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Ready to race! Follow this 12 week triathlon training plan

SuuntoTri — 30 September 2019

Entering a long distance triathlon race? Let our team coach train you.

You can do this. That’s what Suunto multisport team athlete and coach Trista Francis wants you to know. She has prepared a 12 week training plan to get you to the start line in fighting form. 

“Stop waiting for the perfect moment,” she says. “Take the moment you have and make it perfect!”

The plan is available for free as part of Suunto Value Pack via TrainingPeaks, one of Suunto’s key partners, and provides easy to understand, week-by-week, session-by-session, training guidance. Your end of the bargain is doing the work. 

Trista has a degree in sports medicine, is a long time triathlete, and has coached everyone from total beginners to Olympic hopefuls. She knows well what it takes to pull off a long distance tri. To inspire you to get going, Trista shares her favorite inspirational training quote:

The masters in the art of living make little distinction between their work and their play, their labor and their leisure, their minds and their bodies, their information, their recreation, their love and their religion. They hardly know which is which; they simply pursue their vision of excellence at whatever they do, leaving others to decide whether they are working or playing. – James A. Michener

Click here to access Trista’s 12 week triathlon training plan!

Designed for those with a solid fitness base and who are looking for guidance on doing a long distance triathlon, the plan has a four week cycle: three weeks of a progressively heavier training load, followed by one week with a lighter load. There are three of these four week training blocks. 

“Fitness gains happen during recovery,” Trista says. “Work hard during the three weeks then repair and regenerate during recovery week to bring your fitness to a higher level. 

“A general rule of thumb is to get the training hours in,” she continues. “If you find the intervals are too much, drop the intervals and just complete the time so you are ready for the next day’s sessions.”

On average, each week consists of eight training hours, with the heaviest weeks reaching 11 hours. You’ll be training the three disciplines every week. The swimming average is 1h30m per week, cycling is 3h50m and running is 2h40m. The longest run is two hours and longest bike ride is four hours. 

Throughout the 12 weeks, every Monday is a recovery day. Trista recommends sleeping more on Mondays, or getting massages to prepare you for the coming week’s training sessions.

“These things that assist recovery are called the 1%,” she says. “Athletes that put an emphasis on this philosophy around recovery tend to stay injury free, and see greater gains compared to their peers.”

To download Trista’s 12 week training plan, login or sign up to TrainingPeaks and find the plan here