Sprint Triathlon Training – Planning Your First Sprint Triathlon

Sprint Triathlon Training Plans are abundantly available online, but it can be frustrating to sort through the many free plans that are available. You can purchase a training plan online as well, but you don’t quite know what you are getting until you’ve already paid for it. This article will cover some basics on how to create your own sprint triathlon training plan.

Step 1: Choose Your First Triathlon

Step number one is to choose a sprint triathlon that you would like to compete in. A great website is Tri Find which lists triathlons of all distances for every state. (Just Google “Tri Find” for the current location… I’m not affiliate with them by the way)

Step 2: Start the Countdown

Once you find a sprint triathlon that looks appealing to you, mark it on your calendar and count backwards by weeks until you get to the current week. Now take a look at how many week’s are available until your first triathlon. For the best preparation, you’ll need 8- 12 weeks to train. If you’ve only got 4 weeks, you’ll do OK as long as you currently have a strong fitness base in at least 1 of the 3 sports, preferably 2.

Now take your calendar and mark off any dates unavailable for training. Be realistic and take your family and work into account as well as any pre-existing commitments you have (weddings, conferences, etc) and cross off one day a week for recovery. Which day of the week you use for recovery depends on work and family life. Some people prefer a weekday off (usually Monday), and some people prefer a weekend day to spend time with family.

You should plan on training 5-6 days per week and do at least 2 workouts per sport at a bare minimum. It’s OK to double up and do two workouts a day to either get an extra day off, or to fit in more than 2 workouts per sport per week. IN the first few weeks of your sprint triathlon training, it’s best to take several hours of rest between workouts to let your body and muscles recover and replace used energy stores. This will give you a good quality workout for your 2nd workout of the day.

Later on in the training, the last 4 weeks before your race, you will start to do a brick workout once a week which involves doing 2 workouts right next to each other with less than 10-15 minutes of rest between the two. This lets your body get used to what it feels like to do the different sprint triathlon elements back to back.

Step 3: Sketch out your Run, Bike and Swim Days

Now take your calendar and mark on each available training day one of the following letters, R, B, S for Run, Bike or Swim. If you want to make it simple, just put one workout per day on each day of the week, repeating once, leaving one day (your rest day) free. So if Monday is your rest day, then the rest of the week looks like this: Tuesday Run, Wednesday Bike, Thursday Swim, Friday Run, Saturday Bike, Sunday Swim.

Now you have a skeleton of your training written down on a calendar where you are more likely to follow the plan than if you keep the plan in your head.


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