The 6 Essentials: Triathlon Training For Beginners

Beginning your training for a triathlon can be difficult and confusing.  What equipment do you need? How much should you train? How do you mentally prepare for a race? And lastly, the training plan! Triathlon training for beginners can be boiled down to a few steps. I’ve come up with 6 tips for beginner triathletes looking for success in their first race.

1. Train with friends or with a group. This will help you to stay accountable, to stay on track, and to keep motivated. Even if you meet with a friend once a week for a workout, this goes a long way in making sure you stay in shape. You will also need these training buddies to help you celebrate goal achievements, exchange the latest info, and even voice a complaint to here and there.

2. Learn the course that you will be racing on. This one seems like a no-brainer, but so many beginners don’t do this, and end up lost or confused during the race! A good way to prevent this is to practice on the course itself before your race. If it’s too far away or not feasible for you to do that, there are a couple of other things you can do here: examine the course map and simply do a swimming warm up the morning of the race- so you don’t have to start out cold and stiff. This will also help to get rid of a lot of stress that many athletes succumb to on the morning of the race.

3. Learn to fix a flat tire. The odds of you having to do this in a sprint triathlon are low. However, you may be forced to change a flat on a training ride. And, that may be a day when you are biking solo. Lots of triathlon shops and bike shops hold classes on repairing flat tires, and other basic bicycle maintenance that can prevent big problems later.

4. Practice in your wetsuit. Most triathlons allow wetsuits. If you wait until your race to put on a wetsuit, you may encounter some trouble! If you’re not used to them, wearing a wetsuit can sometimes be uncomfortable- and even a hinderance to your swimming. A good goal is to swim in your wetsuit once a week while you train.

5. Focus on running technique. A lot of people ignore this when they train for a triathlon. They think they already know how to run. But this can often lead to injuries. Running techniques like Pose and Chi can be helpful in allowing you to figure out what works and what doesn’t in your running form. This is a case of where pre-emptive action will save yourself a lot of time and agony later.

6. Pay close attention to nutrition. So many new triathletes have goals like becoming more fit, or losing weight. But they blow these goals by training hard and then eating “whatever they want” after big workouts. This will lead to trouble! Not only will you likely not achieve your fitness goals, but you will overall have less energy. This isn’t to say that triathletes need to have a strict diet and never eat dessert or have a beer here and there. But for the most part, the carb-heavy foods are the downfall of so many athletes I have seen. Keep a close eye on the number of “energy bars” you are downing, as those are often loaded with sugar and chemicals and can take you off your game.

Triathlon training for beginners can be a bit overwhelming as far as what you need to know before diving into your first triathlon. But undertaking a triathlon is where breakthroughs happen in life, and by doing your first race, you never know what kind of outcome you may experience- you may even form an “addiction” to the sport!

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Training Schedule for a Sprint Triathlon: Variation is Key

There are a few things that are vital to know when you’re preparing your training schedule for a sprint triathlon (or really, any endurance event). Intensity, volume, frequency, and rest are matters which are related and may apply to any workout routine. Frequency may be the number of times you train inside a given time period for example, one week. When deciding how often to train, you need to consider several things before setting up your plan: What type of shape are you in now? What age range are you currently in? What do you want to complete? And lastly, what amount of rest will you need?

To allow for recovery it’s essential to get your rest! Each one of these things determines how frequently you are able to train.

Between these four aspects you’ll need a good balance to be able to put together a successful training schedule for a sprint triathlon. You will need to move down the frequency as you move up the intensity in your workouts, as the body will require more rest to be able to properly recover. To practice more often, you can alternate between easier and harder training days, and varying your workouts through the week.

When figuring out your training schedule it’s also important to consider your profession. Do you have a physically demanding job? Or most days of your work week are you sitting in a desk? Either can benefit or hinder your fitness goals, but you will have to know this before going in to your training.

Volume is dependent upon distance for endurance sports like triathlon. Physiological stress and total quantity of energy you will need to finish this distance are the two things that will affect your body. Pay special focus on both of these, as it can be very easy within this sport to overtrain and wind up exhausted! Make sure to give yourself the necessary rest to be sure you’re fully recovered before the next workout, particularly when you’re likely to be doing longer workouts. When preparing your training schedule, include each group of workout: frequency, volume, intensity, and rest.

To allow for maximum recovery make sure to get lots of rest. By doing this the body has time to heal and be a far more efficient as well as become a faster athlete. “Listen to your body”. I know, you’ve probably heard this before, but it’s certainly one thing to keep in mind. Skip a session! If you’re not feeling ready or up for any workout on your schedule. Or possibly, you can do a light and easy workout instead.

By trying to proceed and perform a workout that you’re not ready for, you will really be doing yourself damage- and might get injured. In your workouts change things up. Focus on what your body needs.

Most importantly, bear in mind the fun factor- workout sessions should be fun in addition to a challenge, and always take a break when you need one.

Enjoy your workouts!

For more information on a training schedule for a sprint triathlon, check out our website at

How You Should Structure a Training Plan for a Sprint Triathlon

So you’re entering a sprint triathlon, and don’t know how to go about training? Here is a guide to training that should set you on the right course! 

First of all, disregard gear, stroke methodology, swimming fast, or triathlon transitions.

The most important aspect of preparing for doing a sprint distance triathlon will definitely be your workout program itself. A strong triathlon training program for a sprint triathlon is going to have you going in the proper path, so to speak, from your starting point onward. So exactly how do you establish a “solid” deal when there is so much noise out there about the greatest method to get in shape for this pastime?

Start by taking into consideration where you happen to be beginning from. Are you a couch potato that needs to master how to swim as well as ramp up your exercise amount little by little? Or, are you at the moment exercising several days a week, and just looking for a new kind of challenge or goal in your life?

If you are in good condition already, as well as understand the basics of swimming, you will have no problem jumping in to a training routine. Frequently times, this is going to consist of about 9-12 weeks, where you are swimming, biking, as well as running 3 times per week each. For a sprint, the race distances can fluctuate.

Nonetheless, by the time your triathlon is upon you, you need to be able to do each distance of the race on consecutive days. As an example, if your race is a 500 meter swim, 20k bike, as well as 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 worked out much in a while, and entering a triathlon was a move you made to force yourself to get in better shape, you definitely made a very good choice!

Your training program will be a little unique, nonetheless. Instead of starting with running, just begin walking daily. After a week or so, jog a little bit. Slowly increase your pace until you have the ability to simply run a couple miles without a problem.

Same detail will apply to cycling. You might have the ability to go for longer earlier, on the other hand don’t be tempted to overdo it!

The swim is another story. If you are not accustomed to swimming, or don’t know just how to swim, do not be embarrassed to take it from the beginning. Practice submerging your face and blowing bubbles. Really!

In my many years of swim teaching, I have actually run into various real novices that should start at this fundamental level. The good thing regarding a sprint triathlon is that you don’t have to go very far in the water. So, shift from the basic swimming techniques to balancing in the water.

As soon as you have balance (or good feel for the water), you can easily endure a traditional sprint swim distance – even if you finish towards the back of the swim pack.

In general, your program really should look something like this:

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

Some people need or want that one day a week of total rest. You can easily always double up on some days if this describes you.

So there you have your sprint triathlon training program for your upcoming event! Persevere, be consistent, have fun with your training,  and you will most likely be satisfied with your results on race day.

For more information on a training plan for a sprint triathlon, check out our website at