RoadBikeReview.com's Forum Archives - Triathlons


Archive Home >> Triathlons


Training for Sprint Distance(4 posts)

Training for Sprint DistanceSkimoviestar
Nov 20, 2001 2:57 PM
I'd like all your ideas on how to train for a relatively short sprint-distance tri. I've been riding my road bike for about a year and have done a century in sub 6 hours. The sprint I'm interested in is in early February and is only a 5K run, 10 mi. bike, and 100 yard swim (I know, the swim part isn't worth training for and I'm planning on approaching this as a duathlon). I'm not run ready currently. Any ideas on how I can train to smoke this short 5K run/ 10 mi. bike combo? Thanks!
re: Training for Sprint Distancecolosipm
Nov 29, 2001 6:11 AM
take a look at some websites like insidetriathlon or triathletemag.com.

Triathletemag.com has several suggested training plans for different distances.

I wouldn't poopoo the swim as much as your doing. If your extremely fit, your right, it won't matter much. But you'll be surprised how tired you can get from swimming just a hundred yards, you may not feel it right away, but I guarantee you, you will be the end of the race.
re: Training for Sprint DistanceKudzu Kannibal
Dec 6, 2001 7:18 AM
Well you don't need to do Centuries to get Sprint-ready.

The problem with Sprint races is that you are practically anaerobic the whole time. You are constantly exceeded your LTHR, because of the duration. My first triathlon was a little sprint in Boca Raton and here were some tips, that I picked up from veteran triathletes and I think a Scott Tinley article that helped.

Swimming: First you have to work on technique so you do a lot of boring stuff to get your stroke working. Maybe join a Masters Team, I did. Sprints, lots of them. Yep, these seem to help for those short distances. You figure the swim is 400 to 800 meters on a sprint race. The best kind of sets of descending time. For instance do two to three sets of 4x50 and start at a Minute (for round off, you may go higher or lower), then descend each one by five seconds. After the 4th, which you will finish in 45 seconds, start the next set back at a minute. Also work on kicking as you don't need to save your legs as much in a sprint race, so try to use a strong kick. One technique I did was where I chase the kickboard. I do a 300 or 600 in a 25m pool, where I kick with a board the first 25m, then swim (fast) the next 50m, pick the board up and do another 25m...and so on. You don't stop and rest, the minute you hit the wall with the board you dump it and into your swim.

Bike: OK, your distance is short. I have seen one race where the bike was only like 7 miles. Anyway, the beauty of doing sprint races is getting yourself accommodated for that aero position that takes so long to get used to. You will be going all out on the bike. Go light on the water and food on the bike as you won't really need as much since the distance is short. I usually just fill my aero cup and tape a gel pack to the top tube. For beginners, get out and ride 10 to 15 miles a few times a week. During that, do some accelerations while riding. Say go easy for 2 minutes, then sprint speed for 30 seconds. To train for these distances I used to ride my Mountain Bike with slicks to eliminate the Aero and add Road resistance. It made me a stronger cyclist. If there are hills, then by all means, HILL repeats. Oh yeah, get the HR maxed my friend and get those legs strong. And practice going aero and spring Aero...You can do longer rides, but I don't think you benefit sprint-wise doing them, only endurance.

Run: You have a track near you? HS perhaps? Track work...speed, speed, speed. Your sets should not be mile repeats like you would for a longer race, but 400s and 800s. Or run a mile or two on the track, sprinting the straightaways. Like in swimming I recommend descending your time on the sets. For instance do 2 sets of 4 x 400 and start at 2 minutes, then down to 1:50, then 1:40...see where I am going. Maybe once a week go out and jog a 5K. Another tip is to actually enter 5K races and try to improve on your PR.

BRICKS: I used to do something called Mini-bricks. They would be a one mile bike, ripping hard, then into a 1/2 mile run. Rest and repeat. First off, it got me used to the change in muscle groups from the bike to run transition. Also do a normal brick, where you ride 10 to 15 miles and then do a 5K. I would only do this every now and then.

Just some tips. Currently I am in this kind of training mode, but that is just because I am sending the body into anaerobic training in preparation for my first Ironman next year. The long sets start in Feb., three months before my Half Ironman.

Good Luck and hope this helps. It did for me
I disagree, here is my approachliu02bhs
Apr 7, 2002 5:35 PM
You can not go anaerobic for even the shortest triathlon. You have to work on the endurance aspect of it. Anaerobic is for track or swimming sprinters. Speed work build your speed for short distance but does nothing for long distance. For example, this dude on my swim team can beat me on a 50, but on a 500 I can kick his ass. 100 Free style in your triathlon should just be a sprint though. I don't think you'll even feel it. It shouldn't take you over 1:30. Same thing with running. Anything above a mile are called distance, you can not hold an 400 pace for a mile. However, the work out that Kudzo Kannibal suggest should be fine. A 2:00 400 is like about a 8:00 pace, it shouldn't even be considered as speed work. You only have about 30 sec of reserved energy for anaerobic exercise. Even though your distance shouldn't take over an hour, it's still a long time. Try to go about 80% for most of the race and pick it up if you feel you can do so. Trust me, on that run, you'll feel the pain.