0:23:32

1:10:29

0:37:19

0:13:47

3

JOSH

SHADLE

2:14:10

0:21:50

1:12:32

0:38:25

0:16:35

4

TATE

BEHNING

2:14:52

0:23:27

1:15:03

0:34:57

0:11:30

5

BEN

NELSON

2:18:09

0:26:50

1:12:53

0:37:10

0:10:20

6

DAMON

BARNETT

2:18:46

0:21:54

1:15:07

0:40:18

0:18:24

7

ERIK

WERNER

2:19:23

0:25:54

1:13:44

0:38:02

0:12:08

8

DUSTIN

CAMPING

2:21:29

0:24:39

1:14:34

0:40:07

0:15:28

9

CYRUS

SEVERANCE

2:22:05

0:23:00

1:19:12

0:38:34

0:15:34

10

BRANDON

WEIL

2:22:06

0:28:28

1:13:23

0:38:26

0:09:58

11

CHARLES

GARABEDIAN

2:22:28

0:24:45

1:17:10

0:39:20

0:14:35

12

ERIC

WALKER

2:22:57

0:27:06

1:17:00

0:36:49

0:09:43

13

ANTHONY

BEESON

2:23:51

0:27:45

1:15:05

0:38:38

0:10:53

14

OIER

PENAGARICANO MUNOA

2:23:57

0:24:32

0:40:53

0:16:21

15

DEREK

SHAW

2:24:30

0:22:34

1:16:54

0:42:17

0:19:43

16

MATT

MILLER

2:24:53

0:21:42

1:15:39

0:46:05

0:24:23

17

RYAN

HERNDON

2:24:58

0:22:35

1:17:47

0:42:55

0:20:20

18

KEVIN

WEED

2:25:13

0:26:35

1:15:49

0:40:03

0:13:28

19

ULI

BROMME

2:25:25

0:25:02

1:19:09

0:39:02

0:14:00

20

TODD

MELLINGER

2:25:27

0:25:36

1:14:53

0:43:00

0:17:24

 

505 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: triathlon_training_plan, faster_olympic_triathlon