Things to Know About Sprint Triathlon Training Program

Triathlete Cycling

People thought marathons were for professional sportsmen—those uniquely gifted people with the Atlas-like physiques and stamina to endure insane distances and make it through the long haul. All that changed when triathlons came along! Now common, everyday people are finding the joy of physical fitness, the thrill of participation and have achieved great success in completing a triathlon. New heroes from all walks of life, all kinds of shapes and sizes, with grit and determination have made it to the finish line in what many call a life-changing experience. You, too, can be one of them!

At first the task may be seem daunting. While distances may vary from race to race, a standard triathlon comprises of 0.93 mile swim followed by 24.8 mile bike ride and finally a 6.2 mile run. Even sprint triathlons, which comprise shorter distances can get grueling and require participants to have extreme levels of fitness just to finish. Don’t let this stop you. As with anything worthwhile, getting ready for a sprint triathlon just needs a plan.

Six time Ironman finisher and President of the NorthEast MultiSport Triathlon Club, Colin Cook, firmly believes ANYONE can complete a sprint distance triathlon as long as they have the desire and will power to properly train. We’ve put together five factors every beginner triathlete must consider before even getting off the couch, along with a training plan to help you kick-start your triathlon career.

  1. Get a Coach

Getting a coach is a great idea especially if you are a newbie. A coach will guide your training through every step of the way including helping you with your nutrition. A dietician or nutritionist can also help with this. What you eat plays a big role in your training. A training partner can keep you motivated and keep you company through all the highs and lows. A well planned training program will help you get to the peak of your fitness before the big day.

If you are not confident of your swimming capabilities, joining a swimming master class will help. Ask the swimming coach to teach you proper breathing techniques so you are not uncomfortable in choppy waters and can make better time as well.

  1. Duration of Training

The length of your training period depends on various factors like your level of fitness before starting and the length of the race you are training for. A sprint triathlon (which is typically half the length of a normal marathon) needs a bare minimum of 4 to 6 weeks of training. Longer courses require anything between 12 to 24 weeks of training depending on your level of fitness and the length of the race.

  1. Well Distributed Training

Judging by the distances, about a fifth of the race is spent swimming, half the race duration is taken up the cycling and the remaining 30% of the time is spent on running. It makes sense that your training should follow this pattern and roughly match these distributions. So while you may do an equal number of swim, bike and run workouts every week, the duration of your bike workouts should be longer than the runs, while your swim workouts should be shorter than the run workouts.

  1. Training Cycles

Training cycles are designed for optimal performance on race day. Most training programs include three main phases namely the base, build and taper phases.

The base section is almost like preparing for your training that will prepare you for a triathlon. It builds the foundation for future training. It preps your muscles for the training that will follow. The build phase is the actual training phase where the intensity, volumes and distances of the training increases. This phase makes sure your body is ready for the demanding task ahead. Recovery weeks allow the body to rest and recover.

The taper phase is the final phase before the race that helps you prepare for the various challenges that will lie ahead of you in each leg of the race. For example, you may not be used to swimming in choppy waters or surf. This phase can help you prepare for such conditions.

Triathlon RunningSource: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:D7C3714_bis_Triathlon_San_Vito_Lo_Capo_2014.jpg

  1. BRIck!

Bike-to-Run workouts are an important phase of your training. Switching forms of exercise suddenly, like transitioning from a cycle to a run, can be jarring. BRIck workouts are designed to help your body get acclimatized to this. You may design your training so that there will be workouts where you swim and then cycle immediately after. Occasionally you may also run immediately after a swim to meet certain training and fitness goals.

Jason Schneider’s 12 Week Training Program

This training program by four-time Ironman Jason Schneider is for beginner triathletes who have little experience in multisport and an average level of fitness. It is a twelve week program which is ideal for sprint marathons. We’ve summarized it for you; check it out to see if this is for you.

The first three weeks have one workout per sport per week. For the swim workouts break it up into chunks resting between every 200 to 400 yards.

Week One: Feel free to start your week on a Wednesday as opposed to a Monday, if that works for you.

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday
Start your training off with a refreshing swim of about 600 yards.

 

Bike for 45 minutes. Do not overdo your pace

Run 15 minutes


Week Two:
This week increases the training lengths ever so slightly to ease your body in working out more.

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday
Swim about 700 yards Bike for 45 minutes.

Run 20 minutes at an easy pace.

 


Week Three:
This week sees the workout getting a little more intense.

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday
Swim about 800 yards Bike for 60 minutes.

Run 20 minutes


Week Four:
This is the week we introduce BRIck Workouts.

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Swim 1000 yards Bike for 45 minutes Run 30 minutes

BRIck: Bike for 60 minutes and run for 15 minutes consecutively


Week Five:
This week is recovery week. The intensity of the training decreases a bit to allow your body to catch up. We also start measuring the running and cycling workouts in terms of distance, not time.

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Swim 800 yards REST DAY! Run 2 miles

BRIck: Bike for 12 miles and run for 20 minutes consecutively


Week Six:
Refreshed and replenished from Rest Week, this week is back to the regular training routine.

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Swim 1000 yards Bike for 45 minutes Run 30 minutes

BRIck: Bike for 12 miles and run for 20 minutes consecutively


Week Seven:
You are now halfway through your training schedule. Well done on making it so far!

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Swim 1200 yards Bike for 45 minutes Run 30 miles

BRIck: Bike for 14 miles and run for 30 minutes after


Week Eight:
It is now, time to up your training a notch and start getting used to race conditions.

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Swim 1500 yards Bike 8 miles Run 4 miles Bike for 16 miles and run for 3 miles after

Practice your open water skills and in/outs.


Week Nine:
You don’t want to overdo it as Race Day draws nearer. This week is a rest week.

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday
Swim about 800 yards Bike for 8 miles.

Run 2 miles


Week Ten:
This week is going to be intense, so get ready for it.

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Swim 1500 yards Bike 45 minutes Run 4 miles Bike for 18 miles and run for 3 miles after

Practice your open water skills and in/outs.


Week Eleven:
One more week after this and it’s Race Day. It’s the final push.

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Swim 1600 yards Bike 45 minutes Run 3 miles Bike for 16 miles and run for 4 miles after

Practice your open water skills and sighting.


Week 12:
It’s Race Week! Time to start packing your gear for the big day and save your energy.

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Swim 800 yards

 

BRIck: Bike for 45 minutes and run for 15 minutes after Run 2 miles

RACE DAY!

That’s it! We are sure you will have a great time at your first triathlon. If you need triathlete wetsuits and gear, call Just Wetsuits at 1-877-784-7808 or email us at info@justwetsuits.com.

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