Triathlon Training - Swim:Bike:Run Ratios

Triathlon Training - Swim:Bike:Run Ratios

How much training time should one spend on swimming vs. biking vs. running? This is a very common thought that every beginner triathlete experiences when first entering the sport. For those just starting out, I discuss why one shouldn't initially think in terms of swim/bike/run training ratios. Instead, focus more on training to one's weaknesses and building up overall fitness, which will get you primed and ready for that first triathlon and more.

I also outline 5 super simple, general training tips that should get anyone jump-started into triathlon training. Stop thinking so much - just get out there and DO IT!

Show Notes

Super Simple, General Training Tips

  • The amount of training that should be spent on swimming/biking/running depends on YOU, your racing goals, and your current level of swim/bike/run fitness.
  • When training for your first triathlon, it's generally a good idea to spend more time training for your weakest discipline. You want to be able to comfortably swim, bike, and run your desired race's distances. If you're comfortable with swimming/biking/running then you can get into a more structured training plan that equally trains you for all three.
  • It's OK to start triathlon training by swimming once, biking once, and running once a week, for a total of 3 workouts per week. Think about it - that's only 3 hours of your time in 1 whole week! How much time per week do we spend mindlessly scrolling through social media or binging TV shows? (I'm guilty too) Hmmm. Many people overthink the training plans, and/or think they aren't fit to start training...but the major key is to just get out there and START! Then, slowly increase the frequency of workouts. Ideal training volume would be to swim/bike/run 2 times per week, for a total of 6 workouts per week - but this amount of training definitely isn't mandatory if you want to just simply complete your first triathlon. Training shouldn't feel like a chore; fit as much training into your schedule that you can.
  • Listen to your body - don't worry about missing a few sessions and don't over-work your body if it's giving you signs that it's not well. Better to rest and recover than get sick or injured.
  • Have fun training! Whether you enjoy training by yourself, with friends, or both - the variety of training for swimming, biking, and running always keeps things fresh. It's also a great way to get outside with nature and enjoy your city.

More Training Goodies

I personally like the Triradar plans as they are nicely laid out and easy to follow. I also use Hal Higdon's run training plans for their ease of use and his explanations of different workouts. Check out the plans, and see which ones work for you!

If you'd like me to discuss a certain topic on the podcast, let me know - message me below, or hit me up on Instagram/Twitter at @jeremy_tri and I'll make it happen!

Shoutout to Coach Metz for suggesting today's topic!

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- Jeremy Tri