Triathlon: Sprint Triathlon Race Plan, Beginner: 2.0 to 4.25 hrs/wk

Average Weekly Training Hours 03:15
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 03:15
Training Load By Week

Your athletic profile begins with swimming. You know how to swim, but it has been a long time since your arms and legs have actually propelled your body through water. In other words, you have no swimming endurance.

As for cycling, you might ride a bicycle now and again, mostly noodling around the neighborhood. On occasion, you might ride a stationary bicycle at the health club while waiting for aerobics to begin or to warm up before weight lifting. As with swimming, you have no real endurance on the bike.

Finally, running. The running you do is mostly short duration, like running bases in softball, trying to avoid the outfielders. Maybe you chase a ball in racquetball. You might have even run a 5K once.

So your multisport profile for endurance sports isn't great, but you're not sitting around channel surfing either. This plan assumes you are currently active in sport three to six times per week. The specific sport isn’t as important as the fact you are active doing something. If you aren't currently active and decide to use the plan to get back into shape, be sure to consult a physician before beginning an exercise program. One of the most common mistakes made by people just beginning to train for a triathlon, or any other endurance event, is doing too much too soon. Early enthusiasm can lead to injury or overtraining. This plan gently builds aerobic endurance in all three sports and gives specific workouts to do each week. This 12-week plan ranges in training volume from about two hours per week to just over four hours per week. The plan goal, and your goal, is to go from a current state of no swimming, minimal cycling, and no running to completing a 450 to 500 meter swim, 11 to 15 mile bike, and about a 3 mile run, consecutively – your first triathlon.

Find the supporting documents you need to help you with this plan at this link. Please download and review these documents when you use any of my training plans. These documents give you additional information to help you get the most from your training.

You can find more training plan choices at THIS HOT LINK.

Sample Day 2
0:30:00

This plan assumes you can swim down and back (50 meters or yards) in a standard pool. For the rest of the training plan, yards or meters will not be specified and are interchangeable for the purposes of this plan. The first workout is simply swimming 10 x 50 at Zone 1-2 perceived exertion (see the supporting documents for workout intensity explanation), resting about 45 seconds between each 50. You may have to rest a whole minute between each 50 that’s okay. Until we add a warm up and cool down to swimming make the first couple and last couple of 50s very easy. The workout may take some of you less than 30 minutes, that’s fine, get out of the pool when you’re done with the 500 distance of swimming.

Sample Day 3
0:05:00
Easy Run

Run on a flat course - a soft surface would be best (grass, dirt or treadmill) - keeping heart rate in Zone 1.

Sample Day 4
0:19:48
Easy Ride

Ride at mostly Zone 1 intensity on a flat to gently rolling course. The ride should feel easy.

Sample Day 5
0:30:00

Swim 10 x 50 at Zone 1-2 perceived exertion (see the supporting documents for workout intensity explanation), resting about 45 seconds between each 50. You may have to rest a whole minute between each 50 that’s okay. Until we add a warm up and cool down to swimming make the first couple and last couple of 50s very easy. The workout may take some of you less than 30 minutes, that’s fine, get out of the pool when you’re done with the 500 distance of swimming.

Sample Day 6
0:07:12
Endurance

This level is used for aerobic maintenance and endurance training. Heart rate should stay primarily in Zones 1 to 2. How much time is spent in each zone depends on how you feel that day. The goal of an E2 run is not to see how much time you can spend in Zone 2. Run a rolling course if possible, with grades up to 4 percent. For reference, most highway off-ramps are 4 percent grades. For those living in vertically deficient cities, changing the grade on a treadmill can simulate hills. If you run with a group, inner discipline is necessary to let the group go if they turn a training run into a race.

Sample Day 7
0:30:00
Easy Ride

Ride at mostly Zone 1 intensity on a flat to gently rolling course. The ride should feel easy.

Sample Day 9
0:30:00

Building on last week, swim 10 x 50 at Zone 1-2 intensity and take 30 to 45 seconds of rest between each 50.

Gale Bernhardt
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Gale Bernhardt Consulting Inc.

I offer one-on-one, completely personalized coaching for athletes that want customized training.

For athletes that enjoy self-coaching, but need a bit of help, I offer phone consulting services.

You can find more information about these services on my website www.galebernhardt.com