12 Weeks of Training for Your First Sprint-Distance Triathlon

Mischele Stevens

Contributor - Triathlon Workouts

Barrie, Canada

Triathlon, Endurance Sports


EDITOR'S NOTE: Mischele Stevens has been helping beginners fulfill their dream of completing a triathlon for the past decade. A former ironman athlete, Mischele has coached athletes to the World Championship level at both the 70.3 and full Ironman distance. In addition to her work with elite athletes, Mischele also coaches in a community-based program that helps hundreds of people of all levels complete triathlons each year. 


This programming has been designed for the beginner to train for a sprint distance triathlon, but anyone can use it.


There will be workouts that you will be asked you to record the time or distance. Do it! Recording your training sessions allows you to confirm that you are progressing. All workouts are expected to be done with a hard/fast effort unless stated otherwise. This means you will not enjoy it and will wish desperately for it to be over. This is how we get fitter and faster. Plus, if you are in a time crunch you can get a workout in without taking away from life.


You will plug the training week into your life and complete each workout according to your schedule. This allows you to swim when you can get to the pool or bike when you have more time, not because I said you have to do it on a certain day.


Please do not do the same sport two days in a row (example: swim on Monday and Tuesday). You can do more than one workout in a day, but need at least three hours between for recovery. There are six workouts in a week. Do not make up any you miss from previous weeks. You must take one whole day off in a week to rest and recover.



Workouts for Week 2

sprint triathlon training with mischele stevens



sprint triathlon training with mischele stevens


How-to: Fueling During Exercise

Just as what you eat before you exercise greatly affects your energy levels, so does what you eat during exercise. This is when you need to balance your sweat losses and energy output with enough water and carbohydrates to remain hydrated and maintain normal blood sugar levels for optimum performance.


You can increase your stamina by consuming 100-250 calories of carbs per hour during endurance exercise AFTER the first hour. This could be four eight-ounce sports drink, or a carbohydrate gel with lots of water to wash it down. Your body doesn’t care if you ingest solid or liquid carbohydrates, both are equally effective. You'll learn which settle best in your body and how much is appropriate.


Keep in mind that too much sugar or food taken at once can reduce the rate at which fluids leave the stomach and become available to replace sweat loss. Be more conservative with carbohydrates during hot weather, when rapid fluid replacement is perhaps more important than carbohydrate replacement.


Race day is not the time to experiment with sports drinks and carbohydrate replacement. Experiment during training, in all types of conditions, well in advance of race day.


Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you're in.


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