Training for a Triathlon In 4 Weeks

As my father-in-law says to me “You’re not the brightest peanut in the turd, are you” I signed up for a Triathlon 4 weeks before the event. Some of you will be thinking…so? I have not ridden a bike in over a decade and the only swimming I have done is at a resort pool – possibly with a cocktail in hand.

I had no idea where to start with training, so as with most things in life that I find confusing I googled it. I did find hundreds of training plans and most of them looked really good if you had a few months. This is when I started to panic. Sitting up at 3am with a hundred tabs open the panic was almost overwhelming. That feeling in your stomach that says “what the hell have I got myself into?” I gave up and went to sleep – where I should have been hours before.

In the morning everything looks better, especially after caffeine. And I decided to put together my own training plan and just give this triathlon the best I can with what I’ve got. Who cares if it is a slow time? Who cares if my bike is not the best? Lets just give it a go.


Step One: buy a bike

I know a few bikers – ultra tough in their Lycra and man onesies. And I know that some bikes can cost more than my car. After talking it over with my wife I decided that I was going to spend $100 and look on Gumtree. I wasn’t sure that I would even like riding so did not want a huge outlay. After looking on all the usual sites one goes to for second hand bikes, I quickly up’ed the budget to $200 and ended up getting a basic but brand new bike off ebay.


Step Two: Race Attire

I put a lot of thought into this and over thought it – like I do with most things.  There are way too many options, I feel way too inexperienced and like a lot of people I feel way too self conscience. Bike Shorts, Skins, Onesie, Rashvest, bare chested….what is the etiquette with stuffing your bike shorts out?

As with most things I freak out about I talked it over with my wife and as always she calmed me down with a “you’re being an idiot”. (She also said that short stuffing was not “race appropriate”). So I am going to go with what I feel comfortable in – though I still have not made a final decision.


Step Three: Research

I decided to read a few books to work out how best to train for the event. This book is extremely helpful and I highly recommend anyone participating in triathlons read it however I quickly discovered I would need longer than 4 weeks to use what is outlined in the book. So I decided to set out my own plan.


Step Four: Training Plan

Using the methods outlined in the Triathlons Training Bible I worked out my heart rate threshold and setup my heart rate zones in Training Peaks. After this my first week looked like this.

Monday morning: 2.8 km run in zone 3
Monday afternoon: 10 km ride in zone 3

Tuesday morning: 600 m swim in zone 3
Tuesday afternoon: Weight training(I will go into this in more details in another post)

Wednesday morning: 8 km run in zone 3
Wednesday afternoon: 10 km ride in zone 3

Thursday morning: 600 m swim in zone 3

Friday morning: Weight training
Friday afternoon: 14.5 km ride in zone 3

Saturday morning: 5 km fun run race(run like it is the real race)
Saturday afternoon: 900 m swim

Sunday: Rest day: Walk, Yoga, Stretches, Foam roller