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The Next Step Tri Sprint/ Olympic Distance Triathlon Program

by Coaches Dan Brown and Ani de Leon-Brown

 

In this 12-week sample program for a sprint triathlon, a typical week consists of 5 to 6 training days and 1 to 2 days off.  This is a general plan. If, for some reason, the schedule does not suit you, it’s okay to be flexible and move the training around a bit.

Do not worry about distance or speed in the beginning. As you get fitter you will see that you will start to cover more distance in the same amount of time.

Strengthening, in particular core strengthening, is beneficial to the program, even if you do not have a gym membership. Bodyweight exercises are more than enough.

Do not forget to have a proper warm up and cool down. Dynamic and fast stretches can be done after the warm up and before your harder efforts. Static, longer types of stretching is best done afterwards.

Do the longer end of the time range of you are training for the Olympic distance.

Before beginning this program, make sure you are healthy and injury-free. Get clearance from your physician.

Good luck!

 

 

WEEK 1

BUILD A BASE

WEEK 2

BUILD A BASE

WEEK 3 

BUILD A BASE

Your 

Goal 

Build up your aerobic 

endurance, but stay low on effort and training volume. 

Build up your aerobic 

endurance, but stay low on effort and training volume.

Build up your aerobic 

endurance, but stay low on effort and training volume. 

Monday Off Off Off
Tuesday Swim 20 mins

(include technique drills)

+ Strengthening

Swim 25 mins

(include technique drills)

+ Strengthening

Swim 30 mins

(include technique drills)

+ Strengthening

Wednesday Short/Medium Bike Ride

30 mins + Run (off the bike) 15 to 20 mins

Short/Medium Bike Ride

35 mins + Run (off the bike) 20 to 30 mins

Short/Medium Bike Ride

45 mins + Run (off the bike)

25 to 35 mins

Thursday Swim 20 mins

(include technique drills + easy paddle work) + Strengthening

Swim 25 mins

(include technique drills + easy paddle work) + Strengthening

Swim 30 mins

(include technique drills

+ easy paddle work)

+ Strengthening

Friday  Off Off Off
Saturday Longer Bike Ride + Run

(10 min off the bike)

Longer Bike Ride + Run

(10 min off the bike)

Longer Bike Ride + Run

(10 min off the bike)

Sunday Longer Run

(include technique drills)

Longer Run

(include technique drills)

Longer Run

(include technique drills)

 

WEEK 4

GAIN STRENGTH

WEEK 5

GAIN STRENGTH

WEEK 6

EASE UP

Your 

Goal 

Be able to increase intensity of the workouts. Incorporate some hills and easy speed. Be able to increase intensity of the workouts. Incorporate some hills and easy speed. Take a step back on mileage and intensity so you can do the next phase of the training program better.
Monday Off Off Off
Tuesday Swim 30 mins

(include warmup drills and sets of fast 25-meters and 50-meters (for ex. 10 x 25 m fast with 30 secs rest in between)  + Strengthening

Swim 30 mins

(include warmup drills and sets of fast 25-meters and 50-meters (for ex. 10 x 25 m fast with 30 secs rest in between)  + Strengthening

Swim 20 mins drills

+ Bike 30 min

Wednesday Bike 30 mins (include 5 sets of 1 min fast + 1 min easy) + Run 30 to 45 mins (with hills) Bike 30 mins (include 5 sets of 1 min fast + 1 min easy) + Run 30 to 45 mins (with hills) Strengthening
Thursday Swim 40 mins

(include warmup drills and sets of 100s and 200s using paddles) + Strengthening

Swim 40 mins

(include warmup drills and sets of 100s and 200s using paddles) + Strengthening

Run 30-45 mins
Friday  Off or Optional Easy 30-min Run with technique drills Off or Optional Easy 30-min Run with technique drills Off
Saturday Bike 1 to 2 hours

(include hllls) + Run (off the bike) 10 to 15 mins easy

Bike 1 to 2 hours

(include hllls) + Run (off the bike) 10 to 15 mins easy

Swim 30 mins drills

+ paddle work

Sunday Run 60 to 75 mins

(include 5 sets of 1 min fast,

1 min easy)

Run 60 to 75 mins

(include 5 sets of 1 min fast,

1 min easy)

Bike 60 mins + Run 30 mins

 

WEEK 7

BUILD POWER & SPEED

WEEK 8

BUILD POWER & SPEED

WEEK 9

BUILD POWER & SPEED

Your 

Goal 

Step up power and speed Step up power and speed Step up power and speed 
Monday Off Off Off
Tuesday Swim 30 mins (include warmup drills & sets of 25 meters and

50 meters + Strengthening

Swim 30 mins (include warmup drills & sets of 25 meters and

50 meters + Strengthening

Swim 30 mins (include warmup drills & sets of 25 meters and

50 meters + Strengthening

Wednesday Bike 40 mins (include 5 sets of

2 mins fast + 1 min easy) +

Run 30 mins (include 5 sets of

2 mins fast + 1 min easy)

Bike 40 mins (include 5 sets of

2 mins fast + 1 min easy) +

Run 30 mins (include 5 sets of

2 mins fast + 1 min easy)

Bike 40 mins (include 5 sets of

2 mins fast + 1 min easy) +

Run 30 mins (include 5 sets of

2 mins fast + 1 min easy)

Thursday Swim 40 mins (include warmup drills & sets of 100s and 200s

with paddles) + Strengthening

Swim 40 mins (include warmup drills & sets of 100s and 200s with paddles) + Strengthening Swim 40 mins (include warmup drills & sets of 100s and 200s

with paddles) + Strengthening

Friday  Off or Optional 30-45 min Run

with technique drills

Off or Optional 30-45 min Run with technique drills Off or Optional 30-45 min Run

with technique drills

Saturday Bike 60-90 mins

(including 20 mins at target race pace) + Run (off the bike)

20-30 mins steady pace

Bike 60-90 mins

(including 20 mins at target race pace) + Run (off the bike)

20-30 mins steady pace

Bike 60-90 mins

(including 20 mins at target race pace) + Run (off the bike)

20-30 mins steady pace

Sunday Run 20 mins easy

(5min fast, 5 mins easy;

10 mins fast; 20 mins easy)

Run 20 mins easy

(5min fast, 5 mins easy;

10 mins fast; 20 mins easy)

Run 20 mins easy

(5min fast, 5 mins easy;

10 mins fast; 20 mins easy)

 

WEEK 10

EASE UP

WEEK 11

REACH YOUR PEAK

WEEK 12

READY TO RACE

Your 

Goal 

Cut back on mileage but have days where you still insert short speed work. These are race-specific workouts closely simulating the effort and sometimes the distance that you will be executing on race day. Get to the start line sharp and fresh, not tired or dull. Rest more if needed. Taper week is best done with shorter training sessions sprinkled with some intensity.
Monday Off Off Off
Tuesday Swim 30 mins (include warmup drills and main set of 10 x 25m) + Bike 45-70 mins steady Swim 30 mins (include warmup drills and sets of 25 meters and 50 meters) + Run 20 mins (include 5 sets of 1 min fast + 1min easy) Swim 20 mins

(include main set of 6 x 50 meters)

Wednesday Strengthening Bike 30 mins (5 mins easy, 2x 10 mins at target race pace with 5 mins easy in between) + Run  30 mins start moderate, finish strong Run 15-20 mins easy
Thursday Run 45 mins including main set of 6 x 45 secs fast, 45 secs easy Swim 30 mins

(include warmup drills and sets of 100s and 200s with paddles)

Off or Easy 20 mins Swim

or Easy 30-45 mins Spin

Friday  Off Off or Optional 30 mins Easy Run with Technique Drills 3 sets of Bike 8 mins + Run 6 mins; do the first one easy, the second set moderate, and the last set hard.
Saturday Swim 30min drills and easy paddle work Bike 60-75min including 30min at target race pace +  Run 30min including 10-15min at target race pace AM: Swim 10min Bike 20min Optional 5-10min Run.

Include a couple of 30 second accelerations for all three sports.

PM: Stay off your feet

Sunday Bike 60min including 5 sets of 1min fast 1min easy + Run 15min Off RACE DAY

 

 

 

 




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