Beginning tri training, week 7: Adding longer sessions

Credit: Tim DeFrisco/Allsport
We've added some long sessions below: one long run (1 hour) and one ride in which we're looking for a given distance to be covered (30 miles). You're entering the big time!


How's things? I'm going to make a guess. I suspect that you've not hit all these workouts over the past few weeks. If you have, God bless you. You are to be admired. But likely as not you've had all kinds of problems. For one thing, you've probably gotten yourself injured, or at least you got a lingering strain, or ache, or something.

Your knee, your Achilles tendon, your back, your shoulder. What did you do once that happened? Here's the beauty of triathlon: It's unlikely that you've injured yourself so badly that you can't do one or two of the other sports. Sickness will lay you out, but injuries are usually only partially debilitating.

If and when you do get injured, treat your injury sensibly: Don't try to train through it, just rest it while accentuating the other one or two sports you can still do. If you've got a running injury, fine, take that time to really make progress in the pool.

You've also most likely run into time constraints. Sometimes push comes to shove, and you've got to miss workouts. OK. No big deal.

Perhaps you've just fallen off the wagon altogether. Again, no big deal. Just get back on. Don't get down on yourself. It happens to just about everybody. You aren't the lone bad apple in a crowd of dedicated triathletes.

They -- we -- have all fallen off the wagon as well. If everybody did all the workouts we have on our schedules, our whole sport would be doing the Ironman one or two hours faster than we are.

If bad things do happen -- and they do -- take it easy in your first week back. By all means, catch up to the rest of the group, but try to catch back up to the schedule slowly, over a period of two or three weeks.


As explained above, triathlon is a very forgiving sport. You've got plenty of time to get your running back to par if you're injured. Take the time to get better in the other sports, as you are able. If you want to know relative equivalence, remember the point system I wrote about last week. If you can't run, or you can't swim, because of an injury, just add a bit of extra to the other sports in a proportional amount.

  • Swimming: 3 or 4 sessions x 800 - 2,500 yards per session
  • Cycling: 1 or 2 sessions of 60 minutes each; 1 ride of 30 miles
  • Running: 2 or 3 sessions x 25 - 30 minutes per session; 1 x 60 minutes
  • Ready to catch the swim-bike-run bug? Check out our Give it a Tri section

    Find and register online for your first triathlon!

    Check out the full beginning tri-training guide

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