• Beginner Triathlon Training Plan

    beginner triathlete triathlon training plan first time

    Training for a triathlon can be a complicated process, especially if it's your first time. Follow this simple beginner's triathlon training plan to get you to the start line feeling your best and ready to race.

    What gear do I need for a triathlon?

    Before you begin your training, make sure you have all the gear you need to train and race. Triathlon is a complex sport with lots of moving parts, so you'll need a few different pieces of kit. Read our beginner's kit guide for first-time triathletes which outlines all of the gear you will need from a trisuit to running trainers and everything in between. 

    Related: Guide to triathlon gear

    swimming training triathlon plan guide workout

    Beginner Triathlon Training Plan

    This is a 4-week training plan for a sprint distance triathlon for absolute beginners. If you already have a fair level of fitness and/or experience, this plan may be too easy for you.

    Week 1

    Day Session Type Session
    Monday Run

    Run for 20 minutes without stopping.

    Do 10 minutes of stretching afterwards.

    Tuesday Swim

    5 lengths of a 25-metre pool.

    Try to complete this without stopping.

    Wednesday Bike Cycle non-stop for 30 minutes, indoors or outdoors.
    Thursday Rest Make sure to do stretching and foam rolling as is necessary and eat plenty of protein and drink plenty of water so that your muscles can recover.
    Friday Swim

    5 lengths of a 25-metre pool.

    If you could not manage non-stop on Tuesday, aim to accomplish that today.

    Saturday Rest Make sure to take a complete rest day and don't be tempted to over-train.
    Sunday Run

    Run for 20 minutes without stopping.

    Pace doesn't matter.

    Week 2

    Day Session Type Session
    Monday Rest

    You may be feeling tired or achy after week 1 so take it easy, hydrate and nourish well and make sure to stretch.

    Tuesday Swim

    5 lengths of a 25-metre pool.

    Try to complete this without stopping.

    Wednesday Run

    Run for 20 minutes non-stop.

    See if you can make it further than you did last week.

    Thursday Bike

    Cycle for 20 minutes outdoors.

    Enjoy an easy pace on a flat course.

    Friday Swim

    5 lengths of a 25-metre pool.

    If you could not manage non-stop on Tuesday, aim to accomplish that today.

    Saturday Rest Make sure to take a complete rest day and don't be tempted to over-train.
    Sunday Run

    Run for 20 minutes without stopping.

    Pace doesn't matter.

    Week 3

    Day Session Type Session
    Monday Run Run for 20 minutes at a steady pace.
    Tuesday Swim

     Complete 6 lengths of a 25-metre pool.

    Try to swim non-stop.

    Wednesday Run Easy 10 minute run.
    Thursday Bike 20 minutes on a flat course.
    Friday Swim

    Complete 6 lengths of a 25-metre pool.

    If you could not manage non-stop on Tuesday, aim for that today.

    Saturday Rest
    Sunday Run/Bike Brick

    Cycle for 30 minutes then run for 25 minutes at an easy pace.


    Week 4

    Day Session Type Session
    Monday Bike Cycle for 45 minutes and try to include one hill as a challenge.
    Tuesday Swim

     Complete 10 lengths of a 25-metre pool.

    Go all out in order to complete it non-stop.

    Wednesday Run Run for 30 minutes without stopping.
    Thursday Rest
    Friday Run/Bike Brick Cycle for 30 minutes then straight into a 15 minute run.
    Saturday Rest
    Sunday Race Day!

     Good luck!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Harrison Smith Triathlete

    Harrison Smith Southend Triathlon Winner Sundried

    Harrison is a bright, intelligent, promising young athlete who already has some impressive titles under his belt. After winning the Sundried Southend Triathlon, we had to invite him on board the team. He tells us more.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, it has been a key part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was younger I mainly ran and played rugby, dabbling unsuccessfully in football and golf before choosing to focus on triathlon in year 10 (age 15).

    What made you decide to enter triathlon?

    I went down to the local triathlon club (East Essex Tri) initially just to improve my running. However, after they encouraged me to try swimming and I’d got to the point where I could swim 400m without drowning, I borrowed my dad’s bike and entered my first triathlon.

    What’s been your best race to date?

    I won the World Duathlon Championships for the Under 20 age group in 2016; the race went perfectly, a rare occurrence in multisport.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Probably winning the recent Sundried Southend Triathlon; there’s nothing quite like winning your home race by over two minutes in front of a huge crowd.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?

    A couple of years ago I won the Great Notley Duathlon... at least I thought I won the Great Notley Duathlon until I crossed the line to find I’d been disqualified for improper racking.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    By returning to Great Notley the next year and winning it by the biggest ever margin.

    What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?

    To get my swimming stroke sorted before I started doing regular swimming sessions; it took Gill and Dawn at Tri ‘n’ Swim Well months to fix all the bad habits I had developed.

    What are your goals for 2017?

    2017 has, so far, had to be painstakingly quiet because I’m doing my A-level exams. That said, I have already achieved a few of my targets; I won the European Duathlon Championships and captained the Essex Cross Country team at the English Schools, both targets of mine for a couple of years now. I want to test myself over an Olympic distance triathlon at some point, break the 1-hour mark for a 25-mile time trial, run a sub-4 minute 1500m and swim a sub-4 minute 400m.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Jan Frodeno, Alistair Brownlee, and my grandfather, who, at 82, still cycles every day.

    What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?

    I really like the fact that a brand so local to me is so radical and progressive in its vision. My favourite bit of kit is the Olperer t-shirt; it looks great, fits perfectly, and – because it’s made from coffee it stops you from overheating on your long summer runs.



    Instagram:  @harrisonsmith99

    Twitter: @harrisons_smith

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Couch To Triathlon (7) - Feeling Inspired

    Sundried Southend Triathlon Open Water Swim Essex

    Last weekend Sundried hosted the inaugural Southend Triathlon at which I was swim director! It was my job to stay on the beach and count all the athletes as they safely exited the water. It was an incredible day and the atmosphere was amazing. It was my first time experiencing a triathlon and it really was very special. I've taken part in numerous 10ks and half marathons, which always have a great buzz, but this something entirely different and we had nearly 3000 spectators out to watch and cheer people on! It has really inspired and motivated me to up my game with my training for my triathlon and I am looking to enter one sooner than I thought!

    After editing the content for all the events that Sundried will be sponsoring this year, I came across the Louth Triathlon in Lincolnshire. It is a beginner-friendly event with a 400m pool swim and easy bike and run course. I must say I'm really tempted to enter! It takes place on Sunday the 3rd of September which is only 2 months way. Will I be ready by then?

    I think that my fitness is certainly up to finishing a triathlon at this point, especially a shortened course featuring a pool swim, but I still need to have swimming lessons! I haven't even attempted the front crawl since I was 10 years old. Eek! I also need to step up my cycle training, but I am being left frustrated as it's so hard to get up any speed in Southend due to pedestrians walking out in front of me on the cycle path and angry motorists interrupting any cycling I do on the roads. I shall power on though. 

    My running is going amazingly though, and with my new Garmin Forerunner 735XT watch I did a lactate threshold test and have also determined my VO2 max (which is pretty good if I do say so myself!) I'm hoping to achieve a new 5k PB soon, although now that I'm finding running easier I need to make sure I don't sprint off too quick and burn out after a mile!

    I'm hoping to make up my mind about entering the Louth Triathlon soon, with the only thing being it would come before the duathlon I have entered, which was supposed to be a toe-dip into the world of multi-sport competing and give me an idea of how it feels. However, at this point I do feel like I don't really need to ease myself in too much and that I'd manage it okay. That's another feeling of confidence that came from watching all the competitors at the Sundried Southend Triathlon, as we had racers from all walks of life from professional triathletes to people who had never done one before and turned up on a mountain bike!

    I'm guilty of having 'yolo' moments so chances are I will end up entering the triathlon in September, in which case things are about to get intense! Stay tuned for more, it may be time to get the swimsuit out of retirement!

    Read the next instalment - Couch To Triathlon (8) - Training Adventures

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Couch To Triathlon (1) - Alex's Big Challenge

    I've always been active, sporty, and keen on nutrition. Since signing up for my first gym membership aged 16, I have dipped my toe in several different sporting disciplines but am yet to find my one true calling.

    When I first started working out seriously I was a 'cardio bunny' and was big on group exercise classes. I loved the social side of these classes and used to do two in a row on most days. I also loved running and would run 10 miles just for fun without timing myself or worrying about pace. I joined a local running club and enjoyed taking part in several 10k races and Half Marathons. I was also a regular at the local Parkrun, both as a participant and a volunteer marshal. 

    Flyers Southend Running Club Chelmsford 10k Race

    After becoming a personal trainer in 2014 and becoming friends with the other personal trainers at my gym, I entered the world of bodybuilding. I trained with an ex-marine who taught me a lot about lifting weights and how to change my body composition. I increased my strength over a couple of years and completely changed the way my body looked.

    Gym Bodybuilding T Bar Row Strength

    After changing gyms in 2016 I made new friends who were big in the powerlifting world and decided this would be my new venture. I packed on a ton of muscle and increased my strength dramatically - from being able to squat no more than 40kg to squatting 100kg with ease and maxing out on the bench press at 60kg. I have competed at two powerlifting meets, one locally and one nationally with the Great British Powerlifting Federation (GBPF).

    Now, I feel like it's time for a new challenge. Although I enjoy running, I suffer from severe hypermobility and flat feet which restricts how much I can do. I often experience pain in my feet, ankles, knees, and hips when I run which can mean that a planned 10-miler has to end after only 2 miles. I also never properly learned how to do the front crawl swimming stroke. I am a confident swimmer and love being in the water, but I only ever do breaststroke. 

    Competing at a triathlon event will be a huge challenge for me due to my running issues and the fact I'll have to learn how to do the front crawl! But it is a challenge that I am very excited to pursue over the next 12 months. I intend to train harder than ever to achieve this goal. I will need a new bike as my current one is old and the brakes barely work! I will also need to research and invest in new kit such as swimming gloves, a tri-suit, and other triathlon-specific equipment. 

    Bicycle Triathlon

    Follow my journey if you are interested in triathlons, sport, or think that you may be up for a similar challenge yourself! I will be sharing the obstacles I face along the way and will be showcasing and reviewing any equipment that I decide to purchase.

    Read the next instalment - Couch To Triathlon (2) - Preparation

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Triathlon Swimming Goggles Guide

    triathlon swimming goggles swim bike run open water

    While swimming goggles may seem like a simple bit of triathlon equipment, there are a lot of things to look out for and they could make or break your race or swim competition. Sundried’s triathlon swimming goggle guide is here to help you select the right swim goggles for you, as well as giving advice on fitting, style, and lenses.

    Fitting your swim goggles

    The most essential part of choosing a pair of swim goggles is checking the fit. Everyone has a differently shaped face and so what works for some may not work for you. If the eye cups are large, they are more likely to fit a wider range of people. However, a lot of triathlon swim goggles feature a smaller, sleeker eye socket, which will need to be checked to make sure they fit your face.

    Especially if you’re going to be racing in an open water swim, you need to make sure your vision is a good as possible, so making sure your goggles fit properly and do not leak is paramount. Check that your goggles have an adjustable nose bridge and if you’re not sure about the fit, opt for ones with larger eye cups.

    swimming goggles triathlon competition race equipment

    Swim Goggles Shape

    Secondly, the shape of your goggles is also important as it can hugely affect their comfort on your face as well as your performance. If you’re a serious athlete for whom every second counts, your goggles can make a surprising impact on this as they can affect drag in the water. Put simply, the less bulky the goggles, the less drag you will experience and the more speed you will be able to achieve. If speed is your primary goal, look for goggles that sit within your eye socket and are streamlined in design. The Sundried Pacific goggles are the best ones for you in this instance. It is important to note, however, that this can impact comfort and these types of goggles may not be as comfortable as others.  

    If your race features an open water swim with a mass start, you’re probably already aware that you need to expect to be bashed about by other swimmers. If your goggles have a bigger seal, they are less likely to become dislodged and this will mean a much better swim. In this case, the Sundried Legend goggles are best for you as they have a bulkier frame and more secure seal.

    swim bike run triathlon swimming goggles race equipment

    Triathlon Swim Goggles Lenses

    The lenses of your swim goggles are the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to performing well and achieving your goals whether you’re in the pool, lake, or sea. There are different types of lenses on the market, and Sundried have two on offer- polarised and mirror.

    Polarised lenses are popular among products such as sunglasses and ski goggles as they reduce glare from the water and snow meaning visibility is greatly increased. If your triathlon features an open water swim in a sunny country, polarised lenses are the ones for you as they will reduce the glare of the sun on the surface of the water, meaning you are less likely to be blinded by the light and will be able to see better and focus on your swim performance.

    Mirrored lenses work by dimming the light around you, meaning they’re perfect if you swim in an outdoor pool abroad somewhere sunny or if you practise a lot of backstroke. These lenses are not so good if you do a lot of swimming in indoor pools as your visibility will be reduced.

    All of the Sundried swim goggles feature anti-fog technology and UV protection.

    The Sundried swim goggles are coming soon.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren