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Active Expert: Gale Bernhardt

2 Posts tagged with the triathlon_training_plan tag

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

 

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If you want a training plan (or a variety of new workouts) to help you achieve your 2010 goals, I have designed several resources to help you. Know that I wrote my first easy-to-follow training plan and subsequent first book because that is exactly what I wanted as a self-coached athlete.

 

Just give me a plan to follow so I can do the workouts when it fits my personal schedule and so I can make modifications to a plan to fit my personal needs.

Also know that all training plan are designs are based on the same foundation principles that help elite athletes reach their goals; then, modified to meet the needs and time constraints of non-paid athletes. The plans range from comfortably completing events to gunning for a personal record (PR) performance.

 

The plans are available in a couple of different formats – electronic, book and possible combinations. Depending on what you need, one format may work better than another. First, there are several plans available on Active Trainer. This format makes it easy to move workouts around and modify them to fit your personal needs. There is some device download capability and there is data analysis to help you evaluate your training accomplishments. Be sure to take a look at all of the free downloads available on that page.

 

Also available on the Active Network are columns and blogs to help self-coached athletes succeed.

 

I have written several books to help self-coached athletes succeed. Some of the individual training plans are available in the electronic format on Active Trainer referenced in a previous paragraph and in hard copy within a chapter of one of these books:

 

Training Plans for Multisport Athletes – A book containing 14 detailed training plans for triathlon, duathlon and X-Terra events. There are plans for sprint triathlons, Olympic triathlons, half-ironman distance triathlons and ironman-distance triathlons. In addition to shorter plans, this great training resource contains three, six-month plans and a year-long plan.

 

Training Plans for Cyclists - This book was written based on the large number of requests I received from road and mountain bike riders, who were familiar with Training Plans for Multisport Athletes. They too wanted a book laid out for reaching new endurance goals, maintaining foundation fitness and racing. This book contains 16 such training plans. The book is written so you can mix and match various training plans. Advice is giving within the book on how to mix and match, as well as how to modify individual plans if you are self-coached. There are ride plans for 30-, 50- and 100-mile (century rides) events. There are five touring event plans and five mountain bike plans. For the off-season, there are two foundation fitness (base training) plans. Explanations are given for Level I riders and Level II riders.

Triathlon Training Basics – This book contains four detailed training plans to help first-time triathletes prepare for a sprint triathlon or an Olympic distance triathlon. Two plans are designed for already-fit beginners and two plans are for currently-unfit beginners. There are also four plans per sport (swimming, cycling and running) for individuals wanting to train for a triathlon as a single-sport team member. The plans can be used in succession, helping you progress from a triathlon team member to a triathlete. The book contains strength training, stretching and bike fit photos to help you get started on the right track. (None of the plans are the same as those found in Training Plans for Multisport Athletes.)

 

Bicycling for Women – Great chapters “for women only” and five training plans to help you complete a 50-mile bike ride, a century, a 40-kilometer time trial or faster group riding, a multiday tour or improve your hill climbing skills. This book is written on the premise that women can, and do, ride fast. (None of the plans are the same as those found in Training Plans for Cyclists.)

 

Workouts in a Binder® – I created “Workouts in a Binder®” product and co-authored the first edition of swim workouts for triathletes, which quickly sold out four printings. These handy workout cards help athletes and coaches optimize workouts and are waterproof to prevent destruction from water, sweat and dirt. This product is so popular, the series has expanded and will continue to grow:

Workouts in a Binder® for Triathletes

Workouts in a Binder® for Swimmers, Triathletes and Coaches

Workouts in a Binder® for Indoor Cycling

Workouts in a Binder® for Runners and Triathletes

 

Successful training doesn’t have to break the bank.

 

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