5 Simple Steps to Help You Create Your Own Sprint Triathlon Training Program

Is this the year you compete in a sprint triathlon? The following is are few simple triathlon program and training schedule steps to assist triathlete beginners in preparing for their first sprint triathlon training program.

Step One: Determine Your Goal

It is important to ensure that you set SMART goals. This means that the goals you set for yourself should be specific, measurable, accurate, realistic and timely. If you are in the process of training for a particular triathlon such as a local sprint triathlon competition, then we can say that you already have a realistic and specific goal. What you need to work on next is developing the goal in to something measurable accurate and timely. An illustration of a great goal is “to participate and achieve a time of 1 hour or less in the sprint triathlon 2012.” Knowing where you are and where you are headed is the first step towards achieving your goal.

Step Two: Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Many novice triathletes miss out on the important phase of developing their triathlon program due to their excitement, and end up rushing to jump into training. So what is the importance of determining our strengths and weakness? Well imagine you are at an unknown location, but have a map and are trying to get to the triathlon starting point. There is no way you can make it to the starting point if you don’t know where you currently are.

Assessing your strengths and weakness can be a tricky affair especially if you are doing it on your own. Keeping a record of fitness, health and skill tests you undergo in your sprint triathlon 2012 training program can be a great help when it comes to pinpointing problem areas that require special attention and improvement.

Step Three: Set Your Volume

This step requires you to have a rough template of your weekly schedule or calendar, and pen. The term “volume” refers to the amount of training in terms of hours or distance you are going to complete each week. In order to be productive, set an effective training volume for your upcoming sprint triathlon 2012 competition. The following factors need to be taken in to consideration:

  1. Amount of available time you have to train
  2. Amount of time you wish to dedicate towards training
  3. Triathlon training goals (most triathlete beginners generally set three to five hours a week aside for training whereas more experienced or seasoned athletes train for 10 to 15 hours a week or more).

Step Four: Decide on Intensity

This step is generally thought of by most triathletes and triathlete trainers as the money maker. Intensity here refers to how hard you train. There are basically two types of training sessions when it comes to the discussion of training intensity – these are speed and endurance. Though one of your goals may be to beat a particular overall triathlon time record it is important to keep in mind that overdoing things by training too hard can lead to injury and negative results, like burnout.

Step Five: Continuous Improvement

The final step involves you continuously assessing yourself by reviewing training session achievements or lack of achievements and adjusting your sprint triathlon 2012 training program to meet your needs.

A Solid Triathlon Training Plan for a Sprint Triathlon

Forget about equipment, stroke technique, going fast, or transitions. The most important part of preparing for doing a sprint distance triathlon will be your training plan itself. A solid triathlon training plan for a sprint triathlon will have you moving in the right direction, so to speak, from day one onward. 

So how do you develop a “solid” plan when there is so much noise out there about the best way to train for this sport?

First of all, take into consideration where you are starting from. Are you currently exercising several days a week, and want a new challenge? Or, are you a couch potato that needs to learn how to swim and ramp up your activity level slowly?

If you are in good shape already, and know the basics of swimming, you will have no problem jumping in to a training schedule. Often times, this will consist of about 9-12 weeks, where you are swimming, biking, and running 3 times per week each. For a sprint, the race distances can vary. However, by the time your race is upon you, you should be able to do each distance of the race on consecutive days. For example, if your race is a 500 meter swim, 20k bike, and 5k run, do the swim on Monday, the bike Tuesday, and the run Wednesday. 

If you are currently at a point where you haven’t exercised much in a while, and entering a triathlon was a move you made to force yourself to get into better shape, you definitely made a good decision! Your training plan will be a little different, however. Instead of starting with running, just start walking every day. After a week or so, jog a little bit. Slowly increase your pace until you can easily run a couple miles without a problem.

Same thing will apply to biking. You may be able to go for longer sooner, but don’t be tempted to overdo it!

The swim is another story. If you are not used to swimming, or don’t know how to swim, don’t be embarrassed to take it from the beginning. Learn to submerge your face and blow bubbles. Seriously! In my years of coaching, I have come across many true beginners that need to start at this basic level. The good thing about a sprint triathlon is that you don’t have to go very far in the water. So, move from the basic swimming skills to balancing in the water. Once you have balance, you can survive a typical sprint swim distance- even if you are going super slow.

In general, your plan should look something like this:

Monday: Swim
Tuesday: Bike and Run
Wednesday: Swim 
Thursday: Bike & Run
Friday: Swim
Saturday: Bike
Sunday: Run

You can always double up on some days if you want a day off each week.

So there you have your sprint triathlon training plan for your next race! Stick with it, be consistent, and you will most likely be satisfied with your results on race day.

5 Tips to Sprint Triathlon Training

Are you planning on doing a sprint triathlon this year but are new to the sport? Have you done one in the past and want to improve on your time, or your place? Sprint triathlon training can be a little confusing at first, but there are a few things that can get you off to the right start, making sure you are doing all the right things. Here are 5 tips to training for a sprint triathlon to get you on the right track:

1. List out on a piece of paper all the reasons you are setting out to train for this race. I know this tip is a little out there, but if you have your reasons on paper, your motivation will remain high. And without motivation, your training will fall off and you will be in the back of the pack, and/or in pain at your race.

2. Start with a plan. Map out your training. You may miss a workout here or there, but putting everything down on to some kind of schedule will keep you on track for the most part. With this plan, make sure to put the days and times you will be training for each discipline, as well as your goals overall.

3. Get the RIGHT gear (but keep it minimal). With triathlon, it’s tempting to go out and get a lot of really cool gear when you get started. But this is foolish for a few reasons. First, you don’t know how long you will be in the sport. Why waste the money? Second, since you’re not sure what exactly you need yet, you may buy things you don’t need. You will learn as you go. Third, top gear won’t do much for you if you’re in the early stages of racing. Stick with the basics- swim suit, googles, tri-bike, helmet, short and running shoes. You may want a watch to keep track of your time, but let’s save getting fancy for later!

4. Make sure to warm up for each workout you do, and for your race. One huge mistake people make is that they think they’re in good enough shape to just blast out a workout or race, and they end up getting injured. We all need a good warm up. Make sure you don’t fall into “groupthink” here if everyone else seems to be jumping full on into their workouts without warming up.

5. Become very familiar with your bike. Get a bike fit as soon as possible, and make sure it’s the right size for you. Take a clinic on bikes if you’re not familiar with them. It’s a great idea to learn how to change a tire, and how to do minimal repairs and adjustments that you may need to know as you go out on your training rides.

Sprint triathlon training can be fun, and rewarding. By following the tips above, you should be able to cruise to a nice finish in your first race- or beat your best time this coming year.

Sprint Triathlon Training