Member Question: Which Training Plan?

author : Amy Kuitse
comments : 5

I really want to do an Olympic distance but I feel it is a little too far right now. Which training plan should I follow? The sprint sounds too easy for what I'm doing but the Olympic seems too much?

Member Question:

I'm new to the sport but in not too bad of shape. I just lost 127 lbs and I'm shooting for my first sprint this summer coming, I think I can do well in it. I really want to do an Olympic distance but I feel it is a little too far right now. Which one of the training plans should I follow? The sprint sounds too easy for what I'm doing now but the Olympic seems a little too much in the beginning. Please help as I don't want to screw this up and waste time.


Answer by Coach Amy



Before answering your question let’s start with a big CONGRATULATIONS! Losing 127lbs is amazing. This will make the sprint seem easy to you. You clearly know what it means to have a goal and work toward it. Great Job!!

So, now let’s get to answering your question about which plan to use. With the knowledge you feel the sprint plan may be a bit too easy, but the Olympic plan seems a little too much, you could get started on a winter maintenance type of plan. In doing this you could work on the areas you feel are more difficult for you to get you up to the starting volume of an Olympic plan. This would help you improve these areas with consideration for using an Olympic plan that may challenge you more.


Using a winter maintenance type plan will have you training in all three areas and you can add in some weight training work as well. This will be very valuable in preparing you for the harder workouts ahead.

Another consideration in choosing a plan would be to look at one of the 'bridge' plans. This plan type is written to help you build from the Sprint to Olympic distance. You may find that this type of plan is more appropriate for the areas of training you find easier and more challenging for the ones you feel are a bit harder. With the knowledge that you feel that portions of the sprint plan are too easy for you, then the bridge plan or modifications to one of the Olympic plans sound like it may be just right for you.


You can always start in the middle of a sprint plan where the volume may be more appropriate to your current levels, and then transition to the Olympic plan.

Here are some keys in taking on any training plan you choose:

  1. Look at the time you have available to train and the time the plan requires.

  2. Make sure your current fitness level is in-line with the training plan demands.

  3. Understand that if the training plan is not written specifically for you, you may need to make some changes and adjustments to the training days to meet your needs as well as to the volumes prescribed in workouts.

  4. Know that you can add races to the training plan and modify the week leading to these additional races if you choose.

Some keys to remember as a beginner triathlete:

  1. Be consistent with your training from week to week.

  2. Know that things will come up during your training and you will miss workouts. Let them go, don’t try making them up throughout the week.

  3. Keep easy days easy and hard days hard.

  4. Ask lots of questions, that is how we all learn and continue to learn!

  5. Do not rush time. Time means experience and experiences come over time.

  6. Enjoy it all………triathlon is great!

I hope this will be helpful as you get started in your journey for your first triathlon in 2009. You are on the right track in looking at plans and sound ready for the challenge of a bridge plan or an Olympic plan.

All the best,




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date: December 4, 2008

Amy Kuitse