There are two types of triathletes: those who follow a structured plan and those who plan to follow a plan. First-time triathletes often take a random approach, juggling workouts with a busy schedule that is already packed with family and work commitments. This haphazard methodology can work fine to get you through your first few races, but you might eventually find yourself stuck on a performance plateau.
Some attempt to break free from this rut by logging more training hours or by spending more time at higher intensities. These measures frequently result in illness, injury or burnout, leaving them far short of their goals.
The best way to reach optimal fitness is to limit the number of setbacks in your training. A well-structured, periodised training program will systematically and progressively improve your race-specific fitness while also reducing the chance of setbacks. If all goes as planned, you will reach your highest fitness peak just in time for your big event. Experience tells us that the more closely you adhere to a plan, the greater the possibility that you will achieve your performance goals.
This 12-week plan is designed for the busy athlete who is new to the sport. The training volume is low to moderate by most standards, with a weekly average of six to nine hours. It might not get you to the podium or the Olympic trials, but this formula has produced outstanding results with triathletes training for Olympic-distance events.