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We are proud to have Lisa Bentley, 11-time Ironman Champion as the official coach of the event.

"Having raced for 20 years in Ontario, I am proud to be part of the first ever Degree® Iron Girl triathlon in Canada and in my backyard," said Lisa Bentley.  "Sport has empowered me and has been my joy for half of my life and I want other women and girls to experience that same empowerment. Sport is for life and it is a lifestyle that will start with Degree® Iron Girl Canada this summer!"

Iron Girl 6 Week Training plan designed by 11 time Ironman Champion Lisa Bentley


Canada presented by Shoppers Drug Mart! Triathlon will change your life - it is a lifestyle sport and we hope that swimming, biking and running will become part of your everyday lifestyle.

I have created this beginner program for women who are doing their first triathlon with us on August 11th at Iron Girl! This program assumes you are in good health but it does not assume that you have swim, bike or run fitness. And so, the swimming begins with alternating between swimming freestyle and swimming any other comfortable stroke. The goal is to build your swim fitness so that you can complete the 500 m swim on August 11th. Swim drills are a very important part of swimming but because I am not there to teach you drills, she is not going to give you any drills. If I could stand on the pool deck with you and teach you drills, then that would happen so this program is really all about getting you comfortable in the water and building swim fitness. You will notice that we gradually increase the duration of your continuous swimming and while freestyle is the goal, it is ok to do any stroke that will help you complete the distance.



For the biking - again, I don't assume any biking history, so we start very gradually with just riding at 90 rpm the best you can. If that is a challenge, then let that be the biggest goal over the duration of this program - decrease the tension/gearing so that you can turn the pedals over at 90 rpm. As you build fitness, I do ask you to work harder for short durations. These are called intervals. They are not necessary but they do make a ride a bit more fun and help pass the time. 

For the running, I am assuming that you are not a runner and so we build your running with a walk/run program. I gradually increase the duration of the running as we go through week to week. And as you continue to do triathlons after Iron Girl, you should be able to run eliminate the walking altogether.

Now you might very well be a fantastic swimmer, biker or runner and this might be too easy. And so, you can also take a peak at the intermediate training program and maybe "steal" some advanced workouts in your speciality sport and insert them within the sports which you need beginner sessions. And if you do have some experience, then the intermediate program would be a good option. There is a bit more structure to it with drills on the swim, longer running and biking and speed in all three sports

I did include a simulation day in the program so that you get a feel for the swim-bike-run routine. This does not have to be done at break neck speed - please dry off after swimming and stop at all stop signs when biking - but go through the motions of changing from swimmer to biker to runner. That day will help you iron out any rough edges.

I also included the option to race in the Niagara Try-a-Tri which is shorter than Degree Iron Girl Canada and would be a good "welcome to triathlon". And as with any race, I have tapered off your workouts so that you can be fresh on race day.

And of course, both programs cumulate with Degree Iron Girl Canada on August 11th. Definitely register on the Saturday and walk through the transition area and visualize the race. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, visualization is the single best way to guarantee success. By the time race day comes along, you must accept your skill set and then maximize it on race day. You should visualize yourself swimming like Michael Phelps, cycling like an Olympian and running like a Kenyan. Only see yourself being brilliant and executing perfectly. When you see success and focus on success, then there is no room for doubt and you will succeed. The moment you let a negative though get into your brain, then your performance will suffer because you have to work that much harder to fight through the negativity. Make a list of your assets and fixate on these assets. For example: "I am a great mother, I am loved, I am educated, I have a great support crew, I never quit, I never missed a workout" - these are all positives that you should cling to. Then when things get tough, you can re-visit this list of assets and you can elevate yourself to overcome any obstacle. So please find a quiet moment on Saturday to go through the entire race in your head starting with waking up in the morning and reminding yourself that "this is going to be a great day and I will successfully handle all of the curveballs that may arise today" and finishing with crossing the finish line and holding your medal!

See you at the start and finish line of Degree Iron Girl Canada!


- Lisa Bentley

Click here for the beginning program

Click here for the intermediate program