(Newbie alert) My training plan idea

Does this make sense?

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17/07/2012 at 17:56

My two goals are:

1) 2013 VLM - to finish in style (target 4hr 30m with a stretch target of sub 4hrs, neither seem realistic right now but plenty of time to change that). My first marathon

2) IMW or Challenge Henley - to finish, any style totally optional - my first IM!

Broadly speaking I was thinking of doing something like the following:

  • Mon: Rest day
  • Tues: 5 mile easy/slow run + 1hr swim at another time in the day
  • Wed: 1hr turbo interval training or 2hr+ bike ride if I can get out
  • Thur: 5 mile fast/tempo run + 1hr swim at another time in the day
  • Fri: 1hr turbo interval training (or 2hr+ bike ride if I can get out)
  • Sat: Long bike ride
  • Sun: Long slow run (following marathon training plan i.e. ramping up towards marathon time, ranging from 8-20 miles) + 1hr swim 


After the VLM I can start to introduce brick sessions as I progress by moving stuff around. How does this look up to the VLM though? What would you change? Is it too light on the running?




Edited: 17/07/2012 at 17:57
17/07/2012 at 18:14
Not being funny, but have you ever done a 1hr turbo interval session?

I think the only time I tried it I lost the will to live after 10 minutes
No idea about the plan, but if it were me I'd dump a lot of the cycling and replace it with running.

Well, strictly speaking if it was me I'd drop most of the cycling, then dump all the swim sessions and replace them with pub sessions.
Edited: 17/07/2012 at 18:17
17/07/2012 at 18:17

Yes I have done a couple of them and I don't mind them. I use the sufferfest videos and they make me work hard. I have no issue with sticking with them and would try to break them up with a 2hr+ outside ride on days I get home early from work or when I am working from home.

Ian M wrote (see)
Well, strictly speaking if it was me I'd drop most of the cycling, then dump all the swim sessions and replace them with pub sessions.

Haha join the club - trying to change my ways!

Edited: 17/07/2012 at 18:18
17/07/2012 at 18:27

I'll be interested in the response you get, but for me I'd have much more base in there for now. I guess it depends on when you are starting this? 

I'm thinking about a good 10 weeks of v low HR stuff (working on form and spinning) but the hardest bit is managing the ego to go slow enough. 

To me there is too much high intensity stuff in there for a base period. This looks more like a build phase program to me. 

17/07/2012 at 18:32

What is base and what is build phase? This is exactly the kind of info I wanted - so I am very glad you responded I have started already.

I will go google those terms. 

Edited: 17/07/2012 at 18:33
17/07/2012 at 18:45

In a nutshell (but go and read Fink for much more detail) base training is about building your endurance base, so lots of long slow stuff, time on your feet, time in the saddle, not worrying about distance. Its a little monotonous in that you don't feel like you have really killed yourself, but you feel fine to train the next day. It's all done at conversational pace.

Build is where you start inserting the speed, the intervals, the hill sessions etc. 

Then peak is where you make your training very race specific, decent sessions at race pace etc. 

Fink is great, esp for beginners. I'm just re-reading it. 

17/07/2012 at 18:49

OK understood. I have Fink but I don't really like the whole time based thing. Especially for the running.

Looking at my plan though two of the runs each week are at conversational pace and every 3 or 4 weeks the mileage is reduced 10% to allow some recovery. So, I run on sundays 8, 10, 12 miles.. then 10 miles.. then up to 14.. etc... The pace is conversational though. Maybe what I need to do is swap one of the turbo interval sessions for a long slow turbo ride (this WILL be very hard I admit) or a long slow outside ride whenever possible?

17/07/2012 at 19:11
Fink works ! When I lost most of the last month before the Outlaw all the base training gave me a chance
17/07/2012 at 19:20

OK so maybe for base what I should do here is swap the 1hr interval session for 2 or 3hr low HR cycling sessions (whether they are on the turbo or not). This would mean that EVERYTHING in the plan was low heart rate apart from one tempo run a week. 

So if the plan becomes the following does this make it a sensible plan?

  • mon: rest
  • tue: 5 mile slow run + 1hr swim
  • wed: 2-3hr low HR bike ride
  • thur: 5 mile tempo run + 1hr swim
  • fri: 2-3hr low HR bike ride
  • sat: 3-5hr low HR bike ride
  • sun: 8-20 mile slow run



17/07/2012 at 19:54

For building base its much better. For most newbies that endurance base will be their limiter over speed. You might be able to run the whole marathon, I don't know, but until you can, speed is of less relevance than endurance imho.


17/07/2012 at 20:31
Perfect! Thanks v much
17/07/2012 at 20:50

Only other comment is you've got 12-15 hours a week training in there. That's a lot! Well done, I would have thought that was more than any on here but the most serious,

17/07/2012 at 20:59
Hmm its going to be a challenge. Which bits can I cut down? I guess shorten the bike rides? You that's why I had them high intensity originally as they were only an hour long. Not sure I can do this extended one every week.
M...eldy    pirate
17/07/2012 at 21:04

Tortuga what kind of training are you doing at the moment??

Take a look at some of the online training plans and see how they build through the phases ... 12-15 hours is ok if that is what you are used to doing but it will be a fast track to injury if you aren't

Cortina5    pirate
17/07/2012 at 21:21

What they all said. If you have Fink, please read it. As DES says, it just works. You don't have to use it, but it should give you some ideas.

I wasn't convinced about the time based training either, but now it works. Your 5 mi slow run will vary in time as your fitness increases, whereas a 1hr Z2 run will always take 1 hr. Initially it may be 4.5 - 5 mi, but once you start to speed up for a given HR you could be doing 7.5 miles in that time. Which all counts towards run fitness for mara.

Don't shorten the bike. It's all about bike. It's about the mental toughness and knowing how to cope with being in a very dark place a long way from home. It makes the end result much easier.

And do exactly what Meldy says or she'll turn you in to a newt.

M...eldy    pirate
17/07/2012 at 21:24

Yeah ... look what happened to Gladys  

17/07/2012 at 21:53
I got better!
M...eldy    pirate
17/07/2012 at 21:54

Debatable !!

17/07/2012 at 22:08

Edited: 17/07/2012 at 22:36
17/07/2012 at 22:28
I'm a newbie to triathlon too but if it was me i'd be tempted to do an extra hours run on either friday or saturday up to the FLM instead of an hours cycling then up the cycling after the marathon.
Ian M wrote (see)
Not being funny, but have you ever done a 1hr turbo interval session?

I think the only time I tried it I lost the will to live after 10 minutes
No idea about the plan, but if it were me I'd dump a lot of the cycling and replace it with running
Is Turbo training that bad? I have been using a gym stationary bike for up to an hour recently and found that ok, could of kept going longer. I figured that a turbo session would feel similar? I hope so as i'm kind of relying on getting lots of time on a turbo over the winter to get my training in and not abandon the family for too long.
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