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Triathlon training plans

I have 207 days, or nearly 30 weeks until the race. I don’t expect to record a spectacular time, but I don’t want to be struggling home in the last few. I wasn’t very well at the end of last year and haven’t exercised at all since October, so I’m starting from a low level of fitness.

Last year there were 602 entrants and 585 finishers. If I can complete the course in under 2 hours, I will be among the main pack, rather than the stragglers.

Triathlon results
Finishing times in the 2007 London Triathlon

30 weeks should be plenty of time, but I’ve started looking at a few triathlon training plans, and they’re quite bewildering in their variety, although similar in fundamentals. The ones I’ve looked at have varied from 8 -20 weeks in duration. I fancy leaving it as late as possible before getting locked into a program that will make me anxious if I deviate much from it, so I’ll probably be opting for a very short program, but I want to be as fit as possible when I start it.

In the short term, I guess that my goals are to get back to a reasonable level of fitness, to lose some weight and to get to the point where I can comfortably do the distance for each individual discpline.

Current state and short-term goals:

Swimming: I haven’t swum since summer 2000, but used to be quite good. Short term aim: swim 750m without breaks by end of February.

Plan: Join local pool, try to swim 3 x per week.

Cycling: I cycled for first time since October last Thursday, and have cycled twice more since then. It has been satisfyingly easy to get back into, and I have no doubt I could do 20km without breaks already. My spuds broke last autumn, and I’m using toe-clips, but I really want to get back into cleats.

Plan: use cycling as default mode of transport, get new pedals.

Running: I ran for first time for 6 months last Friday, and again today. I’m taking it slowly, as I think this is the discipline in which it would be easiest to injure myself if I try too much too soon. Assuming that the swim goes to plan, I’m fairly sure that running will be my weakest discipline, but as the last leg, I don’t need to leave anything in the tank at the end of it.

Plan: Gradually increase duration of run and eliminate walk breaks until I can run about 35 minutes without breaks by end of February. Try to run 3 x per week.

Weight: I’m fat.

Plan: Try to eat sensibly, a bit less, and at more regular times. Cut out sweets. Only drink at weekends, and not too much. Aim to lose 3 kg by end of February.

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