How Do I Improve My Swim, Bike And Run Times In 6 Weeks?

by Abi

I want to improve my triathlon times. I did 1 a year for 3 years then had a baby so didn't do any for two years. I have now entered 2 for this year. I am not particularly quick (I initially just did them for charity rather than competitively) but I would really like to improve my times now.

A lot of the triathlon training plans I've seen online take you from very low level training and build you up which is what I did and I completed a sprint tri last week.

I now have 6 weeks until my next and I don't know how to keep going and improve.

The tri I just did was 750 m swim (18 mins), 20k bike (55 mins )and 5 k run (34 mins - my run is terrible I know!).

I realise I'm not at a very high standard but I would like to beat my last times.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Abi (29yrs old)

Intelligent Triathlon Training replies:

Well done, on your achievements so far, and we’re glad you’re back into triathlon!
Swimming: The swim time you just did is not that bad, so you do not have a huge amount to gain in 6 weeks.

Don’t ignore your swimming, but equally don’t worry too much about it.

Just keep going with what you have been doing training-wise.

Cycling: You can probably bring your bike time down. Improvement in your cycling fitness will not only bring your time down but probably also allow you to improve your run time too.

Increase the amount of cycling you do. Without knowing what training you have been doing, generally the more the cycling you do the better. Ideally get a longer ride (90 mins or so) in each week, at easier than race pace. However if you have not got time for this then increase the frequency of rides instead.

Also ensure you include a brick session each week – this will get you used to running tired. Do a half hour bike session, at race intensity, then run 15mins off this, trying to run a little faster than race pace. So in total this will be a 45 – 50 minute session including warm up.

Running: With regards running, if you are currently just going out for a run in training, aim to do some interval type runs.

For example: 1 – 2 minutes a bit faster/harder, then 2 – 3 minutes easier. Aim for a 1 :3 ratio, so if you do a 30 minute run, do 5 – 10 minutes easy running, then 1 min a little above race pace, followed by 3 minutes easy jog. Aim for 4 – 5 of these intervals.

You should find that by the end of 3 minutes easy, you are just about recovered back to how you felt at the start of the previous faster rep.

The main thing with only 6 weeks left of training before your next triathlon is to not overdo it and try to cram too much work in.

It is better to get there in one piece feeling fresh and ready to go than knackered or injured!

Good luck!

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