4 Week Sprint Triathlon Training Plan

by Sarah on April 23, 2014 · 15 comments

Last year, I completed my first sprint triathlon. I had no idea what I was doing while training and was confused regularly I found in free online sprint tri training plans. I needed help. Here is a guest post from Katie, a friend I met at Snowbird last January, who is one badass triathlete with a simple but effective 4 week training program anyone can follow.  

Hi SarahFit readers! My name is Katie, and I blog over on Project Neon. First, thank you so much to Sarah for giving me the opportunity to guest blog on SarahFit! Sarah and I have worked together in the past, and her enthusiasm and honesty inspires me daily on my own blog.


A little about myself, I’m 29, I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, now live in San Diego, CA. LOVES: traveling, frozen yogurt, hot cocoa, camp fires, country music, and ketchup. DISLIKES: greasy hair, bad smells, leftovers, putting my laundry away.

Without further ado, I’m excited to share with SarahFit readers, the first look at the Project Neon Sprint Triathlon 4 Week Training Plan! I have been participating in triathlon for 5 years, and often get asked how to get started. So, I thought it would be fun to put together a simple 4-week sprint triathlon training plan that anyone can do.

Week 1 Sprint Triathlon Training Plan projectneon brandedBiking

Week 2 sprint tri plan projectneon brandedWeek 3 sprint tri plan projectneon branded


Week 4 sprint tri plan projectneon branded


Off the bike – this is a run that you do right after you get done with your bike workout. Try not to take longer than 5min, as the idea is to simulate a transition, just like you will do on race day!

Easy – easy pace, means seriously easy, warm up, when it comes to swimming, you can do back or breast stroke, or just get your body moving with some freestyle, biking – stay in the small chain ring, and running, try to start out about 1-2min slower than “goal race pace” – so if goal race pace is 9min/mile, run at a 10min/mile

Medium – this pace is something that you feel like you could do forever, but you still feel like you are working

Hard – you can only hold this pace for a short period of time, before you need a rest, “goal race pace” is also a good pace to do for “hard” efforts.

Rest Day – you can do absolutely nothing, or you can go for a walk, go to a yoga class, but keep this day very light!

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If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at katie@theprojectneon.com

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ayu April 23, 2014 at 9:50 am

Thank you for this post! My goal is to complete a triatholon one day so this was so helpful!


2 Willemijn April 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm

I’m thinking about participating in a Sprint Triatlon. This article has really given me an impression of how it’s like to train for one!
Because I’ve suffered from knee-problems with running, I switched my long distance runs for bike trainings and I do tabata-swimming trainings in stead of HIIT runs. This means I’m already mixing discipline up in my normal routine. But your scheme contains some nice idea’s to get the most out of my swimming trainings!


3 Runner Girl Eats April 25, 2014 at 6:41 am

Great tips! I am not a fan of competitive swimming so don’t see a tri in my future but love the idea of incorporating swimming into my workouts anyway. Great training tips!


4 martina July 26, 2014 at 7:19 pm

My first tri is in October and im learning how to swim, needless to say I will be in the beginner group (1), I dont know what you mean by 10×50. Please explain.


5 jdubbs July 29, 2014 at 6:49 pm

10 × 50….
This language assumes you are training in a pool as opposed to open water. The first number at and how how many (repetitions) and the second number stands for the distance.
In this case 10 – 50 yards ( or meters) swims.
The length of a pool is probably 25 or 50 yards or meters.
If you are training at a gym it is likely 25 yards.


6 Silvs July 31, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Thanks! I recently had a baby (Mar 19) and signed up for a sprint tri as a means to lose the weight in June. Had a good 10 weeks to train for the race in september but just pulled my groin and won’t be able to resume training again until 4 weeks from race day! Good to know it’s still doable to train for my first in only 4 weeks.


7 Katie April 9, 2015 at 1:53 pm

thabk you so much. I am doing my first sprint tri may 3rd 2015! The San Diego sprint sprinter. These are the things I am fearful of in order
1-the swim
2- transitions
3- am I strong enough not to hyperventilate half way in the swim.
4- am I prepared enough

I run strong and bike strong but that swim, the swim is gonna get me.

Any pointers?

This plan seems to give some great directions! Thanks for posting. I’ll let you know how I do…

I guess I don’t even know what pace I need for swim bike run. That is where I am lost. I run a 8min mile no prob. My bike I only do spin class and have done it for a while so I am not sure road bike how I’ll do… And swim eek I swim 4-8 laps without stopping easy.


8 Sarah April 9, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Katie guest wrote this blog post – so I would jump over to ask her for some tips! http://katiehartmorse.com/tag/triathlon-blog/


9 Lili Kinman April 13, 2015 at 1:05 am

Katie I am in the exact same place as you! I just started a 4 week training program for a sprint Tri on May 2. I am definitely in shape, but have been living with lateral knee problems and injuries. My weaknesses are ranked just like yours as well, with swim being number one fear. Did you get any good suggestions or tips from anyone? Let me know! Thank you!! L.kinman12@gmail.com

-Lili Kinman


10 sue May 15, 2015 at 7:27 pm

I am doing a woman’s triathlon in 3 weeks… I swim well ,bike fair, and walk slow. I started to train and was doing fairly well, then as I talked to people about doing this, I got discouraged to the point I want to bow out. and stopped training…I can do the 400meter swim in 15 minutes, bike the 20kms in 90 minutes, and walk the 5 km in an hour… is this too slow to do the triathlon, or should I wait until next year.


11 Tara June 2, 2015 at 6:10 am

I love this plan. I used it last year for two sprints and am using it again this year after abandoning my 12 week plan. The main modification I make is that I add more days in the pool. I’m pretty new to swimming and have found that adding an extra day or two in the pool makes me more comfortable on race day.


12 laurel June 8, 2015 at 7:01 am

Thank you for your post. Could you explain the difference what swim, pull , kick workouts are? Thanks


13 Jess June 18, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Hi- I just decided today to sign up for a sprint tri and your training plan looks great. I have never done a tri before and just curious – what do you wear? Thanks!!


14 Sarah June 18, 2015 at 5:36 pm

I did one and did not buy a tri outfit and felt fine. I wore a sports bra and running shorts under a wetsuit that I rented. When I got out of the water, my shorts dried and I added a tank for the bike and run portion. You can always wear bathing suit bottoms to race if you feel comfortable. Test out your shorts to see which ones dry fastest. I thought I chose a good pair but I didn’t really. I was fine though. I didn’t take time to put on socks after my swim and regretted that!


15 Yvonne August 14, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Hello! I love the sound of this training guide! By any chance does anyone have this in a PDF format or something printer friendly? Thanks!


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