CNN is trying to launch a movement to get more people to try a tri – a triathlon, that is.
They’ve provided the first four-week calendar here. The plan is to be race ready by August. That’s a very doable goal.
The plan is set out by Laura Cozik, athletic director for the CNN Triathlon Challenge and founder and CEO of Team Lipstick, LLC, an all-female triathlon team. From the start, Cozik encourages people to sign up for a spring distance race in June and an Olympic distance race in August.
I took this route when training for my first marathon – I signed up for a half-marathon to test the waters half-way through training. Regardless of what type of endurance event you want to do, this method of doing a shorter race first is a great idea. It introduces you to the sport so that you aren’t overwhelmed when the Big Race arrives.
Looking over the first four weeks Cozik has planned, I don’t have much to nit pick about. She has six workouts per week scheduled – two biking, two running and two swimming. She also includes two rest days, which is a welcome sign for newbies.
Thirty minutes of swimming and an hour of swimming in the first week may seem a little intense for a beginner program – but look at it this way: These are meant to be drill work to improve your stroke and your confidence in the water. You’ll be stopping a lot more than you think. You aren’t expected to swim for an hour-straight the first week of training. See this post about drill work.
The only thing I see that may be tough for newbies is the two-workout days (on Sunday for this schedule) right from the beginning. They shouldn’t be too bad as long as those new to the sport take a break between them.
Triathlon training has what is called a “brick” workout, where you do two workouts back-to-back (so, say, you bike for 20 miles and then immediately run for 3 miles). These “bricks” typically start popping up in training after a few weeks have gone by. They’re meant to get you used to the feeling of going from one position to the next with relative ease. It’s not as easy as it sounds to hop off a bike and start running.
The two-workout days are technically bricks, since running never follows the swim in a race. Still, be mindful to take it easy at the beginning. Take some time to rest between your swim and the run that is also scheduled for that day. Depending on your schedule, maybe that means swimming in the morning and running in the afternoon. If you’re time crunched and want to get it all done while you’re at the gym, no problem. Just take a little longer in the dressing room before you lace up your shoes. You don’t want to burn yourself out before you even get started!