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Sprint Distance Triathlon Training Schedule

Sprint Tri Training Schedule

Being a goal-oriented gal, I have learned I work out much more consistently when I have a goal in mind, like training for a race. If cross training is your thing, why not try a triathlon? Mixing up the endurance sports of running, biking, and swimming helps to keep overuse injuries and boredom at bay.

If you're not up for the challenge of an Ironman triathlon that involves swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running a full 26.2 mile marathon, tackle a much shorter and more doable sprint triathlon which includes a .5 mile swim, 12.4 mile bike ride, and a 5K (3.1 mile) run. The distances may vary a bit from course to course depending on the body of water for the swim and the terrain for biking. Just be warned — a sprint tri is the gateway race to longer and longer distances.

Here is the training schedule, created by the YMCA Tri Club, that I used a couple of years ago when training for my first tri. It is a great training program that slowly builds so it is great for beginners but has easy recovery weeks every three weeks or so. Even if you're not planning on participating in a triathlon, this training schedule might be just the thing you need to get ready for the beach. You can choose to do one workout on each day of the week or double up on workouts to give yourself a rest day.

Continue reading to see the 14-week training schedule.

Week Run Time in Minutes Bike Time in Minutes Swim Time in Minutes Total Workout Time Extras
1 30, 20, 20 45, 30 30, 20 3 1/4 hours
2 30, 20, 20 45, 30 30, 20 3 1/4 hours
3 30, 30 45 30 2 1/4 hours
4 30, 45 60, 45 30, 30 4 hours
5 30, 45 60, 45 30, 30 4 hours Open water swim practice
6 30, 20, 20 45, 45 30, 20 3 1/2 hours
7 30, 45, 30 60, 60 30, 45 5 hours
8 30, 45, 30 60, 60 30, 45 5 hours Open water swim practice
9 30, 45, 30 60, 60 30, 45 5 hours
10 30, 45 60, 45 30, 30 4 hours
11 30, 45, 30 45, 60 30, 45 4 3/4 hours Work swim-to-bike transition
12 30, 45, 30 45, 60 30, 45, 30 5 1/4 hours Practice triathalon
13 30 45, 45 30 3 hours Open water swim practice
14 30 45 30 1 1/4 hours RACE

Don't forget to print this out and put it on your fridge. Nothing is as satisfying as crossing off a 60-minute bike ride!

Image Source: Corbis Images
runswimmerrun runswimmerrun 6 years
:) I love the "caution" and it is so true. As a college distance swimmer I always cross trained with running. After college I added more running and my swim races were in the ocean. It took 1 year to be bitten by the tri bug and 3 years later (this July) I am attempting my first half ironman (70.3) triathlon. Also be prepared to spend serious cash; it irks me since I came from the CHEAPEST sport. I could outfit anyone for any swim race for $30.
cotedazur cotedazur 7 years
Ah, runningesq, I agree with you if your goal is to just finish. I was thinking more of people who want to go out there and compete. I do, though, think it's important to do at least a few workouts that last as long as your predicted race.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
I disagree, cotedazur. If your goal is to "just finish" you don't need a few 50+ mile bike rides. Of course the more time in the saddle the better, but it's not necessary.
cotedazur cotedazur 7 years
This looks pretty good, but I would say the bike times are far from sufficient. You need to be doing two hour rides - at the very minimum. A few weeks before the race you should start doing 2 1/2 to 3 hour rides. The important thing is to do at least one workout per week that is as long as your probable race time. So if you think you're going to finish the race in 2 1/2 hours, you should do at least one workout per week where you exercise for 2 1/2 hours without stopping. Since you're probably not going to run or swim 2 1/2 hours without breaks, the bike is the best way to get this workout in.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Check out --- they have free training programs and great forums for support. I've used their training programs for everything from a sprint to an Ironman. I'm pretty excited because a half ironman I did was recently named The Hardest Race in the World :)
kclulu kclulu 7 years
I am thinking of doing a tri in the fall but I don't have a clue how to train, thanks for posting this!
lindsayyaw lindsayyaw 9 years
There's a cool article on about training for triathlons that included a great training service called BeThree's also posting a story next week on where the coolest triathlons are happening this summer.
amarra amarra 9 years
Thank you for this!! A girlfriend and I are currently training for our first sprint distance triathlon--this will certainly help!
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