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 7

mischele stevens triathlon coach sprint tri run bike swim


Brick Workouts

Oh, the dreaded brick workout. The combination of biking and running will leave you literally weak in the knees. Bricks are an important part of your training that enhances aerobic endurance, race pacing, and transition skill. They also help in determining what race attire to wear, since you need to be able to swim, bike, and run in the same outfit.


To be successful, you will need to have your running shoes, water, sunglasses and hat (optional) ready for the end of the bike. Move quickly to transition from bike to run, and then get running. The first 100-200m will not be enjoyable, but keep at it. The better you get, the easier it will be.


We will ease into the brick workouts now to prepare you if you wish to do a race in a couple weeks. In the next two twelve-week programming blocks we will leave them out due to the inclement weather in most of the country and lack of racing available.


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


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