12-Week Olympic Triathlon Training Plan for Beginners
Everything you need to swim, ride, and stride to the finish line of your first triathlon is right here
Swimming and biking and running, oh my! A triathlon may seem overwhelming, but this plan will prepare you for an Olympic-distance race-usually a 1.5K swim, 40Kride, and 10Krun-in just 12 weeks. Besides the sense of accomplishment you'll feel, training will get you into the best shape of your life (win-win!). So put a race on the calendar (locate one at trifind.com) and start now. You can print out the full program below and refer to this page anytime you need a refresher on the details.
On race day, take a deep breath, forget about the clock, and just focus on finishing-because you definitely will!
Rest Intervals for Swim Sets
50 meters: 10 to 15 seconds
100 meters: 15 to 20 seconds
200 meters: 20 to 30 seconds
300 meters: 30 to 35 seconds
400 meters: 35 to 40 seconds
800 meters: 40 to 45 seconds
Zone 1: easy, aerobic, 60 to 70% max heart rate, recovery
Zone 2: moderate, aerobic, 70 to 80% max heart rate
Zone 3: moderately hard, lactate threshold, 80 to 85% max heart rate
Do this total-body strength routine once a week, in addition to your prescribed aerobic training for that day. Do all four exercises in circuit 1 consecutively, with minimal rest between moves. After the last exercise, repeat the full circuit twice more. Continue with all the exercises in circuit 2, completing the full circuit 3 times total. If this is too challenging, perform each circuit twice instead.
Squats (bodyweight or weighted, depending on your fitness level): 12 to 15 reps
Pushups: 15 to 20 reps
Seated rows: 15 to 20 reps
Plank: 30-second hold
Walking lunges: 20 reps
Assisted pull-ups: 12 to 15 reps
Medicine-ball reverse woodchops: 12 to 15 reps in each direction
Side plank: 30-second hold on each side
(If you're printing the plan, be sure to use landscape layout for best resolution.)