Looking for Training Schedule Ideas for a Sprint Tri

carmenh  Dec 17th 2009 at 03:30

I'm new to triathlons and I've got my first one August 2010. Its a sprint. It will be up at about 5,000 feet above sea level so I know it probably seems like its early to start training but I want to be extra ready and I'm hoping to build a foundation so I can continue with other triathlons.

I am looking for some training ideas preferably weeks that can have 10% added to them so that I can roll them into other weeks.

This is my first week and these are my results so far:

Monday Stationary Bike 30 mins on level 6 @ greater than 90RPMs
Tuesday Treadmill Running for 15mins @ 5.2 and walk for 30mins @ 4.0 with 4 incline
Wednesday Swim 450 meters
Thursday Bike 40 mins on level 6 @ greater than 90RPMs (Planned)

Workouts are at about 80-85% of my effort level.
Am I on the right track?

8 replies
basicbike  Dec 17th 2009 at 17:25
I am by no means an expert in this field, but did London OD this year and absolutely loved it. In my opinion you are probably starting out with an overly complicated plan too early on, and risk getting bored by the time it comes to April, let alone August next year!

If you search on the internet there are hundreds of free suggested training plans that will take you through a 12 or 14 week plan to get you in shape for the race. They vary in intensity to cater for beginner/intermediate/super quick and are easy to tailor depending on your time constraints.

Having said that everyone who is anyone and has some qualified knowledge suggests that you build a good base through winter and again you can find plans for this but I think some longer, steady runs, long bike rides and plenty of swim practice will stand you in good stead. At this stage I'd say you should just spend time doing all three disciplines as opposed to getting hung up on times and splits. After all you have to enjoy it.

Why not sign up to a few different types of winter race, off road duathlons, adventure races, 10k road races etc to keep it interesting and give you something to train for in the interim.

Happy training!

South Cerney Sprint: 1hr 17mims
Mazda London Olympic: 2hrs 34mins
prhim  Dec 18th 2009 at 14:47
Again, am only new to this myself, but from what I've read and been told, interval training is the way to go.

It looks like your plan is mostly built around 'constant effort' type exercises. I'd mix these up and instead concentrate on training (for run and bike) where you go hard for a period of time (say 400m on treadmill, 1km on stationary bike) then rest off for about half the time the hard bit took you. Then do it over again, maybe 4-6 reps initially; Working up to 12 or so.

Over time, you should also look to increase the distance for your 'sprints', maintaining the same rest periods (e.g. 600m sprint, 30 secs rest, 600m sprint etc)

From what I've researched, that should help you raise your fitness levels faster and start to introduce more speed into your run and bike sections.

Also, can't help but notice that all your training is gym based. Even though it's winter, there's no substitute for getting outside once in a while!


Hope that helps.
carmenh  Dec 18th 2009 at 19:53
Cool, Thanks for the tips!

I'm not too worried about getting bored as I was a collegiate athlete for several years. Routines feel like home and keep me going when things get tough or I hit plateaus.

Last night I did bike a longer hilly session than usual (thanks to the suggestion) at 20 miles. It was actually pretty enjoyable

I like the idea of intervals as well. I am a bit worried about developing too many fast twitch muscles with these routines.. is that a valid concern? What about strength training? Are 3X12 reps ok or should I be doing even more like 3X20 at an even lighter weight?

You are right I haven't been working out outside at all. I live in a big city in Arizona, USA and it's not safe for girls to run or bike outside by themselves. We are averaging at minimum one kidnapping a day. I'll have to find a partner I suppose.

Thanks again!
 abrewer abrewer: There are loads of plans to follow for a sprint distance tri but certainly longer base miles at this time of the year is the way to go. I think that will also help with the altitude side of your event - would be good to get some advice on this though - as not sure what the impact of this would be and you don't really want to be finding out on the day. Would also suggest some swim technique sets rather than just 450m up and down.
Dec 21st 2009 12:00
 mhillacorn mhillacorn: What I wonder is if I train at the gym the whole time will it help or hinder me on race day? I hesitate to run outside because it might be harder on my joints ( I am carmenh's mom, so joint injury is more of a concern for me... ) Also when I run I have been running on a treadmill at an incline of 7%. Is this bad or will it help when I do have to run on the flats? Thanks for any help!
Dec 21st 2009 23:32
 bigmafya bigmafya: In my experience I've found that it's been easy to get the base level of fitness to complete a sprint Tri sorted out. If you would like to cement a "decent" finish then faster work is essential, as is working on brick sessions and your transition as they will have a significant impact on times. Unfortunately there is also no substitute for getting out of the gym and on the road, especially if you have access to run/cycle in areas with varied terrain and gradients. Join a club or get a notice up in your gym for like minded people to support you. In terms of strength training I made the huge mistake of ignoring it whilst I attempted to get myself leaner and undoubtedly it affected my performance. I am now back on the weights (combining strength and lean muscle training) and am performing far better.
Dec 31st 2009 10:07
Catherine1975  Dec 30th 2009 at 02:57
hey entered my first sprint tri last summer, it was brilliant, this season will compete in all the longer distance ones in Ireland, to be honest swimming outdoors was the biggest hurdle for me, such a difference from the pool and then the difference in fresh and sea water swimming. Coupled by a wet suit, it really was a different sensation. I purchased my bike a month before the tri, and managed the 20k in 40mins for the race. Get a good bike, spend the money if you have it, buy the best you can afford. I did a lot of 20k cycles and 5k runs (block training) leading to my race. Know your course, especially if you are coming off the bike and facing a hill on your run, ease off on the bike if you are. My brother and sister are in their fouth year competing in Triathlons so they gave me great tips. First and most important one was to run your own race, second was to REST in between training sessions, thirdly was to enjoy the tri. It is an amazing crossing that finish line knowing that you have just competed in a triathlon. The very best if luck to you and enjoy.
TriBlogs  May 7th 2012 at 09:44
Hey all, we now have sprint distance training plans on the site under training programmes that load straight into you plan! They do cost but they are currently a bargain at 15 (usually 30) and are written by a really great coach who we'd recommend and can be started at any time to suit you!
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