Getting Started

Train Hard For Your Next Sprint Triathlon

Just because it's a short race doesn't mean you have to take it easy when it comes to training for a sprint triathlon.

Just because it’s a short race doesn’t mean you have to take it easy when it comes to training for a sprint triathlon. Coach Lynne Fonda believes you can train hard, no matter the race distance.

The goal: Kick butt at a sprint-distance triathlon—place in your age group or possibly make the podium, increase strength and, most importantly, remain injury-free. See a sample of a one-week sprint training plan below.


Run 4 miles at tempo (athlete-specific speed). The run may include light intervals.


The tempo double includes a swim workout—approximately 2,400-2,600 yards total, utilizing warm-ups and drills—and a bike workout.

—Depending on the athlete, drills include:
—3 sets x 500-yards
—1 set x 750-yards
—100-yard recovery swims in between each set, this would equal roughly 6-8 sets x 100-yards on the 2-minute interval.
Cool down.

—Bike portion of the Tempo Double should be done at the opposite end of the day.
—Bike 20 miles at tempo pace.


Track workout
—1,600-yard warm-up, moderate pace
—Recovery run, 400 yards
—1,200-yard tempo run
—Recovery run, 400 yards
—2 sets x 800-yards
—Recovery run, 400 yards. Followed by a cool down.


Depending on the athlete, this might be a light 5-mile run, a 15-20-mile bike, or, if needed, Thursday can be an off day.


Recovery double
—Swim approximately 1,800-2,300 yards, with 3 sets x 100 yards for recovery at the end of the workout.
—Cool down.
—Bike or run workout, depending on the athlete’s needs.

For bike: 15-mile light spin.
For run: 3-4-mile easy run.


Brick workout
—Bike 20-25 miles; half of which includes a climb up to 7,100-7,500 feet of elevation.
—Run 3.7 miles with climbing.


Long swim workout
—Swim approx. 2,600 yards total.
—This should include various combinations of drills: timed 750-yard drill; timed 500-yard drill; 6 sets x 100-yards timed; and 5 sets x 50-yards timed and finally 4 sets x 25-yards timed.

RELATED: How Hard Should I Push In My Next Triathlon?

Meet The Coach

Who: Lynne Fonda is a USAT-certified coach, a 24-year veteran triathlete and duathlete and holds numerous podium finishes under her belt with the 1997 and 1998 Ironman World Championships, Wildflower Triathlon and Nautica Malibu Triathlon rounding the list. Since 1998, Fonda has focused much of her energy on being a full-time coach for her own private company ( bringing others to the podium with her intensive weekly training plans.

Where: Colorado Springs, Colo.

What: Fonda provided us with a sample week of one her “Heavy Sprint Triathlon Training Programs.”

“My philosophy is train high and race low. So, all of our training is done between 7,000 and 7,500 feet elevation. My general training plans are based on three workouts of each discipline per week: long and steady; tempo; interval/speedwork, and then a brick ride/run. The bricks always involve heavy climbing, with a time trial every three weeks,” Fonda explains.

RELATED: Train Like An Olympic Triathlete