Free Sprint Triathlon Training Plans & Tips

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How To Train For A Sprint Triathlon

A sprint triathlon usually involves a 750-meter swim, a 20-km bike and a 5-km run, although these distances can vary slightly. The best way to train for a sprint triathlon is to include regular swimming, cycling and running into your lifestyle. That may sound obvious, but the point is that other types of cardiovascular training are not as effective. For example, activities like aerobics and rowing are great, but they’re not your best use of time for triathlon. You’re better off sticking exclusively with swimming, cycling and running. Plus, some strength training, if you have the additional time.

The challenge of triathlon training is trying to fit it all in, on top of everything else in your life. To improve at all three disciplines simultaneously, you need to train twice per week for each one. That’s six workouts per week, before you’ve even considered strength training. Thankfully, the workouts don’t have to be long, typically 15 to 60 minutes in duration. However, it’s still important to carefully plan your training before you start.

Table of Contents (click to scroll to each section)

Swimming Tips

This is most people’s weakest area, and the aspect they are most concerned about. If you’re not a confident swimmer, it’s a good idea to sign up for a series of adult improver swim lessons. Within a matter of weeks, you will improve your technique and fitness. Otherwise, it’s tough to improve your swimming alone.

Once you can swim 400 meters or yards freestyle in a pool without stopping, you can then train on your own more, or in a group. Break up your swim workouts, into smaller chunks with regular rest periods. We suggest you always have some idea of what you’re doing, before you get in the pool. You’ll get more out of following a pre-planned workout, than you will by plodding up and down aimlessly. If you follow our training plans, we do all the thinking for you. We also include video swim drills, to help improve different aspects of your stroke.

If you can already swim 1000 meters or yards non-stop, you could join in with a triathlon club swim session, or masters swim club. Training in a group, with a poolside coach, is the fastest way to improve. If you’re thinking of doing a triathlon with an open water swim, it’s a good idea to practice swimming in that environment too. It doesn’t have to be every swim you do but aim for at least two open water swims before you race in open water. We include these workouts in our training plans too, in the lead up to race day.

The distance you swim in your training depends on your current level. If you’re a beginner, aim to gradually build up to a level where you can swim 1000 non-stop. That way, you know you’ll be safe to swim a sprint triathlon, and still have energy to spare.

Cycling Tips

Aim to cycle a couple of times per week (or more) and if you’re a beginner, gradually build your rides up to a distance of 25 km (or 15 miles). This will give you enough fitness for a sprint triathlon, with a little to spare. The majority of your training can be at chatting pace, but it’s also good to include some harder efforts.

You can either cycle outdoors in good weather, or indoors using a trainer such as a Wahoo KICKR. Many indoor trainers enable you to link to interactive cycling software like Zwift. This means you can ride with real people in a virtual environment – which makes it more fun. The workouts in our training plans can be exported to platforms such as Zwift, Rouvy and Garmin. However, it’s sensible to do at least some of your training outside on the bike you intend to use during your triathlon. This ensures you’re used to the feel and handling of your race-day bike.

Running Tips

Aim to run twice per week, but be sensible about your speed and distances, to avoid injury. For example, start by running two miles and increase your distance by 1 mile per month until you’re able to run four or five miles. Do most of your running at chatting pace, even if it means you have to include some walking. It’s also good to add some harder efforts, but interspersed with plenty of easy stuff. Be patient with your running. Impatience leads to injuries, and consistency is your goal.

Strength Training Tips

There are uually two 40-minute strength and conditioning sessions per week with our sprint triathlon plans. Not everyone can fit them in around their busy lives, on top of their swimming, cycling and running, but it’s good if you can. These workouts can help balance your strength and flexibility, which leads to more efficient movement patterns and fewer injuries. We suggest you only do strength work in addition to at least two swims, two runs and two cycles per week, rather than instead of them.

Using A Sprint Triathlon Training Plan

When it comes to triathlon training, it’s a good idea to follow a training plan. Research has shown that you are twice as likely to reach your goals if you train with a structured plan.

For a beginner who has some recent background in fitness or sport, we suggest you give yourself at least 12 weeks to get fit and ready for a sprint triathlon. The sooner you start, the more time you have to build up your fitness gradually. Fitness adaptations take weeks and months to occur, rather than days.

Do your best to follow the workouts below, ideally in their given order. To help you train at the right levels, we use five training zones, based on feel or heart rate. If you use heart rate, you can use our simple heart rate training zone calculator. Note: our premium plans include fitness tests for smarter, personalised training zones on every workout.

  • Zone 1 – Feels like “Easy/Recovery” – Heart rate 68-73% of max.
  • Zone 2 – Feels like “Steady/Endurance” – Heart rate 73-80% of max.
  • Zone 3 – Feels like “Mod. Hard/Tempo” – Heart rate 80-87% of max.
  • Zone 4 – Feels like “Hard/Threshold” – Heart rate 87-93% of max.
  • Zone 5 – Feels like “V. Hard/VO2 Max” – Heart rate 93-100% of max.

We also use some simple abbreviations to keep things easy to read:

  • Z1 to Z5 – Your training zone.
  • FS – Freestyle (Front Crawl).
  • PULL – Freestyle with a pull-buoy between your thighs.
  • KICK – Kick with a float held out in front.
  • DRILL – Your preference of swim technique drill.
  • BUILD – Do each rep slightly faster than the previous.
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12-Week Beginner Sprint Triathlon Plan

This short training plan is suitable for Beginner or time-limited triathletes, aiming for their first Sprint distance triathlon. With just 12 weeks to go until event-day, this plan assumes you are currently able to swim 800 m/yards with rests, ride for 30 mins and run for 15 mins – but not all on the same day. The plan builds up to race day and helps improve your fitness and confidence for your target event. All our plans are structured to give you the best chance of success for your target event – while still making sure you have quality time available for your family, friends and career.

Average weekly training hours are 3:43 with the biggest week at 4:53 hours. This includes two swims, two rides, two to three runs and an optional 45-minute strength and conditioning session (our free plans come with a free Strength & Conditioning guide too). There is usually one workout per day, with one day off each week.

Week 1 - Base Phase (2 hrs 51 mins)

Monday: Run – Steady/Endurance (15 mins)

  • A nice steady run, mainly in Z2. This can be a jog/walk.

Tuesday: Swim – Steady/Endurance (20 mins, 800m/y) + Strength (45 mins, Adaptation Phase)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 50 Kick in Z2 + 20 secs rest),
    • 1 x (50 Kick in Z4 + 20 secs rest).
  • Main Set:
    • 2 x (50 FS in Z2 + 50 FS in Z3 + 30 sec rests),
    • 2 x (50 Pull in Z2 + 50 Pull in Z4 + 30 sec rests),
    • 1 x (50 FS in Z2 + 50 FS in Z5 + 30 secs rest).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (50 FS in Z2 + 50 Choice in Z2).

Wednesday: Rest Day

Thursday: Bike – V. Hard/VO2 Max (24 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 5 mins in Z2,
    • 5 mins in Z3.
  • Main Set:
    • 3 mins in Z5 + 1 min 30 secs recovery in Z1,
    • 2 mins in Z5 + 1 min recovery in Z1,
    • 1 min in Z5 + 30 secs recovery in Z1.
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Friday: Swim – Steady/Endurance (20 mins, 800m/y)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Drill in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 15 secs rest).
  • Main Set:
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 20 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z3 + 25 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 20 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z3 + 25 secs rest).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (50 Choice in Z2 + 50 FS in Z2).

Saturday: Run – Steady/Endurance (17 mins)

  • A steady run, mainly in Z2. You should be able to chat at this intensity. This is your long run for the week and it will progress in duration. They will gradually build your endurance.

Sunday: Bike – Steady/Endurance (30 mins)

  • Ride at an easy/steady intensity, mainly in Z2 today. You should be able to chat at this intensity. This ride will improve your efficiency for using fat for fuel and increase your ability to transport oxygen to your working muscles.

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: Run – Steady/Endurance (18 mins)

  • A nice steady run, mainly in Z2. This can be a jog/walk.

Wednesday: Swim – Mod. Hard/Tempo (20 mins, 800m/y) + Strength (45 mins, Adaptation Phase)

  • Warm Up:
    • 2 x (50 FS Breathe every 3 in Z2 + 15 sec rests),
    • 2 x (50 Drill in Z2 + 15 sec rests),
  • Main Set:
    • 3 x (50 FS in Z2 + 50 FS in Z3 + 15 sec rests),
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 100 FS in Z3 + 15 secs rest).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (100 Choice in Z2).

Thursday: Bike – Hard/Threshold (30 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 5 mins easy Z2.
    • 5 x (10 secs in Z4-5 + 50 sec recoveries in Z2).
  • Main Set:
    • 3 x (3 mins in upper Z4 + 2 min recoveries in low Z2).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Friday: Swim – Hard/Threshold (20 mins, 800m/y)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 20 secs rest),
    • 1 x (50 Pull in Z2 + 50 Pull in Z4 + 20 secs rest).
  • Main Set:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z3 + 20 secs rest),
    • 4 x (50 FS in Z4 + 30 sec rests),
    • 4 x (50 FS in Z5 + 30 sec rests).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (100 Choice in Z2).

Saturday: Run – Steady/Endurance (18 mins)

  • A nice steady run, mainly in Z2. This can be a jog/walk

Sunday: Bike – Steady/Endurance (33 mins)

  • Ride mainly in Z2.

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: Bike – Hard/Threshold (25 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 5 mins in mid Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 2 mins in upper Z4 + 60 secs recovery in Z1,
    • 3 mins in upper Z4 + 90 secs recovery in Z1,
    • 3 mins in upper Z4 + 90 secs recovery in Z1,
    • 2 mins in upper Z4.
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins low Z2.

Wednesday: Swim – Steady/Endurance (25 mins, 900m/y) + Strength (45 mins, Endurance Phase)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 100 Drill in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
  • Main Set:
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 20 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 100 Pull in Z2 + 30 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 100 Pull in Z2 + 30 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 20 secs rest).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (100 Choice in Z2).

Thursday: Run – Steady/Endurance (18 mins)

  • A nice steady run, mainly in Z2. This can be a jog/walk.

Friday: Swim – Hard/Threshold (25 mins, 800m/y)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 Breathe every 3 + 20 secs rest),
    • 2 x (50 Pull in Z2 Breathe every 5 + 20 sec rests).
  • Main Set:
    • 3 x (100 Drill in Z2 + 15 sec rests),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z3 + 20 secs rest).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (50 Back in Z2 + 50 Breast in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2).

Saturday: Run – Steady/Endurance (20 mins)

  • Nice and easy, at a chatty pace.

Sunday: Bike – Steady/Endurance (33 mins)

  • Nice and easy ride today.

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: Bike – Hard/Threshold (25 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 5 mins in mid Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 2 mins in upper Z4 + 60 secs recovery in Z1,
    • 3 mins in upper Z4 + 90 secs recovery in Z1,
    • 3 mins in upper Z4 + 90 secs recovery in Z1,
    • 2 mins in upper Z4.
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins low Z2.

Wednesday: Swim – Steady/Endurance (25 mins, 900m/y) + Strength (45 mins, Endurance Phase)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 100 Drill in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
  • Main Set:
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 20 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 100 Pull in Z2 + 30 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 100 Pull in Z2 + 30 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 20 secs rest).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (100 Choice in Z2).

Thursday: Run – Steady/Endurance (15 mins)

  • A nice steady run, mainly in Z2. This can be a jog/walk.

Friday: Swim – Hard/Threshold (25 mins, 800m/y)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 Breathe every 3 + 20 secs rest),
    • 2 x (50 Pull in Z2 Breathe every 5 + 20 sec rests).
  • Main Set:
    • 3 x (100 Drill in Z2 + 15 sec rests),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z3 + 20 secs rest).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (50 Back in Z2 + 50 Breast in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2).

Saturday: Run – Steady/Endurance (18 mins)

  • Nice and easy, at a chatty pace.

Sunday: Bike – Steady/Endurance (30 mins)

  • Nice and easy ride today.

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: Bike – Hard/Threshold (37 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 12 mins easy in Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • Repeat the below set 3 times:
      • 2 mins upper Z4 + 60 sec Z1 recoveries, then
      • 3 mins upper Z4 + 60 sec Z1 recoveries.
    • Warm Down:
      • 5 mins easy spin down in Z1-2

Wednesday: Swim – Steady/Endurance (30 mins, 1200m/y) + Strength (45 mins, Endurance Phase)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Drill in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 15 secs rest).
  • Main Set:
    • 2 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 20 sec rests),
    • 2 x (100 FS in Z3 + 25 sec rests),
    • 2 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 20 sec rests),
    • 2 x (100 FS in Z3 + 25 sec rests.
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (50 Choice in Z2 + 50 FS in Z2)

Thursday: Run – Hard/Threshold (20 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 6 mins in Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 3 x (90 secs in Z4 + 90 secs recoveries in Z1-2).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Friday: Swim – Hard/Threshold (25 mins, 1000m/y)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (50 Pull in Z2 + 50 Pull in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (50 FS in Z2 + 50 FS in Z3 + 20 secs rest),
    • 1 x (50 Pull in Z2 + 50 Pull in Z4 + 20 secs rest).
  • Main Set:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z4 + 40 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z4 + 40 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z4 + 40 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z4 + 40 secs rest).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 100 FS in Z2),
    • 1 x (100 Choice in Z2)

Saturday: Bike – Hard/Threshold (39 mins) + Run Off The Bike – Steady/Endurance (5 mins)

  • Bike
    • Ride mainly in Z2 today. At some point (once you’re fully warmed up) do:
    • 2 x (10 min efforts in upper Z3 to low Z4 with a 3 min recovery in Z2).
  • Run
    • Easy 5 min run off the bike in Z2.

Sunday: Run – Steady/Endurance (22 mins)

  • A nice steady run, mainly in Z2.

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: Bike – V. Hard/VO2 Max (40 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 12 mins easy Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 1 min in Z4-5 + 60 secs recovery in Z1,
    • 2 mins in Z4-5 + 90 secs recovery in Z1,
    • 3 mins in Z4-5 + 2 mins recovery in Z1,
    • 4 mins in Z4 + 2 mins 30 secs recovery in Z1,
    • 5 mins in Z4 + 3 mins recovery in Z1.
  • Warm Down:
    • 3 mins easy spin in Z1-2.

Wednesday: Swim – Steady/Endurance (30 mins, 1200m/y) + Strength (45 mins, Endurance Phase)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (100 FS Breathe every 3 in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Drill in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 2 x (50 FS Breathe every 5 in Z2 + 15 sec rests).
  • Main Set:
    • 2 x (100 FS in Z2 + 100 FS in Z3 + 15 sec rests),
    • 2 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 50 Pull in Z3 + 15 sec rests).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (200 Choice in Z2)

Thursday: Run – Hard/Threshold (24 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 10 mins in Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 3 x (2 mins in Z4 + 60 secs recoveries in Z1-2).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Friday: Swim – Hard/Threshold (30 mins, 1200m/y)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 50 FS in Z4 + 30 secs rest),
    • 1 x (50 FS in Z2 + 100 FS in Z4 + 30 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z4 + 30 secs rest).
  • Main Set:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z3 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z4 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z5 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 15 secs rest).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (50 Back in Z2 + 50 Breast in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (200 Choice in Z2).

Saturday: Bike – Hard/Threshold (42 mins) + Run Off The Bike – Steady/Endurance (8 mins)

  • Bike
    • Ride mainly in Z2 today. At some point (once you’re fully warmed up) do:
    • 2 x (12 min efforts in upper Z3 to low Z4 with a 3 min recovery in Z2).
  • Run
    • Get off your bike and run in Z2.

Sunday: Run – Steady/Endurance (25 mins)

  • A nice steady run, mainly in Z2.

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: Bike – V. Hard/VO2 Max (43 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 10 mins easy Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 15 x (30 secs in Z5 + 30 secs in Z2),
    • 3 mins recovery in Z1-2,
    • 10 x (30 secs in Z5 + 30 secs in Z2).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins easy spin in Z1-2.

Wednesday: Swim – Mod. Hard/Tempo (35 mins, 1400m/y) + Strength (45 mins, Endurance Phase)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Drill in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 15 secs rest).
  • Main Set:
    • 1 x (200 Pull in Z2 + 25 secs rest),
    • 3 x (100 FS in Z3 + 25 sec rests),
    • 3 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 20 sec rests),
    • 2 x (100 FS in Z3 + 25 sec rests).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (50 Choice in Z2 + 50 FS in Z2).

Thursday: Run – Hard/Threshold (24 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 10 mins easy jog in Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 2 x (3 mins in upper Z4 + 90 sec recoveries in Z2).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins easy jog in Z2.

Friday: Swim – Hard/Threshold (35, 1400m/y mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (50 Pull in Z2 + 50 Pull in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (50 FS in Z2 + 50 FS in Z3 + 20 secs rest),
    • 1 x (50 Pull in Z2 + 50 Pull in Z4 + 20 secs rest).
  • Main Set:
    • 1 x (300 FS in Z4 + 40 secs rest),
    • 1 x (200 Pull in Z4 + 40 secs rest),
    • 1 x (200 FS in Z4 + 40 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z4 + 40 secs rest).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 100 FS in Z2),
    • 1 x (100 Choice in Z2).

Saturday: Bike – Hard/Threshold (40 mins) + Run Off The Bike – Steady/Endurance (10 mins)

  • Bike
    • Ride mainly in Z2 today. At some point (once you’re warmed up) include:
    • 30-minute effort in upper Z3 to low Z4.
  • Run
    • Get off your bike and run steady in Z2.

Sunday: Run – Steady/Endurance (28 mins)

  • A nice steady run, mainly in Z2

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: Run – V. Hard/VO2 Max (23 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 5 mins easy in Z2,
    • 4 x (20 secs accelerating to Z5 + 40 sec recoveries in Z1-2).
  • Main Set:
    • 3 x (60 secs in Z5 + 2 min recoveries in Z1-2).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z1-2.

Wednesday: Swim – Steady/Endurance (35 mins, 1200m/y) + Strength (45 mins, Strength Phase)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 Breathe every 3 + 20 secs rest),
    • 2 x (50 Pull in Z2 Breathe every 5 + 20 sec rests).
  • Main Set:
    • 4 x (100 Drill in Z2 + 100 FS in Z3 + 20 sec rests).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (50 Back in Z2 + 50 Breast in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2).

Thursday: Bike – V. Hard/VO2 Max (27 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 5 mins easy Z2.
    • 5 x (5 secs in Z5 + 55 secs in Z2).
  • Main Set:
    • 12 x (45 secs in Z2 + 15 secs in Z5).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Friday: Run – Steady/Endurance (20 mins)

  • A nice steady run, mainly in Z2.

Saturday: Bike – Hard/Threshold (39 mins)

  • Easy/steady Z2 ride today. Enjoy it, save your legs.

Sunday: Open Water Swim – Hard/Threshold (25 mins, 1000m/y)

  • Open water swim all in Z2. Take as many rests as you want. This first swim is just to get used to the environment. We’ll do some faster sections from next week onwards, but just take it easy today.

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday:  Run – V. Hard/VO2 Max (28 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 10 mins easy in Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 2 x (2 mins in lower Z5 + 2 min recoveries in Z1-2),
    • 3 mins in Z4 + 2 min recovery in Z1-2.
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins easy in Z2.

Wednesday: Swim – Hard/Threshold (35 mins, 1400m/y) + Strength (45 mins, Strength Phase)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (50 FS in Z2 + 50 FS in Z4 + 20 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z4 + 30 secs rest).
  • Main Set: Repeat 2 sets of 500:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z3 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z4 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z5 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 15 secs rest).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (50 Back in Z2 + 50 Breast in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Choice in Z2).

Thursday: Bike – Hard/Threshold (44 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 5 mins in Z2,
    • 5 mins in Z3.
  • Main Set:
    • 7 mins in Z4 + 2 mins recovery in Z2,
    • 9 mins in Z4 + 2 mins recovery in Z2,
    • 7 mins in Z4 + 2 mins recovery in Z2.
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Friday: Run – Steady/Endurance (30 mins)

  • Steady run in Z2.

Saturday: Race Practice Bike – Mod. Hard/Tempo (42 mins) + Run Off The Bike – Steady/Endurance (15 mins)

  • Bike
    • Warm Up:
      • 15 mins in Z2.
    • Main Set:
      • 20 mins in upper Z3 + 2 min recovery in Z1- 2.
    • Warm Down:
      • 5 mins in Z2.
  • Run
    • Get off your bike and run steady in Z2.

Sunday: Open Water Swim – Mod. Hard/Tempo (30 mins, 1200m/y)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (200 FS in Z2 + 30 secs rest).
  • Main Set:
    • 2 x (50 FS in Z5, Beach or Deep Water Starts + 30 sec rests),
    • 2 x (400 FS in Z3 + 40 sec rests).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2).

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday:  Run – V. Hard/VO2 Max (31 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 10 mins in Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 4 x (2 mins in Z5 + 2 min recoveries in Z1).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Wednesday: Swim – Hard/Threshold (35 mins, 1400m/y) + Strength (45 mins, Strength Phase)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (50 Pull in Z2 + 50 Pull in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (50 FS in Z2 + 50 FS in Z3 + 20 secs rest),
    • 1 x (50 Pull in Z2 + 50 Pull in Z4 + 20 secs rest).
  • Main Set:
    • 1 x (300 FS in Z4 + 40 secs rest),
    • 1 x (200 Pull in Z4 + 40 secs rest),
    • 1 x (200 FS in Z4 + 40 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z4 + 40 secs rest).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 100 FS in Z2),
    • 1 x (100 Choice in Z2).

Thursday: Bike – Hard/Threshold (50 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 10 mins in Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 5 x (5 mins in Z4 + 2 min recoveries in Z2).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Friday: Run – Steady/Endurance (30 mins)

  • All in Z2, nice and steady.

Saturday: Race Practice Bike – Mod. Hard/Tempo (44 mins) + Run Off The Bike – Steady/Endurance (20 mins)

  • Bike
    • Warm Up:
      • 15 mins in Z2.
    • Main Set:
      • 2 x (10 mins in upper Z3 + 2 min recoveries in Z2).
    • Warm Down:
      • 5 mins in Z2.
  • Run
    • Get off your bike and run steady in Z2.

Sunday: Open Water Swim – Mod. Hard/Tempo (35 mins, 1400m/y )

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (200 FS in Z2 + 30 secs rest).
  • Main Set:
    • 2 x (50 FS in Z5, Beach or Deep Water Starts + 30 sec rests),
    • 2 x (500 FS in Z3 + 40 sec rests).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2).

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday:  Run – V. Hard/VO2 Max (30 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 10 mins easy in Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 3 x (3 mins in Z5 + 2 min recoveries in Z2).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins easy in Z2.

Wednesday: Swim – Hard/Threshold (40 mins, 1600m/y) + Strength (45 mins, Strength Phase)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 50 FS in Z4 + 20 secs rest),
    • 1 x (50 FS in Z2 + 100 FS in Z4 + 30 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z4 + 30 secs rest).
  • Main Set: Repeat 2 sets of 500:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z3 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z4 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z5 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Pull in Z2 + 15 secs rest).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (50 Back in Z2 + 50 Breast in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
    • 1 x (100 Choice in Z2).

Thursday: Bike – Hard/Threshold (42 mins 30 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 10 mins in Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 4 mins in low Z4 + 30 secs recovery in Z1,
    • 5 mins in low Z4 + 30 secs recovery in Z1,
    • 6 mins in low Z4 + 2 mins recovery in Z1,
    • 5 mins in low Z4 + 30 secs recovery in Z1,
    • 4 mins in low Z4.
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Friday: Run – Steady/Endurance (35 mins)

  • A nice steady run, mainly in Z2.

Saturday: Race Practice Bike – Hard/Threshold (45 mins) + Run Off The Bike – Steady/Endurance (15 mins)

  • Bike
    • Ride in Z2 today. At some point (once you’re warmed up) include:
    • 2 x (12 mins in Z3 to low Z4 + 3 min recoveries in Z2).
  • Run
    • Get off your bike and run steady in Z2.

Sunday: Open Water Swim – Mod. Hard/Tempo (30 mins, 1200m/y)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (200 FS in Z2 + 30 secs rest).
  • Main Set:
    • 2 x (50 FS in Z5, Beach or Deep Water Starts + 30 sec rests),
    • 2 x (400 FS in Z3 + 40 sec rests).
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2).

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday:  Run – Hard/Threshold (30 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 15 mins easy in Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 10 mins in low Z4.
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins easy in Z2.

Wednesday: Swim – Steady/Endurance (35 mins, 1400m/y)

  • Warm Up:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 100 Drill in Z2 + 15 secs rest),
  • Main Set:
    • 1 x (100 FS in Z2 + 100 Pull in Z2 + 20 secs rest),
    • 1 x (200 FS in Z2 + 200 Pull in Z2 + 30 secs rest),
    • 1 x (200 FS in Z2 + 200 Pull in Z2 + 30 secs rest),
    • 100 FS in Z2
  • Warm Down:
    • 1 x (100 Choice in Z2)

Thursday: Bike – Hard/Threshold (36 mins)

  • Warm Up:
    • 15 mins in Z2.
  • Main Set:
    • 4 x (3 mins in Z4 + 60 sec recoveries in Z1-2).
  • Warm Down:
    • 5 mins in Z2.

Friday: Ride – Steady/Endurance (30 mins)

  • Ride on your race day bike, all in Z2. Preferably on the race route. Just to check your bike is working ok and to get a feel for the route. If your race is on Saturday, drop this workout and take today as a rest day.

Saturday: Rest Day

Sunday: Race Day

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12-Week Intermediate Sprint Triathlon Plan

This short training plan is suitable for Intermediate triathletes, who want to maximise potential at Sprint distance triathlon while balancing life and training. With just 12 weeks to go until event-day, this plan assumes you are currently able to swim 1000 m/yards with rests, ride for 40 mins and run for 20 mins – but not all on the same day. The plan builds up to race day and helps improve your fitness and confidence for your target event.

Average weekly training hours are 4:52 with the biggest week at 6:16 hours. This includes two swims, two to three rides, three runs and a 45-minute strength and conditioning session. There are one or two workouts per day, with one day off each week. Every fourth week is an active recovery week, with less training, to help your body recover and adapt.

12-Week Advanced Sprint Triathlon Plan

This short training plan is suitable for Advanced amateur triathletes, aiming to achieve peak fitness for Sprint distance triathlon. With just 12 weeks to go until event-day, this plan assumes you are currently able to swim 1800 m/yards with rests, ride for 1 hr 45 mins and run for 50 mins – but not all on the same day. The plan builds up to race day and helps improve your fitness and confidence for your target event.

Average weekly training hours are 8:28 with the biggest week at 10:23 hours. This includes three swims, three rides, three to four runs and a 45-minute strength and conditioning session. There are one or two workouts per day, with one day off each week. Every fourth week is an active recovery week, with less training, to help your body recover and adapt.

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About Phil Mosley (Coach & Founder)
About Phil Mosley (Coach & Founder)

Phil is a recognised expert with over 20 years of experience, having featured on many endurance sports publications (below). He founded MyProCoach in 2010 to to offer the world’s most comprehensive range of online training plans, all designed to help you enjoy the same success that my athletes and I have, while still making sure you have quality time for your family, friends and career (read 190+ detailed reviews here).

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