How to Train for a Triathlon in 12 Weeks

Do you want to know how to train for a triathlon in 12 weeks? It is possible, but ideally you would want to allow yourself more than 12 weeks of training time.

An Olympic distance triathlon includes a 1.5km swim, a 40km bike ride and a 10km run. To train for an Olympic triathlon in 12 weeks, you should already have a solid base. Schedule these workouts into your own schedule, making one day a day of full rest.

Swimming
Swim twice a week, adding an extra workout if swimming is a challenge for you.

  • Week 1: Swim 200 yards at each workout. Start by resting in between laps, then work up to being able to swim without stopping.
  • Week 2: Swim 200 yards at one workout and 300 at the next.
  • Week 3: Swim 300 yards at both workouts.
  • Week 4: Swim 300 yards at one workout and 400 yards at the next.
  • Week 5: Swim 400 yards at one workout and 500 at the next.
  • Week 6: Swim 300 yards at both workouts.
  • Week 7: Swim 500 yards at one workout and 650 yards at the next.
  • Week 8: Swim 700 yards at both workouts.
  • Week 9: Swim 850 yards at one workout and 1000 at the next.
  • Week 10: Swim 500 yards at one workout and 650 yards at the next.
  • Week 11: Swim 1200 yards at one workout and 1500 at the next.
  • Week 12: Swim 1400 yards at one workout and 1000 at the next.

Cycling
Cycle twice per week, adding an extra workout if you're particularly weak in this area. Your third workout should be roughly the same distance as your shorter ride for the week.

  • Week 1: Cycle 6 miles at one workout and 8 at the next.
  • Week 2: Cycle 7 miles at one workout and 9 at the next.
  • Week 3: Cycle 8 miles at one workout and 10 at the next.
  • Week 4: Cycle 10 miles at one workout and 12 at the next.
  • Week 5: Cycle 8 miles at both workouts.
  • Week 6: Cycle 12 miles at one workout and 15 at the next.
  • Week 7: Cycle 14 miles at one workout and 16 at the next.
  • Week 8: Cycle 15 miles at one workout and 18 at the next.
  • Week 9: Cycle 16 miles at one workout and 20 at the next.
  • Week 10: Cycle 8 miles at one workout and 10 at the next.
  • Week 11: Cycle 20 miles at one workout and 25 at the next.
  • Week 12: Cycle 20 miles just once, earlier in the week.

Running
Running is the one area where you'll probably want to train three days per week every week while you're figuring out how to train for a triathlon in 12 weeks. For many, running is difficult and it is particularly so after both swimming and cycling. Make one of your shorter runs after swimming, cycling or both. Your long run should be done the day before your rest day.

  • Week 1: Run 2 miles at one workout, 3 miles at the next and 2 miles at the third.
  • Week 2: Run 3 miles at two workouts and 2 miles at one.
  • Week 3: Run 3 miles at one workout and 3.5 miles at two.
  • Weeks 4: Run 3.5 miles at two workouts and 5 miles at one.
  • Week 5: Run 3 miles twice this week.
  • Week 6: Run 4 miles at two workouts and 5.5 at one.
  • Week 7: Run 4.5 miles at two workouts and 6 miles at one.
  • Week 8: Run 5 miles at two workouts and 6.5 at one.
  • Week 9: Run 4.5 miles at two workouts.
  • Week 10: Run 5.5 miles at two workouts and 7 miles at one.
  • Week 11: Run 6 miles at two workouts and 7.5 at one.
  • Week 12: Run 5 miles twice.

Before you bein this training program, be sure you are fit enough to cover these distances. Though it is possible to learn how to train for a triathlon in 12 weeks, you must be aware of what you are capable of in order to avoid injury. 

Related Life123 Articles

Have you ever wondered, how long is a triathlon? It depends on which one you've entered. You may be looking to do your first Triathlon and a "Sprint" distance may be your best bet.

To know how to prepare for a triathlon, determine the length of your race and your general level of fitness before anything else.

Frequently Asked Questions on Ask.com
More Related Life123 Articles

What is a triathlon? A gruelling test of physical endurance that combines three different sports.

Sprint triathlon training can be grueling, but it's the best place for a beginner triathlete to start.

Read about help for triathlon transition. You can make sure time faster.

© 2014 Life123, Inc. All rights reserved. An IAC Company