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I am training for Olympic distance triathlons or longer. My schedule is as follows:

    Mon: Rest
Tue-Fri: Swim 8km or more
Sat-Sun: Cycle 100km or Run 10km

I don't have any particularly weak areas. What changes could I make to my routine that would improve my speed and overall finish time?

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@Freakyuser do you have any weak spots? What kind of training were you thinking about? Do you have access to a gym (or to which equipment)? –  Baarn Jan 17 '13 at 13:12
    
@Informaficker I don't have any weak spots specifically but my timing is not good. Yes, I have access to a gym. I have 2 dumbbells (10 kg each) with me. –  Freakyuser Jan 17 '13 at 13:18
    
@Freakyuser - do you RUN with 2 10kg dumbbells? –  JohnP Jan 17 '13 at 14:51
    
@JohnP No, why should I? –  Freakyuser Jan 17 '13 at 14:55
    
@Freakyuser - I was just wondering, the way you phrased it sounded like you were, in which case I would have said stop that immediately. –  JohnP Jan 17 '13 at 14:56
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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I would consider your cycling and running to be completely inadequate as far as the amount of training, especially if you would like to be competitive in your age group. Your swimming is probably fine.

My best recommendation would be to go to a site, such as trifuel or BeginnerTriathlete.com, and take a look at some of their free 16 or 20 week training plans. Most of them are going to be fairly balanced with 3 to 5 workouts in EACH discipline (so 9-15 workouts) per week.

I wouldn't worry about strength training. While there are triathletes that incorporate strength training, most of them are either at the pointy end of the stick (pros) seeking to get every last gain, or using it to address a deficiency or imbalance.

For someone in your situation, to get faster, you simply need to be doing more, in a prescribed, planned fashion.

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In addition to JohnP's answer, consider doing Brick workouts, where you combine two of the disciplines in a single day. The Challenge of a triathlon isn't the distances, it is doing three different body motions back to back. So you need to teach your body to bike after the swim and run after the bike (assuming a traditional order, some races are run in reverse, but typically in the Sprint distances). BeginnerTriathlete.com has a good Introduction to Bricks.

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There's actually very little physiological adaptation that occurs when doing brick workouts. It's more of a mental adaptation that can be taken care of quite easily with a few brick workouts. About the only actual reason to do brick workouts is if you are time constrained, in which case I would do the workout first that means the most, i.e., if your main workout of the day is the running workout, do that first and then the bike workout. –  JohnP Jan 17 '13 at 22:48
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