First tri training plans for swimmers, cyclists and runners

Three weekly guides for newbies from a single sport background


(Image: Jonny Gawler)

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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.

Monday Running: 45mins fartlek
Tuesday Swim: 60mins
Spin class: 45mins
Wednesday Running: steady 30mins
Thursday Rest
Friday Bike: 60mins turbo/rollers, focus on high cadence and smooth pedals
Saturday Swim: 60mins
Running: 40min hill reps
Sunday Long bike ride: 2hrs steady with hill sections


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.

Monday Rest
Tuesday Swim: 30mins technique
Run: 30-40min fartlek
Wednesday Bike:  45min spin class
Thursday Swim: 60mins aerobic endurance/technique
Friday Run: 30-40mins steady
Saturday Bike: 2hr long ride
Sunday Swim: 45mins technique
Run: 45min hilly run


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.

Monday Swim: 60min aerobic endurance/ technique
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Swim: 30mins technique
Run: 60min intervals
Thursday Bike: 60min turbo or rollers, working on cadence and pedalling
Friday Run: 45mins steady
Saturday Swim:30mins technique
Bike: 90min hilly ride
Sunday Bike: 2hrs long ride, steady, with 15min run off bike

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