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Triathlon 21-Week Training Program: Week 20

Welcome to week 20 of the RealJock.com 21-week Olympic-distance triathlon training program. Get ready to swim 1.5k, bike 40k, and run 10k!

Triathlon Training Weeks

  1. Week 1
  2. Week 2
  3. Week 3
  4. Week 4
  5. Week 5
  6. Week 6
  7. Week 7
  8. Week 8
  9. Week 9
  10. Week 10
  11. Week 11
  12. Week 12
  13. Week 13
  14. Week 14
  15. Week 15
  16. Week 16
  17. Week 17
  18. Week 18
  19. Week 19
  20. Week 20
  21. Week 21
Important Notes on the Training
Be sure to read the important notes on the triathlon training program at the bottom of this page before you begin training. You should pay particular attention to the heart rate training information.

WEEK 20 TRIATHLON TRAINING PROGRAM
Week 20, Day 1
Activity Minutes Avg. Heart Rate (Goal AT HR) Avg. Heart Rate (Actual) Distance (Actual)
Swim 1200 meters/yards continuous (300 warm up, then 300 form, then 300 race pace, then 300 warm down) Varies
Week 20, Day 2
Activity Minutes Avg. Heart Rate (Goal AT HR) Avg. Heart Rate (Actual) Distance (Actual)
Bike or swim 45 outdoor or 30 on trainer (morning), or 30 swim Easy
Run 75 (afternoon/evening; 20 minutes warm up; then 5 minutes build to race pace by last minute, 2 minutes recovery walk; then 4 minutes build to race pace by last minutes, 2 minutes recovery walk; then 3 minutes build to race pace by last 2 minutes, 1 minute recovery walk; then 2 miniutes at race pace, 1 minute recovery walk; then 10 minutes steady just below race pace; and then 15 min cool down) Varies
Week 20, Day 3
Activity Minutes Avg. Heart Rate (Goal AT HR) Avg. Heart Rate (Actual) Distance (Actual)
Bike 75 (hilly ride; warm up for 15 to 20 minutes; build into the hills, do a good race pace effort on hills and use flats and downhills as recovery; 10 minutes warm down) varies
Run 15 (transition within 5 minutes of bike; focus on good turnover and steady pace) varies
Week 20, Day 4
Activity Minutes Avg. Heart Rate (Goal AT HR) Avg. Heart Rate (Actual) Distance (Actual)
Swim 60 - 70 (masters) or 2500 continuous 70% or less
Week 20, Day 5
Activity Minutes Avg. Heart Rate (Goal AT HR) Avg. Heart Rate (Actual) Distance (Actual)
Run 35 (steady run with strides at end of run) 70% or less
Bike 60 Easy
Week 20, Day 6
Activity Minutes Avg. Heart Rate (Goal AT HR) Avg. Heart Rate (Actual) Distance (Actual)
Run 30 (steady) 70% or less
Swim 60 (masters or open water if possible) 70% or less
Week 20, Day 7
Activity Minutes Avg. Heart Rate (Goal AT HR) Avg. Heart Rate (Actual) Distance (Actual)
Bike 120 (steady or easy) 70% or less
Run 25 (transition within 5 minutes of bike; easy run with good turnover) Easy

NOTES ON THE 21-WEEK TRIATHLON TRAINING PROGRAM
The RealJock triathlon training program is provided by Joey Hinton, aka UStriathlete, a highly accomplished triathlete with 16 years of experience under his belt. Hinton's training program is geared toward beginner to intermediate triathletes doing the Olympic distance event (1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run).

Low Intensity Workouts, Heart Rate 60 to 80 percent AT HR
For the first six weeks of the program you should focus on improving your technique. If you have weakness in one or more of the three sports, you may want to consider taking lessons and having yourself videotaped to identify and fix problems with your technique.

For the first week of training, your workout intensity should be low to moderate. Joey recommends you use a heart rate monitor with the goal to train at the intensity at 60 to 80 percent of your anaerobic threshold heart rate (AT HR), also known as your lactate threshold.

The AT HR is the heart rate in exercise where oxygen consumption results in lactic acid production exceeding lactic acid removal, resulting in buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. By tracking your heart rate and staying within the training goals, you will train your body to consume fuel more efficiently while racing and avoid hitting your lactic threshold mid-race.

If you don't know your AT HR, check with your local gym or fitness professional to get an anaerobic threshold test to find your own personal heart rate numbers. Trust us, this is important`51;triathlons are endurance events, so you need to not only strengthen your heart, but also train your body to burn more fat with carbohydrates so that you can go the distance.

Check out these AT HR resources below for a quick education:
  1. Anaerobic Threshold Defined
  2. Calculate Your Training Heart Rate Zones
A Simpler Calculation: Use your Max Aerobic Heart Rate
If you have trouble calculating your AT HR, you can also use a simpler calculation called your Max Aerobic Heart Rate. To calculate this rate, follow the instructions at Mark Allen Online. In this case, instead of using your AT HR, you would use your Max Aerobic Heart Rate for training. The numbers should be about the same. If they're not, use whichever number is lower.

Notes on Strength Training:
The training below includes two days of strength and flexibility training per week. Feel free to do a third day of strength training if you have the time and desire. You should focus on building core strength (top, front, back, sides, and bottom) at every session. See RealJock's Strength Training section for some exercise ideas.

Resources for Improving Your Technique
Hinton recommends the following two DVD resources for improving your technique:
  1. Swimming technique: Karlyn Pipes-Nielsen Freestyle DVD.
  2. Running technique: ChiRunning DVD
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