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The Working Adult’s Triathlon Training Schedule

By David J. Marquardt

In 2003, when I started in the wonderful sport of triathlon, I made it a goal to finish an Ironman. You know the deal: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile marathon. While the race itself seems crazy, it’s really the training that is the most difficult part. More specifically, for many people, it is finding the time to train enough to finish an Ironman.

I was in law school, which took up a lot of my time. But I revamped my training program, and just a few years later I am an Ironman. The following program led me to a sub-eleven hour finish.

1) Monday Long Run:

When I first started training, I was a weekend warrior. I spent the majority of my time training on Saturday and Sunday. This included my long run. But then I realized that getting out and running is easier than getting to the pool and swimming or setting up my bike and riding. Why did my long run need to be on a Saturday? So I moved it to Sunday, and I’ve had great results. The only time it has caused me some discomfort is when my schedule called for a twenty mile run for which I needed to wake up extra early.

2) Tuesday Recovery Bike:

After hard workouts on Sunday and Monday, the long bike and long run, I am ready to take it easy. Enter the Tuesday recovery bike ride. I spin in the small chain ring for forty-five to sixty minutes and generally just enjoy that I am able to swim, bike, and run.

3) Wednesday Swimming:

For the most part, I only swim once per week, so I try to make the most of it. I start with a long, slow warm up, followed by some speed work, then finish with some longer intervals. Occasionally, I will make it one continuous long swim, just to get the distance in. I know that swimming will never be my strength.

4) Thursday Bike:

After two days of not pounding on my legs, I have a hard bike workout on Thursday. Generally between sixty and ninety minutes, I focus on form, cadence, and speed. In the winter months, I head to a spinning class or use my indoor trainer for results.

5) Friday Run:

On Friday, I do a hard run. It is either a tempo run or a speed workout at the track. For the tempo run, which I hold in high regard early in the season, I warm up, then do twenty-five to forty minutes of lactate threshold work, then cool down. For speed work, I mostly do repeats of 800-meters, with the appropriate warm up and cool down. Both help me with a faster run.

6) Saturday Weights:

The only day that I lift weights is Saturday. I don’t have time for more than that, and I have to sacrifice somewhere. But I do make the workout count. Usually it is an hour long session, all upper body and abdominals. This workout is solely to feed my own vanity, although it does hvae some affect on my swimming I’m sure.

7) Sunday Bike:

To keep up the base of my endurance, I try my hardest to make this at least fifty miles. But the point is to get a longer bike in every week on a consistent basis. The distance will vary depending on your goals and endurance level.

Two pieces of advice:

First, after every bike session, I pull on my running shoes and head out for at least a mile. This is a good habit to get into for help with the transition from bike to run.

I also add a swim session on Saturday later in the season. This is a short session, but helpful. Plus it’s warm outside and being in the pool just feels right.

Triathletes are a rare breed, but they enjoy themselves. Visit the Ironman Attorney and get more triathlon training tips.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Marquardt, David J. "The Working Adult’s Triathlon Training Schedule." The Working Adult’s Triathlon Training Schedule. 21 Aug. 2010. 10 Apr 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Marquardt, D (2010, August 21). The Working Adult’s Triathlon Training Schedule. Retrieved April 10, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Marquardt, David J. "The Working Adult’s Triathlon Training Schedule"

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