Six Weeks to Go
With six weeks left, you will be half way through your training. Your program was set up to have three weeks of increases in intensity and duration, followed by week of slower, lighter workouts so that you could recover. At the halfway point, you are looking at week seven just ahead. It is supposed to be a tougher workout than in week six.
At this point, you should have more confidence. You should feel considerably stronger than you did when you started. All exercises should feel easier now. Here are some measuring sticks to help you decide if you're on target. You should be able to:
Run forty minutes without stopping and with a few pickups — short, slightly faster bursts — thrown in.
Ride an hour and fifteen minutes, followed by a run of ten minutes, without undue strain. You should be able to push a bit more during your bike rides without blowing up.
Swim 500 to 600 yards without stopping. That's roughly the distance of your race swim if you are entered in a sprint triathlon. Even if you fall a little short of 500 yards without stopping, you should at least be feeling more comfortable in the water.
With six weeks of training under your belt, add a weekly time trial to your bicycle training. Plan to ride thirty minutes at a brisk pace, and check to see how far you went. Do the same time and intensity in the following week and again check the distance. You will gain a lot of confidence if you went farther the second week, even if it's just a small improvement.
Regarding the bike, by six weeks you should have your seat position dialed in for total comfort. All adjustments should have been made, and your rides should be completely free of back pain. If you have any issues with your bicycle, now is the time to take it to the shop and have adjustments made. You cannot afford to continue training on a bicycle that is not completely comfortable.
At the halfway point, it's a good idea to start practicing your transition from the bicycle to the run. On days when you have training rides, set your bicycle up in your garage to simulate as close as you can how it's going to be at the race.
On race day, your bike will be in a rack, with your helmet hanging on one of the bars. You will not be able to move the bike until you have your helmet on and the chinstrap tightened. It's a time penalty or disqualification if you break the rules about helmets, and that includes a loose chinstrap. You might as well get used to that routine. Practice it on training days to get used to the drill.
On days when you have a brick on the schedule, set your running shoes out as they will be on race day so that you can move smoothly from bicycle to running. If you have bike shoes, practice leaving them on the machine as you dismount to change into your running shoes.
Half way through your training, if you're feeling a bit burned out and stressed, take an extra day off the rest of the way. It might also be wise to adjust your goal from finishing in a certain time to just finishing. You will enjoy the rest of the training more if you feel less pressure.