Are you ready take on a new life changing challenge, and race your first sprint triathlon? Or, have you signed up for a sprint triathlon and you are looking for the perfect plan? Check out the FTT 8 Week Sprint Training plan. In 8 weeks with about 5 hours a week you will arrive to the start line of your first sprint triathlon ready to go.
A sprint distance triathlon is a great distance for new triathletes to get started in triathlon. The typical distances are ~250M Swim, 12 mile Bike, and a 5K Run. The race will take most new triathletes around 2 hours to complete. With some training, most people in general good health will have no problem completing a sprint distance race.
This plan works best if you have already signed up for your race. The race date will set your training schedule, and keep you motivated toward your finish. When choosing your race, be sure to give yourself enough time to get your training in.
More tips on choosing your first race.
This plan is written for the true novice triathlete. No need for an extensive athletic background. The prerequisites for the plan are:
- Good general health. (Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program.)
- Able to jog a mile (Any pace is acceptable)
- Ride a bike for 30 minutes
- Be comfortable in the water
- Have a great attitude (MOST IMPORTANT)
If you are not comfortable with these items, no problem. Take a few weeks to work yourself up to that level of fitness. As always, take your time. Too much exercise, too quickly, leads to injury. If the list sounds easy, fantastic, you have great head start.
Now that you are ready to get training, let me explain how the plan works. The plan is broken into 8 separate weeks. Each week has a full rest day, and one cross training /rest day. The days of the week are not set in stone. Feel free to can change things around to fit your schedule. Try to keep the 3 days on, rest day, 2 days on, rest day schedule if possible. This program gives your body time to recover, so you will be ready for the next workout. If you miss a workout or two, don’t sweat it. Just let that workout go, and concentrate of the next one. Races are not like tests, you ca’t cram for them.
The plan is divided into three separate blocks of time:
- Weeks 1-3 – Base Phase – The workouts in this phase are less intense, and are intended to get your body prepared to handle more volume. Concentrate on getting time on your feet. Some of these workouts may seem too easy, but take the time to let your body ease into the training.
- Weeks 4-7 – Build Phase – The workout in this phase increases the intensity to get you prepared for race distance and pace. There are more interval workouts to increase your speed and strength.
- Week 8 – Race Phase – Now you are ready to race. The concentration in the last week is to be rested and sharp for race day.
Sounds easy right? Here’s a quick user’s guide on the terminology of the plan:
- Each Swim, Bike or Run workout is noted.
- After Swim, Bike or Run is the intensity for the workout. (Easy, Moderate, Interval, Race Pace) Check the side column of the plan for an explanation of intensities.
- After the intensity is the duration of the workout.
- Example: (Bike – Easy (Intensity) – 30mins (Duration)
- Intervals are used to increase the intensity, and build strength and speed.
- Intervals involve a period of work followed by period of rest.
- The intervals are described in this format Bike – 4 X 2 min @70%/2 min rest.
- This means each interval would be work at 2 mins @70% effort, then rest for 2 Min (Easy Pace), and do each interval four time (4X)
- Be sure to properly warm up and cool down after your interval session.
- Bricks are bike to run workouts.
- Brick get your legs prepared to transition for the bike to the run in a race.
- There are two bricks listed in this plan.
- Brick give you a feel for race day, but don’t over do it. Keep your effort moderate, and concentrate on making a smooth transition from bike to run.
- Bricks are a great time to practice transitions (changing gear between bike and run).
- Swim workouts are listed in the right column
- Swim workouts are shown as #1-4.
- I know it can be difficult to find free pool time. Schedule the swim workouts when you have access to a pool. Since swimming is low impact it’s ok to double up with a run or bike workout.
- Swim workouts are shown in a similar format to the interval sessions.
- Example: 4 X 50 yds/ 30sec rest – work for 50 yds, resting 30 seconds in between, four times.
- The weekly goals column give a point of emphasis for your swim, bike, and run.
- Also, in that column is a post that relates to your workouts for that week.
- One day a week is shown as cross training
- You use this day for core work, hiking, weight lifting, or whatever you want.
- Or, use the cross training day as a rest day, if you need it.
One last thing, notice that most workouts are measured by time, not distance. Time is a better measurement of workout volume. Since you are working on three different sports, each with their own distance aspects, it’s difficult to correctly track volume by distance. Also, you will know exactly how much time you need to budget each week for your training. In this plan the largest week of volume is under 6 hours.
Now its time to get training. I hope this plan will help you have a great race. Have you seen the movies where the main character has to persevere though great struggle and agony to make it to the finish? They cross the finish and collapse into a heap of misery. I don’t want that to be you. I want you to be the person with the boring story, that had an awesome race, because you were well prepared.
If you have any questions about the plan, or I can help you with your race, please let me know. Leave a comment or send me an email.
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