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6465 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Aug 23, 2012 12:12 PM by Billy137
Reese1228 Rookie 2 posts since
Aug 2, 2012
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Aug 2, 2012 12:12 PM

Sprint Triathlon training question

Hi, everyone, I am an avid runner and want to do a sprint tri. The one I want to do is Sept. 8th which leaves me around 4 weeks to train. Is that possible or would I make fool of myself to even try? Is there a 4 week training program available anywhere? I have a bike and I'm confident in that part. I'm also a strong swimmer, but it's been a long time since I've gotten in a pool to do laps. A long time! So what do you all think? I really appreciate any feedback. Thank you!

  • mjm 62 Pro 91 posts since
    May 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 6, 2012 12:01 PM (in response to Reese1228)
    Sprint Triathlon training question

    Hey Reese,it's definitley possible and it sounds like you have a good base,if it were me i would be in the pool at least twice a week, be prepared for chaos at the start of the swim as far as running I would do all my running right off the bike at least 3 times a week I usually do a 10 mile bike then a 4 mile run that only takes an hour for me.Go online and check out how to set up your transition area,good luck,Mike

    Cape Coral Yacht club sprint 1:03

    FGCU sprint 1:03

    Columbus Marathon 3:50-2010

    Gator Half Ironman 5:43-2009

    Venice sprint 1:09/25th overall

    Captiva sprint 1:04

  • Team MW Rookie 4 posts since
    Jan 19, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Aug 8, 2012 8:57 AM (in response to Reese1228)
    Sprint Triathlon training question

    I completely agree with the previous reply - get in the pool.  i am a good swimmer, but my first sprint tri in open water was a very sobering reality check.  huge difference between pool swimming and Lake Mead.  i'm incredibly thankful i put the time in the pool to get the strength and endurance up, but be ready if you're in open water: you can't train for running into people, the waves that are created and how it throws off your breathing patterns, and in my case - the "oh crap, i can't see the bottom" feeling that set in about 25 yards into a 750 meter swim! 


    but i can tell you this: i've never felt better about any training accomplishment than i did when i hit that finish line!  Good luck to you, keep us posted!

    "NIHIL MINOR QUAM OPTIME - Nothing but the best!"

  • KevinFitzpatrick6 Rookie 1 posts since
    Jul 15, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Aug 15, 2012 10:36 AM (in response to Reese1228)
    Sprint Triathlon training question

    I agree with the other replies but would add - if at all possible get in some open water practice.  Lack of water clarity, waves, having to sight something other than the line on the bottom of the pool can be very disorienting.  Also, couldn't agree more with the need to run off the bike.  The first 1/2 mile of running is totally different coming off a bike. 


    As long as you can handle being active for 90 minutes - you'll do fine.  Survive the swim (races aren't won or lost in the water).  Don't over do it on the bike.  Being a runner gives you a big leg up - for me it's the hardest part.  The finish line feeling is uncomparable - something not to be missed.


    BTW: A year and a half ago I was a semi-serious nothing: noswimming, no running, no biking.  SInce then I've completed over a half dozen tris (sprint & 5150s).  I want to do more!



  • bweight Rookie 2 posts since
    Aug 13, 2009
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    4. Aug 15, 2012 2:59 PM (in response to Reese1228)
    Sprint Triathlon training question

    My friend and I just completed our first sprint tri last weekend and loved it!  I am an avid runner but do not swim or cycle.  Don't get me wrong...I can stay alive in the water just not go anywhere very fast.  I started taking some swim lessons at my gym and now do a masters class twice a week.  That has helped a ton BUT is nothing like open water!!!  I am so glad we had experienced friends that recomended we go for a swim in the outdoor reservoir before the race.  So glad we did because it was really quite frightening.  The more we went to the reservoir the better it got.  Swimming in a pool will help but is so totally different from open water swimming.  I would even practice in your wetsuit (I highly recommend) once before the race.  It feels weird on your arms at first but makes a big difference in the race.  Helps you float.  As far as the bike goes, just go ride and get use to that and I would even run after you do a ride a few times.  Your legs will feel like jello but at least you won't be surprised on race day if you've gotten use to it.  We even did longer distances on our rides and runs just so we knew we could do well on the entire race.  I ended up taking 3rd in my age division without knowing how to swim or cycle the month before the race.  Hope this helps!

  • ahannemann Rookie 2 posts since
    Jun 27, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Aug 18, 2012 6:54 AM (in response to Reese1228)
    Sprint Triathlon training question

    I would echo the previous replys in regard to swimming.  I pretty much did this same thing last year.  My schedule was swim twice per week, bike once, and run at least twice.  My goal was simply to finish the race in an upright position .  I also did a few bricks with biking to run which, while probably not all that important for sprint distances, really helped me feel more comfortable with the transition from bike to run (mentally more than physically).


    The hardest thing for me was to get over the fact that I didn't have enough endurance to swim freestyle the whole way and that I'd have to go with breast stroke for a bit.  I was comforted when several people in my wave were swimming breast stroke.


    Good luck and enjoy your first Triathlon!

  • DavidTripp2748 Rookie 2 posts since
    Oct 22, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Aug 18, 2012 5:48 PM (in response to Reese1228)
    Sprint Triathlon training question

    YES, you can do it! But, only if you swim, Swim, SWIM from now to race day. Seriously, I just started Triathlon training this year after about 20 years of being a couch potato/sometime weekend warrior. Your fitness level as an avid runner will put you miles ahead of me and many other first timers, BUT you have to train for the swim leg. I thought I was a strong swimmer - competed on a swim team as a teen. My first swim training session was a major wake up call - I was no longer a strong swimmer - and I'm still working on it. But I had 5 months to prepare for my first Tri - and still was not fully prepared for the open water. The minute that cold water hit my face, it took my breath away (this is a natural physiological response). I did not heed the advice I'd read in my triathlon training prep - never do anything for the first time in a race - especially in the swim leg. Get in the open water (with a group for safety, check out "meetup" triathlon or open/ocean water swim groups online) - ASAP. While I did struggle mightily for the first ten minutes of that first ocean swim, just to catch my breath, I've now competed in 3 Sprint Triathlons and finished each one with improved results from race to race.

    I would suggest continuing your current training/running regimen, and adding in at least one cycling session per week, plus a minimum of 2-3 pool training sessions per week. You definitely want to work up to going non-stop at least the distance of your race swim. If your event is an open water swim, you'll want to get some practice in a similar environment to prepare yourself for open water conditions - temperature, currents, waves, sighting, water visibility, swimming in a wetsuit or not, etc. I do at least one ocean swim every weekend (and love it).


    Another saying I've heard repeatedly is "You won't win it (the triathlon) in the swim, but you can lose it." Which event are you doing? Happy training, and good luck!

  • LisaValentineNY Amateur 8 posts since
    Nov 1, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Aug 21, 2012 12:26 PM (in response to Reese1228)
    Sprint Triathlon training question

    Try a Masters swim workout or two a week.  Sounds like you have enough of an atheltic base to do this sprint tri but it's going to be mofre like a workout than a race for you this time.  Next time, allow about 12 weeks to train for the race.


    • 2012 Town of Huntington Sprint Tri: 2nd Pl W45-49
    • 2012 Mighty Hamptons 2012 Tri: 3rd Pl W45-49
    • 2012 Riverhead Rocks Oly Tri: 2nd Pl W45-49
    • 2011 L.I. Gold Coast Sprint Tri: 1st Pl W45-49
    • 2011 West Point Sprint Tri: 1st Pl W45-49
    • 2011 Mighty Hamptons Oly Tri: 3rd Pl W45-49
    • 2011 Town of Huntington Sprint Tri: 1st Pl W45-49
    • 2011 Beach2Battleship Half: 2nd Pl W45-49


  • Billy137 Amateur 14 posts since
    Feb 8, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Aug 23, 2012 12:12 PM (in response to Reese1228)
    Sprint Triathlon training question

    I agree with the swimming comments.  There is a big difference between being a strong swimmer and a distance swimmer.  I've always been a strong swimmer, but when I jumped in to do laps in a 25 yard pool, I was dead after 150 yards.  It doesn't take too long to work up the stamina though so don't be afraid when you start.  Just get the reps in.  The other thing is to do some bricks.  Swim and bike or swim and run then some bike and runs.  My first sprint tri I hadn't practiced the back-to-backs and the transitioning from one sport to the next really slowed me down.  It took me half the bike ride to slow my heart rate down from the swim, and half the run until my legs felt good under me. 


    4 weeks is plenty doable, just be smart about it and don't get in injury from trying to fit too much in.  Just be confident and don't over-do the swim or bike and you should be fine.

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