• Triathlon: Sprint Triathlon Race Plan, Beginner: 2.0 to 4.25 hrs/wk, 12-week plan

    Gale Bernhardt

  • $58.45 $64.95

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Triathlon: Sprint Triathlon Race Plan, Beginner: 2.0 to 4.25 hrs/wk

Author: Gale Bernhardt

12 weeks - $64.95 (There is a 10% discount when ordering from Gale Bernhardt’s website.)
Total Hours: 39 

Your athletic profile begins with swimming. You know how to swim, but it has been a long time since your arms and legs have actually propelled your body through water. In other words, you have no swimming endurance. 

As for cycling, you might ride a bicycle now and again, mostly noodling around the neighborhood. On occasion, you might ride a stationary bicycle at the health club while waiting for aerobics to begin or to warm up before weight lifting. As with swimming, you have no real endurance on the bike. 

Finally, running. The running you do is mostly short duration, like running bases in softball, trying to avoid the outfielders. Maybe you chase a ball in racquetball. You might have even run a 5K once. 

So your multisport profile for endurance sports isn't great, but you're not sitting around channel surfing either. This plan assumes you are currently active in sport three to six times per week. The specific sport isn’t as important as the fact you are active doing something. If you aren't currently active and decide to use the plan to get back into shape, be sure to consult a physician before beginning an exercise program. 

One of the most common mistakes made by people just beginning to train for a triathlon, or any other endurance event, is doing too much too soon. Early enthusiasm can lead to injury or overtraining. This plan gently builds aerobic endurance in all three sports and gives specific workouts to do each week. 
This 12-week plan ranges in training volume from about two hours per week to just over four hours per week. The plan goal, and your goal, is to go from a current state of no swimming, minimal cycling, and no running to completing a 450 to 500 meter swim, 11 to 15 mile bike, and about a 3 mile run, consecutively – your first triathlon. 

There is a Supporting Documents section at the bottom of this web page and you will receive your own copy of the documents after purchase. These documents give you additional information to help you get the most from your training. 

Have fun training and racing ~


Q & A

Q – What do I get with a training plan?

 A – After purchase, your plan will be available in your own private online training log account. You will enjoy the following benefits and more:

Daily e-mails with your next workout keep you on track

Create your own routes or search the library of routes for tracking your workouts

Map, graph and share workouts with your friends by e-mail, Facebook and view in Google Maps or Google Earth

Upload workouts from one of more than 80 training devices (Garmin, Suunto, Timex, Polar, more) or easily record your workouts manually

Track your fitness and gain confidence

Complete nutrition tracking to monitor your diet

Get support and answers on a message board specific to your plan and access to more message boards




Q – What if I don’t like the plan once I’ve seen it?

 A – Because discounted plans are offered through this site and a coding system, no refunds are allowed. If you are worried about wanting or needing a refund, you can forego the discount and purchase the plan directly from the TrainingPeaks website. Refunds for training plans are offered for a limited time after purchase. You can find this training plan on that site by following this link.

Sample workouts:

Workout #1 : Day Off

Planned Time: 0:00:00

Workout #2 : Swim

Planned Time: 0:30:00
This plan assumes you can swim down and back (50 meters or yards) in a standard pool. For the rest of the training plan, yards or meters will not be specified and are interchangeable for the purposes of this plan. The first workout is simply swimming 10 x 50 at Zone 1-2 perceived exertion (see the supporting documents for workout intensity explanation), resting about 45 seconds between each 50. You may have to rest a whole minute between each 50 that’s okay. Until we add a warm up and cool down to swimming make the first couple and last couple of 50s very easy. The workout may take some of you less than 30 minutes, that’s fine, get out of the pool when you’re done with the 500 distance of swimming.

Workout #3 : Run

Planned Time: 0:05:00
Run on a flat course - a soft surface would be best (grass, dirt or treadmill) - keeping heart rate in Zone 1.

Workout #4 : Bike

Planned Time: 0:20:00
Ride at mostly Zone 1 intensity on a flat to gently rolling course. The ride should feel easy.

Workout #5 : Run

Planned Time: 0:07:00
This level is used for aerobic maintenance and endurance training. Heart rate should stay primarily in Zones 1 to 2. How much time is spent in each zone depends on how you feel that day. The goal of an E2 run is not to see how much time you can spend in Zone 2. Run a rolling course if possible, with grades up to 4 percent. For reference, most highway off-ramps are 4 percent grades. For those living in vertically deficient cities, changing the grade on a treadmill can simulate hills. If you run with a group, inner discipline is necessary to let the group go if they turn a training run into a race.

Workout #6 : Bike

Planned Time: 0:30:00
Ride at mostly Zone 1 intensity on a flat to gently rolling course. The ride should feel easy.

Workout #7 : Day Off

Planned Time: 0:00:00

Workout #8 : Run

Planned Time: 0:09:00
Run on a flat course - a soft surface would be best (grass, dirt or treadmill) - keeping heart rate in Zone 1.

Workout #9 : Swim

Planned Time: 0:30:00
Swim 10 x 50 at Zone 1-2 intensity and take 30 to 45 seconds of rest between each 50.


Hard copy of this plan is also available in the book Training Plans for Multisport Athletes.