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Prepare for the Indoor Triathlon! Guest Author: Coach Trent Hayden

Hello Triathletes and soon-to-be Triathletes!

My name is Coach Trent and I’m here to help you begin the journey we call triathlon.  Triathlon is swimming, biking, and running, and is also so much more.  It’s about community, having fun, being healthy, and stepping outside our comfort zone.  So you’ve decided to sign up for The Cape Fear Indoor Triathlon, now what?  Below is a beginner indoor triathlon training plan.  Follow this plan and you’re sure to find success on February 12th!  Remember, triathlon is more fun the more friends you have doing it with you, so get out there and get the whole family involved!

Run:  In the training plan runs are grey.  We will be using three efforts to gauge how easy or hard we should be running.  Now, we are all “special snowflakes” so no two of us will be going the exact same pace during a workout.  My hard effort might be your easy effort etc.  So it’s important to determine your perceived effort for each interval.  The best way to think about this is to use “the talking test”.  During easy runs, you should be able to speak a sentence without taking a breath.  In moderate runs you’ll need to take one or two breaths per sentence.  Then for hard runs, you really shouldn’t be able to speak at all.  Now for many of us, the easy running will be a walk, also a moderate “run” could be a faster walk.  That is ok and in order to improve we should follow these guidelines.

Bike:  In the training plan bike workouts are green.  I think of biking as relatively easy to learn but hard to master.  Similar to running, the “talking test” can be used to gauge our efforts for easy, moderate, and hard.  Practicing cycling is a must to build up the strength in our legs and will help us with the run that will be the last leg of the indoor triathlon.  Gym bikes are great or if the weather agrees and you have an appropriate bike, have some fun in the outdoors!  Be sure to wear a helmet and appropriate clothing!

Swim: The dreaded swim! Swims are blue in the training for obvious reasons :D   Yes, we swim in a triathlon and for many triathletes, this is their least favorite event.  For most, it is where we find ourselves way (sometimes way, way ,way)  outside our comfort zone.   The main thing to think about when swimming is to remain calm.  Luckily we are in a safe environment with lifeguard support so there isn’t anything to worry about.  Like both running and biking, we use easy, moderate, and hard efforts to define our level of effort when swimming.  Unlike running and biking, we can’t use “the talking test” to gauge that effort.  We have to rely on how it feels.  This can take a little while to figure out, but soon enough you’ll be swimming sets like a pro, or more like a swimmer that is :D  If you need stroke help you can inquire about a swim coach at the gym.  Also feel free to contact me, more on that below.

Strength: Any good program involving endurance should also include some strength work.  This helps keep us healthy, can build strength and stability, and prevent injury when done correctly.  I’ve included some basic strength training in the program.  Youtube is a good way to find out what the movements are.  The best bet is to hire a personal trainer to show you the ropes.

Like I wrote in the opening, my name is Trent Hayden and I’m the president of the Cape Fear Triathlon Club, a USA Triathlon Coach, and a Personal Trainer.  If you need help feel free to email me at and I can point you in the right direction.  The club has swim practice on Wednesday and Sunday morning at UNCW and we love to have new and advanced swimmers alike.  We also have many other practices and always have a good time.  You can check us out at or on Facebook at

I will see you on race day and look forward to being a part of your triathlon journey.

Happy Triathloning!

Coach Trent    


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