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Home / Training / Beginners / Three triathlon training plans for swimmers, cyclists and runners

First tri training plans for swimmers, cyclists and runners

Three weekly guides for newbies from a single sport background

(Image: Jonny Gawler)

If you’re new to the world of triathlon and nervously pondering how to prepare for your first race, then put down those worry beads and fret no more – we’ve put together three training plans just for you.

Whether you are strongest in swimming, cycling or running, there is a plan below that will help you get up to speed in the other two disciplines, and avoid blowing up in your first event.

Find more triathlon training plans, for every ability and distance, here


Although the least common path into multisport, a background in swimming offers you a good bank of strengths and abilities that you can use to transfer to your future in multisport.

As swimming is your strength you will be able to maintain your ability on fewer sessions per week. Try reducing your swims to two per week, while adding in two or three bike sessions and at least three, short run sessions per week.



Cycling is possibly the hardest of the three disciplines from which to move into tri. But the different kinds of cycling will all bring their strengths with them, so the type you’ve been involved in can make a difference

To adjust your regular routine, cycling can be reduced to two or three shorter sessions a week, with one spin class or similar. Swim and run sessions should start as short and frequent, then increase as you progress.



Many runners head to triathlon after being frustrated with injury. The move across is therefore a popular one, as it allows you to retain your competitive spirit, while at the same time easing the pressure on your body.

To go from runner to triathlete, keep your running ticking over, but invest time in swimming regularly to maximise the technique gain. Work on your bike pedalling technique and spend time just enjoying being out there riding.


Like this? There’s lots more beginners advice in our Training section

Profile image of Jamie Beach Jamie Beach Former digital editor


Jamie was 220 Triathlon's digital editor between 2013 and 2015.