Organising A Base Week Of Bike, Swim, Weights

I am planning a couple of months focusing on cycling miles, swimming improvement and weight training, but having come from a purely running background, I am a little confused as to when to schedule these sessions.

This is for a base training week that includes:

• 5 swims (2 of which are easy technique only)
• 3/4 bikes (one long, one pushing on hills, one/two gentle 25km or so);
• 2 weights sessions;
• + 1 bodyweight circuit.

(I have a stress fracture so running is a no-go and will be easy for a few months once I get started again.)

In particular, I am not sure whether to schedule weights soon after or just before my long ride.

Thanks for the great website!

Intelligent Triathlon Training replies:

Your starting point should be not to do a weights session before a bike session. You want to mix your aerobic and strength work so that you are relatively fresh for everything you do.

Don’t do a weights session within 48 hours before your main bike session of the week, nor within 24 hours afterwards. This is especially true in the early stages of doing weights whilst your muscles adapt to the new regime. As you get more experienced you can bring those times down a little.

The main reason is you don’t want to affect the quality of a weight session by being too fatigued, and you don’t want to affect the quality of a ride by being sore or fatigued.

You could use an easy ride soon after weights as a means of keeping loose and flushing blood through the muscles, but make sure it is easy and not at a low cadence – so not grinding. A low cadence means producing more force with each pedal stroke.

Similarly for technical swims, ideally do these when you are fairly fresh, so that you can concentrate on the quality of these sessions. So don’t do them at the end of a hard day of work or after a hard ride when your concentration and energy levels may be low.

Here is a sample week based on the sessions you want to do:

• Saturday: Long ride
• Sunday: Training swim; circuits.
• Monday: Technical swim; potential 4th ride – gentle.
• Tuesday: Weights
• Wednesday: Training swim; Bike session (hilly)
• Thursday: Weights; technical swim.
• Friday: possible swim in morning; gentle bike

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