Sprint Triathlon Training: Week 1

How a mom is training for a sprint triathlon | Week 1 Training

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I did it! I completed the first week of my sprint triathlon training!  It was hard, but I enjoyed it and I cannot tell you how proud I am of myself for doing this!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you might want to read this post about how I’m training for a sprint triathlon.  I’m using this training schedule to build up to the 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike ride and 5K run.

Each Monday I’m going to give you a rundown of how the previous week of training went.  I’ll tell you about each workout, what went well, what I need to change and what’s in store for the coming week.

So here we go…Week 1.

How a mom is training for a sprint triathlon | Week 1 Training


Monday was a bike day, so I pulled out my padded pants and headed to the gym.  I had always used the sit-down bikes when I’d cycled previously at the gym, so the spin bike was new to me.  The first order of business was figuring out how low to adjust the seat for my short little legs.  It took some trial and error, and lots of getting on and off the bike, but I did figure it out.

Once I got everything in place, I started my ride.  For week one, day one, I was supposed to bike for 40 minutes.  I really haven’t done much cycling at the gym before, so 40 minutes was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be.  When I ride my road bike I’m able to coast for a little while when my legs get tired.  There’s no coasting on a spin bike, so that was a challenge I wasn’t expecting.  I messed around with the resistance levels a bit until I found something I thought I could do consistently for 40 minutes.  I started out at a 7, but eventually moved to a 5 to complete my workout.

To keep myself occupied I listened to a couple of podcasts and people watched.  The bike I chose was upstairs, right along the railing, so I had a good view of the whole downstairs part of the gym where all the weights are.  I enjoyed watching all of the “muscle men” and wannabes grunting and lifting, but what I mainly noticed is that they spent a lot of time talking.  Between my podcasts and people watching, the time passed relatively quickly, which was nice.

Final Stats

Time: 40 minutes

Resistance level: 7, then 5

Distance: 7.02 miles


Tuesday was my first run day.  As I’ve mentioned before, running is not my forte, so I decided that this first day would be dedicated to walking as fast as my short legs would take me.  One thing I like about my walking/running days is that the treadmills have TVs on them, so I can plug my headphones in and watch TV.  That makes the time pass quickly.

There wasn’t really anything that was a big challenge with my walking this time.  I walked faster than usual and my legs got a little tired at the end because they aren’t used to moving that fast, but overall it was a pretty easy workout.

Final Stats

Time: 25 minutes (5 minute warmup + 20 minute workout)

Speed: 3.5 mph

Distance: 1.44 miles

How a mom is training for a sprint triathlon | Week 1 Training


Wednesday was the first swim day of my training.  It had been a little while since I’d been in the pool with any consistency, so my main goal was to reacclimate myself to the strokes and my breathing.  I decided that the easiest way to do that was to alternate regular swim strokes with laps of just kicking with a kick board.

The pool at our gym is 25 meters long, so I count going down and back as one lap.  I alternated one lap of freestyle, one lap of freestyle kicks with the kick board, one lap of breaststroke and 1 lap of breaststroke kicks with the kick board.  I went through that rotation 3 times.  Eventually I plan to eliminate the use of the kick board and then breaststroke until I’m able to swim freestyle for all 750 meters.

I realized after I got home that I was supposed to swim for 30 minutes and I only did 23 (was aiming for 20, but wanted to finish my last couple of laps).  That shouldn’t make a difference in the long run, but I’m kind of annoyed with myself that I missed it.

I think the thing I enjoy most about swimming is that I’m really able to think without much distraction.  Sure, I’m thinking about breathing and my stroke, but other than that, it’s quiet and I’m able to just think.  Swimming might be my favorite portion of the triathlon training.  The only downside is you’re soaking wet and have to change clothes before going home.

Final Stats

Time: 23 minutes

Distance: 600 meters

Strokes: Freestyle (150 meters), Freestyle Kick (150 meters), Breaststroke (150 meters), Breaststroke Kick (150 meters)


Saturday was the day I both dreaded and looked forward to.  Each Saturday I will train in each of the three triathlon events.  Week one’s workout included 30 minutes on the bike, 20 on the treadmill and 20 in the pool.  Preparing to go to the gym to train in all three events felt like I was packing for vacation!  I had to keep going over what I would need for each event and how to switch between them.

I finally decided that I was going to start on the treadmill, move to the bike and finish in the pool.  This is not the official “swim, bike, run” order of a triathlon, but I figured it would be best to save the swimming for the end so my wet hair wouldn’t drip all over the gym equipment.  After a lot of thought, I decided that it would be easiest and save time if I just wore my bathing suit with my bike pants over them and then exercise pants and a tshirt.  I packed some flip flops, my goggles and a towel and headed to the gym.

I planned to start running short intervals during this session, but quickly realized that my swimsuit did not offer the kind of support that I was going to need to be able to run (if you get my drift), so I settled for another fast walk.  The bike and swim both went well and I felt good throughout both of them.  Overall, I think my first “mini triathlon” was a success and gave me some things to think about before next week.

Final Stats

Run (walk)-

Time: 20 minutes

Speed: 3.3 mph

Distance: 1.15 miles


Time: 30 minutes

Resistance: 6

Distance: 5.26 miles


Time: 20 minutes

Distance: 600 meters

Strokes: Freestyle (150 meters), Freestyle Kick (150 meters), Breaststroke (150 meters), Breaststroke Kick (150 meters)

Final Thoughts

I’m actually really proud of myself for getting through the first week.  The biggest obstacle was just showing up to do the work.  Once I got there, I found I was able to do each day’s workout at my own pace.

Something I did struggle with part-way through the week was comparison.  I worried about the fact that the old man in the swim lane next to me was swimming like a fish and I was hanging out with my kick board.  After some self-talk, I reminded myself that I need to quit comparing my beginning to someone else’s middle.  I don’t know their story and I’m just starting my own, so I need to be proud of it.  And I am!

So, there you have Week 1 of my sprint triathlon training!

Sprint Triathlon Training- Week 1 | How a mom is training for a sprint triathlon

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