Beginner Triathlon Training Programs

Plenty of resources exist for beginner triathletes who want a comprehensive training schedule leading up to their first triathlon. While sprint triathlons, which typically involve a half-mile swim, 12-mile bike race and 5 K run, are good for beginners, you can train for a full-length Olympic distance triathlon in as few as 10 weeks with a strict schedule and base level of fitness.

22 Weeks

Michael Pate’s 22-week sprint triathlon training program for beginners at BeginnerTriathlete.com provides beginner triathletes with a plan to go from the couch to a sprint triathlon in 22 weeks. The training schedule includes a combination of running, biking and swimming workouts several times each per week, with one day of complete rest. The program is truly designed for beginners in all three areas, and begins with just 100 yards of swimming, 20 minutes of walking and two miles of biking. BeginnerTriathlete.com also provides other free and members-only resources for beginner triathlon training. Pain memberships give users access to detailed training plans and workouts, as well as video tutorials for each leg of the triathlon. Free services on the site allow anyone to create their own training log for tracking workouts and nutrition, and also include a searchable database of biking, running and swimming routes and articles on triathlon training topics. The site includes beginner triathlon training for each leg as well as complete training schedules.

10 Weeks

Tri-Newbies Online has two 10-week beginner triathlon training programs, one for the sprint distance and one for olympic distance. The 93-page sprint triathlon training program includes a training calendar, as well as specific sections on improving cardiovascular fitness and strength, as well as training for each leg of the triathlon and the transitions between legs. The program begins with 15 minutes of running, five miles of biking and 200 yards of swimming, and includes two days of complete rest for the first four weeks and last three weeks of the training schedule. The detailed triathlon training program includes instructions for warming up and cooling down for each scheduled workout and a minute-by-minute breakdown of how to structure the biking, swimming and running. The Olympic triathlon training program is less detailed and requires a higher fitness level to start, with the training starting at 300 yards of swimming, eight miles of biking and three miles of running, so beginner triathletes who want to complete an Olympic triathlon after 10 weeks of training should be able to do these workouts two to three times each per week before starting training. The training plan includes several specific swim workouts and some recommendations for strength training. Tri-Newbies is another online resources with links to articles and training resources to help beginner triathletes prepare for race day.

Eight Weeks

"Fitness" magazine offers beginner triathletes an eight-week plan to get ready for a sprint triathlon, provided you are moderately fit to start out with. The plan includes a combinations of biking, running and swimming workouts and strength training, with two complete rest days per week during most weeks. "Fitness" magazine also recommends that you include speed bursts in one workout a week and try to balance the muscle groups you target in strength training. In the training tips for the eight-week plan, "Fitness" magazine suggest that you practice the combination of biking and running in a single workout to get used to the feeling of what triathletes refer to as a “brick.” "Fitness" magazine also includes a handy list of gear for beginner triathletes.

About the Author

Lesley Graybeal has been writing articles for internet content since 2006. Her work can be found on a range of hobby and business resource web publications, including Trails.com and Business.com, as well as several academic journals. Lesley earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from the University of Georgia, and is currently completing her dissertation in Social Foundations of Education.