Fancy trying a tri? Well it’s not as hard as you think with coach Phil Mosley’s sprint triathlon training plan…

race your first sprint triathlon training plan

This six week training plan is for anyone who’s aiming to complete their first sprint triathlon. It includes all the key workouts you’ll need, such as open water swims and bike to run “brick” sessions. So by the time you get to race day you’ll be fully prepared for what lies ahead.

Before you start there are a few acronyms you’ll need to know about, which you can decode using the key below. The plan also features training zones (see box below) that help you train at the right intensities. To use these zones correctly it is useful if you have a heart rate monitor watch – a cheap one is fine. Failing that, you can use the perceived exertion scores out of 10.

The third and sixth weeks are active recovery periods to give your body a chance to adapt before you hit the training again. Each week there are two pool swims, which increase in distance and difficulty over the six weeks. If you’re new to swimming you’d be advised to get some swim lessons or a video coaching session in addition to the training.

Swimming requires fitness and a good technique. As well as the pool workouts, there are open water swims at weekends. These are set for Saturdays but there’s no reason you couldn’t do them on a Sunday. Just make sure you swim with other people and in a safe environment.

You’ll notice the pool swims are all mid-week, while the bike sessions are at weekends. This makes sense for most people who work or have children. It means you can get out on your bike for a good hour or 90-minutes without interruption as not all training is effective. Don’t assume a 20-minute spin through constant traffic is going to make you an awesome rider.

As for the running, there are two mid-week sessions – one fast and one easy. Plus a brick session on Saturdays, which involves cycling, immediately followed by some running. This helps you get used to the jelly-legs feeling you’ll experience on race day after you climb off your bike. Lastly, make sure you listen to your body and if you feel excessively fatigued or sore, take two days off completely and then reassess before you resume any training.


Goal: Complete a sprint triathlon (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run)

Time scale: Six weeks

Start point: You should be able to swim 400m, ride 40 minutes, run 25 minutes

Level: Beginner

Race your first sprint triathlon

Download the Race Your First Sprint Triathlon Training Plan.