Trying out for your first sprint triathlon, you will certainly need a proper introduction to the sport.

And do not worry! Our guides are 100% newbie safe! So, let us walk you some basic information about the triathlon sport before we get to the training.

What is a Triathlon?

Triathlon is characterized by the multidisciplinary nature of the sport where swimming, cycling, and running are completed sequentially in different events, such as the sprint.

The triathlon is a 3-event endurance sport in which athletes compete sequentially in swimming, cycling and running.

What is a Sprint Triathlon?

Both Sprint Triathlon and Ironman are specific distances of triathlon.

Triathletes also commonly compete in both shorter 'sprint distance' events (in the range of a 0.75 km swim, 20 km cycle and 5 km run).

Longer events including both one-half and full Ironman distances (2.5 and 3.8 km swim, 80 and 180 km cycle, 20 and 42 km run, respectively)

For an Iron-distance triathlon, you need to train 13-20 hours per week and it takes ∼8–17 hours in competition.
However, you need to train 3-4 hours per week for a super sprint triathlon that lasts ∼1 hour.

Because of their shorter distances, sprint triathlons have become well-known and are ideal for beginner or novice athletes.

Equipment: Suit up with the right gear

If you decide to train for triathlon, your first requirement will be to obtain the necessary equipment.

Swimming

  • Swimming costume
  • Swimming goggles
  • A swim cap (You can skip this if you have very short hair!)

Biking

  • Bicycle
  • Bicycle Air Pump
  • Helmet
  • Shoes: Beginners are best off using running shoes for their first race. You may eventually may want to upgrade to cycling shoes, which lock into your pedals.
  • Sunglasses

Running

  • Running Shoes (it Can Also Be Used On The Bike)
  • Vest Or Singlet, Plus Shorts And Socks (it can be Both For Cycling And For Running)
  • Sunglasses
  • 750ml water bottle or two 500ml bottles

Beginner sprint triathlon training

Competing in a triathlon is a physically demanding task.

Even sprint triathlon, which is a short distance triathlon, can take several weeks or months of training, depending on your level of physical fitness.

The essential part of sprint triathlon training is improving your endurance. It is necessary to compete in a triathlon with enough cardiovascular capabilities.

Besides, developing muscle is a must to the training regime because, in triathlons, there are many disciplines, and each discipline includes the use of different muscles.

Sprint triathlon training plan

Before starting this plan, you should verify that you’re healthy and doesn’t suffer from injuries.

The warm-up, stretch, and cool down should be present in every session, unfortunately, they are often ignored, especially beginners.

Intensity Guideline

To know how to train for a sprint triathlon, we’ll organize and treat all workouts with training zones, according to the rate of perceived effort (rpe).

Zone 1: Basic aerobic endurance training, 50-60% of your maximum heart rate.
It is an effortless effort, about 4/10 on the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale.

Zone 2: It is 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. This is your aerobic zone, and you should still be able to talk to someone while training at this intensity. This is probably a 5-6/10 on the RPE scale.

Zone 3: It is 70-80% of your maximum heart rate. This intensity corresponds to race pace/intensity for a well-trained athlete. This is a 7/10 on the RPE scale. That is why peaking in this zone is difficult and generally brief.

Zone 4: This zone is 80-90% of your maximum heart rate. Your breathing is labored, and your arms and legs are heavy. This effort is 8-9+ on the RPE scale.

Max or Zone 5: For shorter efforts (1–8 minutes) and are usually 9+ to 10 on the RPE scale. This intensity corresponds to 90-100% of your maximum heart rate. It can have big benefits to the production of power/force and maximum oxygen uptake.

10 week sprint triathlon training

KEY:

’ = minutes

” = seconds

Z = RPE zone

[ ] = indicates rest in between intervals

NOTE: For the swim workouts (e.g., “16x25”), either yards or meters are acceptable, depending on your pool.

Week 1

Monday

Easy Run 15 min 5x (2’ walk for light warm-up) 5x (3’ run in Zone 1), flat terrain Aim to hold a consistent HR and pace. You should finish feeling good. 5min stretching to finish.

Tuesday

SWIM 16x25 [30” ]. Pace these evenly and start slow. Zone 1. mix of free and Kick. Don’t worry too much about speed on this session; just get used to being in the water and feeling relaxed. Work on technique, especially your catch and body rotation.

Wednesday

BIKE 30’ on flat terrain, Zone 1 at 50-60% of your maximum heart rate. Focus on smooth pedaling.

Thursday

Day off. Take the day off to recover. Do some light stretching or get a massage if you can.

Friday

SWIM 10x50 (45”), Zone 1.

Saturday

RUN. 4x (1.5’ walk/3.5’ run in Zone 1), flat terrain.

Sunday

Day off. Take the day off to recover. Do some light stretching or get a massage if you can.

Week 2

Monday

Active rest

Tuesday

SWIM 24x25 [30” ]. Zone 2.

Wednesday

BIKE 35’ flat terrain as 20’ Zone 1, 15’ ;Zone 2.

Thursday

RUN 2x15’ (2’ walking rest), flat terrain, Zone 1.

Friday

Active rest

Saturday

BIKE 40’ rolling terrain as 15’ Zone 1, 30’ Zone 2 at 80–90 RPM.

Sunday

SWIM 12x50 [35” ]. Zone 1.

Week 3

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

RUN 30’ rolling terrain as 15’ Zone 1, 15’ Zone 2.

Wednesday

SWIM 12x75 [25” ]. as 6 in Zone 2, 6 in Zone 3.

Thursday

BIKE 50’ flat terrain as 20’ Zone 1, 30’ Zone 2.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

SWIM 4x100 [25” ] Zone 2. 6x50 [30” ]. in Zone 3.

Sunday

RUN 40’ flat terrain, Zone 1

Week 4

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

SWIM 12x75 [25” ]. as 6 in Zone 2, 6 in Zone 3.

Wednesday

RUN 50’ rolling terrain as 15’ Zone 1, 35’ Zone 2.

Thursday

BIKE 70’ rolling to hilly terrain as 15’ Zone 1, 55’ Zone 2.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

SWIM 10x100 [35” ] Zone 2.

Sunday

BIKE 50’ flat terrain, Zone 1. Make a quick transition into running shoes (less than 3’). RUN 20’ off the bike, flat terrain, Zone 2.

Week 5

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

RUN 50’ Rolling Terrain As 20’ Zone 1, 30’ Zone 2.

Wednesday

BIKE 80’ Rolling To Hilly Terrain As 20’ Zone 1, 25’ Zone 2, 15’ Zone 3, 20’ Zone 2.

Thursday

SWIM 2x200 [25” ]. 4x100 [35” ]. All Zone 2.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

BIKE 70’ Flat Terrain, Zone 1. Quick Transition (Less Than 3’). RUN 20’ Off The Bike, Flat Terrain, Zone 2.

Sunday

SWIM 500 [2’ ].5x100 [25” ] All Zone 2.

Week 6

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

BIKE 80’ Rolling To Hilly Terrain As 20’ Zone 1, 25’ Zone 3, 15’ Zone 2, 20’ Zone 1

Wednesday

RUN 50 Rolling Terrain As 20’ Zone 1, 30’ Zone 3.

Thursday

SWIM 500 [2’ ].5x100 [25” ]. All Zone 2.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

BIKE 60’ Flat Terrain, Zone 1. Quick Transition (Less Than 3’). RUN 30’ Off The Bike, Flat Terrain, Zone 2.

Sunday

SWIM 2x200 (20”). 4x100 (15”). All Zone 2.

Week 7

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

SWIM 1000 Nonstop, Zone 2.

Wednesday

RUN 40’ Rolling Terrain As 15’ Zone 1, 15’ Zone 4, 5’ Zone 3, 5’ Zone 2.

Thursday

BIKE 70’ Flatter To Rolling Terrain As 15’ Zone 1, 2x (5’ Zone 4, 5’ Zone 2, 5’ Zone 3, 5’ Zone 2), 15’ Zone 1.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

BIKE 50’ Flat Terrain As 15’ Zone 1, 20’ Zone 3, 15’ Zone 4 At 90– 100 RPM. Make A Quick Transition (Less Than 2’). RUN 25’ Off The Bike, Flat Terrain As 10’ Zone 4, 10’ Zone 2, 5’ Zon 1.

Sunday

SWIM 10x100 [25” ]. Swim #3, #6 And #9 Faster In Zone 5, The Rest In Zone 1.

Week 8

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

SWIM 1000 Nonstop, Zone 2.

Wednesday

RUN 40’ Rolling Terrain As 15’ Zone 1, 15’ Zone 3, 5’ Zone 4, 5’ Zone 2.

Thursday

BIKE 70’ Flatter To Rolling Terrain As 15’ Zone 1, 3x(5’ Zone 3, 3.5’ Zone 2, 5’ Zone 4, 2.5’ Zone 2), 15’ Zone 1.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

SWIM 10x100 [25” ].Swim #3, #6 And #9 Faster In Zone 4, The Rest In Zone 1.

Sunday

BIKE 40’ Flat Terrain As 15’ Zone 1, 15’ Zone 3, 10’ Zone 4 At 90– 100 RPM. Make A Quick Transition (Less Than 2’). RUN 20’ Off The Bike, Flat Terrain As 10’ Zone 4, 5’ Zone 2, 5’ Zone 1.

Week 9

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

SWIM 500, Zone 1 Build To Zone 2. 20x20 [20” ].As 10m Fast/Zone 4, 10m Easy/Zone 1.

Wednesday

BIKE 70’ Rolling To Hilly Terrain As 15’ Zone 1, 10’ Zone 3, 2.5’ Zone 2, 5’ Zone 4, 2.5’ Zone 2, 5x(2’ Zone 5, 2’ Zone 1), 15’ Zone 1 At 90–95 RPM.

Thursday

RUN 35’ Rolling Terrain As 15’ Zone 1, 10’ Zone 3, 5’ Zone 5, 5’ Zone 2.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

SWIM 5x200 [35” ].As #1 In Zone 1, #2–3 In Zone 2, #4 In Zone 3, #5 In Zone 4.

Sunday

BIKE 30’ Flat Terrain As 10’ Zone 1, 15’ Zone 3, 5’ Zone 4. Quick Transition (Less Than 2’). RUN 15’ Off The Bike, Flat Terrain As 5’ Zone 4, 5’ Zone 2, 5’ Zone 1.

Week 10

Monday

Rest

Tuesday

SWIM 200 Zone 1. 10x50 [20” ]As 25 Fast/Zone 4, 25 Easy/Zone 1. 100 Zone 1.

Wednesday

RUN 20’ Flat Terrain As 10’ Zone 1, 5’ Zone 3, 5’ Zone 1.

Thursday

BIKE 30’ Rolling To Hilly Terrain As 15’ Zone 1, 2x(2.5’ Zone 3, 2.5’ Zone 2), 5’ Zone 1 At 90–95 RPM.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

BIKE 15’ Zone 1 At 90–95 RPM.

Sunday

Competition!

How Breathing Training Can Improve Your Sprint Triathlon Performance

A sprint triathlon is a unique sport. Because of the relatively short distances of each leg, you are able to perform at a much higher percentage of your maximal levels. This means, however, that the toll on your respiratory system is much higher as it strives to deliver more oxygen to your muscles at a faster rate.

An often overlooked solution to this is respiratory muscle training. Using a training device such as the Airofit will allow you to strengthen and increase the endurance of your breathing muscles, meaning they can stave off fatigue and save the oxygen for where your need it most - your working muscles!

References

1) Etxebarria, N., Mujika, I., & Pyne, D. B. (2019). Training and Competition Readiness in Triathlon. Sports, 7(5), 101.

2) O’Toole, M. L., & Douglas, P. S. (1995). Applied physiology of triathlon. Sports Medicine, 19(4), 251-267.

3) Dallam, G. M., Jonas, S., & Miller, T. K. (2005). Medical considerations in triathlon competition. Sports Medicine, 35(2), 143-161.

4) Wu, S. S., Peiffer, J. J., Brisswalter, J., Nosaka, K., & Abbiss, C. R. (2014). Factors influencing pacing in triathlon. Open access journal of sports medicine, 5, 223.