Check out our new Directory!   Serving 4,000+ members  
Triathlon Training for Beginners

We have a New Site!  If you have entered through a page other then the 'home' page, please go to...




Couch to 5k programs for those starting from square one.

By Ron Shea


Ok, here you are.  For whatever reason you have decided to get with triathlon training program, but with no recent prior experience, you have to start from scratch.  Well, running is obviously the first discipline you will want to start with.  This is a great exercise.  If your goal is to lose weight, running will definitely allow you to accomplish this.

In my opinion, running IS the super-turbo-charged-mega-energy-consuming-calorie burner.  I would even go as far as to say that I would be willing to bet that if one runs 30 to 60 minutes/3 times per week, along with a sensible diet, you will be a very fit person for life.  Coupled with a moderate 2-3 times a week weight training routine you will prolong the active part of your life by 20 years - I guarantee it! 

Nowadays, when you hit your 40's the average person will start needing medicine.  Medicine for blood pressure, medicine for cholesterol, and medicine for all these other myriads of semi sedentary-induced preventable diseases.  So let me ask you this: 'how did people live past their 40's back in the day?'  They sure did not have health insurance.'  It was two main things:  Walking to get to places and a simpler, healthier diet.  So there it is.  We will start with the walking.  This works out great for people who are overweight as if an overweight person starts out running, I feel that it would be just to much stress on the joints.  So for everybody, start out walking and, if needed, change your diet immediately so that when you transition to running, it will be a lot more easier on the joints.

Conservative Program

Ok, so you are excited to get started today - huh?  For those who are overweight (to determine this, see the chart Body-build ) I have provided you with the link above to a program to get you going  - providing your doctor has no concerns of course. 

If you find that running hurts your joints, try starting out with biking instead.  Biking is also great in shedding excess pounds.  Once you have built a bike 'base' over several months and have lost weight, then you should have little problem starting the conservative running program.  For biking, start out at say 20min and don't exceed a 10% increase the following week.

Aggressive Program

If you are not overweight, (see the chart Body-Build ), I have provided you with a 16-week program with the link above, running three times per week...should be no problem if you are not overweight or you have had a prior fitness program but currently have been doing nothing.

I would also highly recommend you to purchase the book Triathloning for Ordinary Mortals by Dr. Stephen jonas as it has a shorter routine from walking to running that takes only 14 weeks AND you are working out four times per week while being able to run more minutes at the end- it is definitely more intense.  It also is chocked full of tips and techniques from diet to race day.  Plus Steven Jonas, being an M.D., will show you how to build-up safely and explains these phases better than I do.


If you can commit just 2-3 months for this adjustment period for your will find it a piece of cake from here on out.  

Remember, for most people, looking good and feeling great is not easy - we must work hard at it!  No amount of crazy fad dieting or supplements offered by the fitness industry will help you.  

You must ask yourself 'How bad do I want to be healthy in my mind, body and soul?'  If the answer is a resounding 'YES!!!' then you have come to the right place.  If you are unsure, then go back to your fad diets and non-intense workouts.  

I hope right now you are putting on your work-out gear to go at least walking or maybe to the gym for your first weight-lifting experience.  Do not submit to the dark side of couch-potatoeness and fat-free snackfood!  Think about it, if they take out the fat, more carbohydrates go in to replace...biochemistry 101 says that any unused carbohydrates get converted to fats - easily!  

It's now time to get serious, grit your teeth, put on your game-face and lets do this!!!



Rons Articles

Site Visions and Philosophy 2004


Achilles Tendonitis


Basic Stretching


Book Review - When Big Boys Tri


Getting Started With Swimming


Quick Bike Thoughts for Beginners


Bricking It


Thoughts from PineIsland Florida...a New 2003!


Can't Swim? Then KAYAK, Bike, Run!


Shin Splints


Starting from Scratch


Thoughts on Weightloss


Training Tips


Training for your First


Why Triathlon?  An Amateurs Perspective






 All Content Unless Otherwise Noted 2003-2004 and Beginner Triathlete, LLC

Your use of this site constitutes your acceptance of the RESTRICTIONS AND TERMS OF USE