Today I want to help you devise your next 12 week sprint triathlon training schedule.
At the top of my considerations for you is that the plan is ‘doable’ because consistency counts when it comes to triathlon training.
Consistency always trumps volume and frequency. It is no good having the perfect training schedule if you are unable to stick to it.
If you feel dread at the sheer volume of training you have set yourself, or if you are struggling with balancing life with your triathlon training schedule, then these are sure signs you need to take a different approach to training.
Is A 12 Week Sprint Triathlon Training Schedule Long Enough?
A powerful trait of human motivation is immediate gratification. We want things NOW!
If you think about it this is evident in our behaviour in every day life.
You might have had to really dig deep into your motivation in the past to decide on an action you take.
Here are some examples of what I mean:
- Immediate gratification or behaviour – vs – long term gain
- Friends ask you to the pub beer garden – vs – long triathlon training session on your own
- You’re craving a double cheese burger and ice cream – vs – Eating a lean chicken breast and salad
- You want to buy that new piece of kit – vs – Saving up for the future
It is often frustratingly easy to go for the immediate gratification and sabotage long term goals. While this is only natural, we do have some degree of discipline and we do achieve our goals.
A large number of people don’t achieve their goals though, so with this in mind you want to keep your motivation to train for triathlon high.
By planning a 12 week sprint triathlon training schedule you will be more likely to remain focused. You could even plan a 4 week or 8 week training schedule depending on your experience.
Due to the nature of a sprint triathlon, I recommend keeping your focus on one race for no longer than three months. Chunk your goals into smaller more achievable ones with shorter time frames.
By following a short 12 week training plan you will remain fresh, motivated to train and you’ll achieve a lot more!
After planning your 12 week sprint triathlon training schedule you should feel excited, motivated and you’d be chomping at the bit to train.
If I asked you to grade your confidence in sticking to the plan (out of ten) you should be able to give me a number of 8-10 at least! A doable, stickable, motivating plan.
How Many Sessions Should My Training Schedule Include?
So you’re committed to training for a sprint triathlon for the next 12 weeks. How many sessions you include in your training schedule is down to your personal circumstances.
- What do you want to achieve?
- How much time do you want to commit to triathlon?
- How much experience do you have?
In general my advice would take into consideration that most age group triathletes are busy and that time is one of the biggest limiters to the training they want to do.
With this in mind I suggest being very flexible and plan a more doable training schedule than trying to achieve too much and quitting.
9 Steps To Plan Your Triathlon Training Plan
When it comes to putting this advice into practice you might wonder where to start. That’s why I have put together a nine step process for you to get started. Try going through the following process to help you plan your triathlon training schedule:
- Consider when you can fit training into your weekly schedule. Consider any holidays or time off, weekend commitments and things that might get in the way.
- Script an ideal week. Colour code work time, family time, hobbies / social time and of course triathlon training time. How many sessions can you realistically do?
- Write down up to three triathlon training sessions per discipline as a maximum number of training sessions. Mark these on your week script. This is your ‘great’!
- Colour one of each discipline’s training sessions in green. This will make up your ‘must do’ minimum number of one training session per discipline. Achieving this will be your ‘good’.
- By giving yourself a ‘good’ and a ‘great’ target to aim for, in this case between three and nine training sessions weekly, you cannot lose! You are highly likely to achieve the ‘good’ target even if you skip six sessions weekly. Fantastic planning technique to maintain your motivation.
- Once you have your basic weekly triathlon training schedule set up, it is time to combine sessions. Performing back to back bike-to-run or swim-to-bike sessions has two benefits. Firstly it is race specific, and secondly it saves time.
- With time constraints in place, it is important that you perform interval training sessions as part of your training sessions. This will give you bigger fitness gains in less time.
- Never run on consecutive days, and don’t follow the crowd with ‘recovery runs’. Run a maximum of three times a week, and make each session count.
- Focus on your weaknesses, and consider return on investment when you are thinking about how much time you need to spend training on each discipline. Swimming will benefit from triathlon swim technique drills and open water swimming practice.
By going through this process and taking time to schedule in the upcoming weeks training, you will reap the rewards.
You’ll reach your goal full of motivation and be chomping at the bit to actually do the training. Even at the latter stages of your plan which is where one’s motivation often dwindles.
Consistency Counts In Training
If you’re still wondering whether a 12 week sprint triathlon training schedule allows you enough time to get from your current fitness level to your goal, I urge you to have a go and see.
The fact that you follow a planned methodical approach to training puts you at an advantage straight away.
So many age group athletes train sporadically and when it comes to the crunch consistency counts.
It doesn’t matter if you manage 3, 6 or 9 training sessions weekly, as long as you are consistent. A ‘doable’ plan is a successful plan. Fitness is reversible but with consistency you can continually progress weekly.
On that note, I hope this has been useful to you and that you go ahead and plan your perfect triathlon.
For further support you would benefit from joining the triathlon coaching team where I provide a weekly schedule following an annual training plan. For consistency and motivation, and knowing you’re getting the most effective training done this is really useful.
Alternatively I also offer a ‘stand alone’ 12 week sprint training plan which includes zero guesswork sessions, planning, mindset, nutrition and race execution components.