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 4

triathlon training mischele stevens


Keep Negativity out!

Thinking negatively causes failure. Thinking positively causes success. The power of positive words and thoughts can improve our experience in a race situation by increasing our self-confidence as an athlete.


Experiment with positive self-talk during training and then apply it to racing. For example, if you don’t enjoy hills, wind or swimming, try repeating over and over that you “love” hills, wind and swimming. You will notice a difference in your strength and energy. The result is a more natural and powerful performance.


Triathlon races, especially at the ironman distance, can be an emotional roller coaster. It’s a long day with highs and lows and it's a real challenge to keep negative thoughts away. Negativity can ruin your race and possibly make it impossible to finish. One must be strong-minded to turn these nasty demons into angels, otherwise you may find a fist of fury coming down on you.


We all experience nervousness before big events. It’s a perfectly natural feeling. This is the time to be strong, avoid self-doubt, have confidence in yourself, and know you are prepared. It’s important when you get to the start line to remember – your body did the work! Racing is the reward for all the hard training.


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


See more about: , , , ,
Breaking Muscle Newsletter

Breaking Muscle Newsletter

Get updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.