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8 Week Sprint Triathlon Training Plan: Swim Portion

Welcome to another contributor post and my first Saturday post in…ever? You probably know I’m a single sport girl. Give me a pair of shoes and I can run. I tried the triathlon once and learned quickly it was not for me. But that does not mean I’m not awe inspired by these dedicated athletes! Let me introduce you to Tracy from All Things Fashionating. She’s been a reader for years, is a journalist and quite the impressive triathlon competitor. She’s here to share a 3 part training series to get you to the start and finish line of your first (or fastest!) tri!

8 Week Sprint Triathlon Training Plan: Swim Portion

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Next Monday, I will begin my 8 week training plan for my first sprint Triathlon of the season. This will be my 7th race ever – so not my first rodeo – but I still get butterflies thinking about what lies ahead of me in these swimming, cycling and running competitions. However, I have been hooked since I competed in my first race two years ago.

Why Triathlons are Addictive

  • If you are moderately fit, it will only take you eight weeks to be prepared for a “sprint” distance which consists of a half-mile swim, a 12 mile bike ride, and a 5K run.
  • Training doesn’t have to be hard-core, but you will get into great shape – with minimal injuries – very quickly.
  • There is nothing better than taking yourself out of your comfort zone and racing like a Greek Goddess.

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I have always had a passion for running.

I have one full marathon, six or so half-marathons, and more 10K and 5K races than I can count under my belt; so one may think that mini- or sprint-distance triathlon would have been a natural progression for an amateur athlete like myself. However, I have never been a “strong swimmer” or a sport swimmer, so that part of the multi-race competition made me nervous.

Yet with an informative training program, I made a soggy start swimming laps at my local gym and as I slowly plugged away with my swim training, my endurance grew.

8 Week Sprint Triathlon Training Plan: Swim Portion

Week 1: Thursday –Swim 400 yards and Sunday – 300 yards

Week 2: Thursday –Swim 500 yards and Sunday – 400 yards

Week 3: Thursday –Swim 600 yards and Sunday – 750 yards or 15 min. open water swim

Week 4: Thursday –N/A and Sunday – 750 yards or 15 min. open water swim

Week 5: Thursday –Swim 700 yards and Sunday – 1,000 yards or 20 min. open water swim

Week 6: Thursday –Swim 800 yards and Sunday – 1,000 yards or 20 min. open water swim

Week 7: Thursday –Swim 900 yards and Sunday – 750 yards or 15 min. open water swim

Week 8: Thursday –Swim 600 yards and Sunday – RACE DAY

8 week sprint triathlon training plan

Or simply pin this graphic to your athletic vision board!


Essential Gear for Swimming

  • A simple bathing suit for laps in the pool or the ocean/lake if you are warm blooded.
  • A tri wet suit to help keep you warm during ocean or lake swims. Also, wet suits provide a level of buoyancy that makes swimming easier.
  • Goggles are a necessity and make sure to get a pair with UVA/UVB Protection.
  • Swim cap will keep those lovely locks tucked away

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At my first tri, when I crashed through those ocean waves with the rest of the women in my division, I felt alive and a part of something that was much bigger than myself; And later when I crossed the finish line, the feeling of having accomplished something that I never thought would be possible for me was exhilarating.

Stay tuned for the training portions for the run and the bike later this summer!

Is a triathlon in your future? 

Tracy Mausser, Journalist & Triathlete
Tracy Mausser, a former Los Angeles Metro reporter and editor, is a Jersey Girl turned Angeleno whose obsession with health and exercise has put her on the clean living journey. In her spare time, Tracy competes as an amateur triathlete. She lives at the beach in the Los Angeles area with her husband and son.

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