Why You Need a Training Schedule
Training for a triathlon is much more involved than training for a single sport. If you are trying to get ready for a 5K, for example, you will do a weekly long run, speed work once a week, plus at least one other run of moderate distance or intensity, perhaps mixed in with some cross-training or strength training.
As simple as that might appear to be, a training program for a road race should have structure. You aren't just randomly running around, hoping that the activity will result in enough fitness to compete.
Multiply that concept by three when considering what you will need to do to get ready for your triathlon. The training for each sport must have structure, but you must also keep in mind that the workouts are vastly different from each other. They should be integrated in a way that keeps you from the common mistake of overtraining.
For example, you wouldn't want to have a workout with weights, a run, and a cycling session all in the same day, especially if the run and the ride were at high intensity. Chances are you wouldn't be able to move for a couple of days after that.
Through the first eight weeks of training, every fourth week is a recovery week. Workouts are shorter and lighter to give your body the chance to benefit from the hard workouts that were aimed at building your strength and endurance.
The training schedules in this chapter include rest periods. No matter how strong you feel as you advance in your training, stick to the schedule and cut back as directed. Piling hard workouts on top of each other will only cause burnout or injury. Overdoing it could even jeopardize your race.
You should also remember, of course, that the training schedules do not represent unbreakable rules. Missing one or more workouts will not ruin your training. Further, if you start to feel burnout or unusual fatigue, it would be wise to add an extra day of rest.