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Mike, thanks for some very worthwhile suggestions. I'll use it! Right
now I'm in recovery after the Couer d'Alene half marathon. Training
matters. Linda

I apologize for the delayed response. Have been in the midwest at our track nationals, dodging tornados along the way.

You have asked a question that is pretty difficult to answer, but is probably the crux of why so many people do NOT do triathlons. It is very difficult to juggle the aspect of training at all three disciplines and even if you can find a way to make the time, exactly how do you go about it and actually get better.

First thing is to look at what kind of time you actually have to apply to three discipline training.

After that I think there are a lot of different philosophies into how to actually train. Do you try to fit them all in equally? Focus on your strengths? Focus on your weaknesses, etc....?

I personally believe that you should keep you strength as your strength. So if you are a cyclist first, then by all means, be sure your training helps to keep this strong.

Then, work on your weaker areas. If it is swimming, then you need to work to the point that you can actually do the swim, finish in a time that is acceptable. If swimming is your strength, you probably have the most work to do.

No, you should not try to do all three every day.

I would typically suggest. you have two specific days a week that you just ride and you just run. If you incorporate a double, it would be a swim (potentially recommended if you consider yourself weak at swimming). However, be sure that your ride and run focus days are quality days. Either a LONG ride or LONG run, or high quality sessions (intervals, repeats, etc...).

One day I would have be bricks of bike-run-bike-run.... bricks are a single training session where your ride for a certain time or distance, run a certain time or distance, bike again.... (stacking them on each other like "bricks"). If you want to swim this day too, that is okay, but separate it from the brick session.

Two days you do both bike and run, but the focus on one where the other is an "easy" recovery kind of day. For example: You go out and do hill repeats in the morning on the bike and in the evening you do a 10-30minute (depending on level of racer) easy run. The other day would be the same concept but for the other discipline.

I would also have one day that is a FULL recovery day. No training. If you are more active, you can potentially put this recover day off to 10-14 days into training. However, I am a HUGE believer in recovery days.

I promote this concept EXTREMELY DILIGENTLY with my running teams. It is what happens in recovery that makes you better. You don't adapt to training (get faster, fitter, etc....) on the days that you go hard, the adaptation occurs between these days when you body is making the physiological changes necessary to better deal with the stress the next time you go hard.

I hope this is a good start and answers some of your questions.

Mike, great to have you help us out. I've enjoyed running, biking and swimming for years but I haven't taken the jump into tri's. I tend to focus on seasons.. right now I have a half marathon this weekend and I've been trying to fit in two-three bike rides as we're beginning to look at some long rides. If I wanted to jump into triathlons how would you start? Should I begin with fitting all three events in a week, focus on my weakest sport... look at Tri's a few months out? I'm not much of a competitor.. I'm the Easy Does it Ride leader, but I do enjoy each sport.
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