Twelve-Week Super-Sprint Triathlon Schedule - How To Use The Schedule

Posted: 1 November 2009

12-Week Plan | Session Key

How to use the schedule

These instructions will help you to get the most from our 12-week super-sprint triathlon training schedule designed by coach and former British Triathlon Champion Rick Kiddle


Drills: These exercises will improve your technique and efficiency in the water. Here’s a selection to try:

1. Trail Fingers – when swimming front crawl, as your arm comes out of the water, keep your elbow high and trail your fingertips through the water. This promotes a high elbow recovery.

2. Closed Fist Drill – close your fist when you swim front crawl and you’ll improve the surface area of your arms that catch the water, resulting in more power.

3. Superman Drill – swim with your arms by your side, looking straight down at the bottom of the pool, and after six kicks exhale underwater, then lift your head to inhale. Try to ‘lean on the water’. This drill will improve your head alignment.

4. Corpse Drill
– push off from the wall with both arms straight out in front of you. Complete a full front- crawl stroke with your right hand before returning it straight out in front. Repeat with your left arm. Concentrate on rotating your body and completing a full stroke.


Drills & Strides (D&S): Drills are a breakdown of the running action. Running drills are normally used to develop muscular endurance and neuromuscular memory. Try to include the following moves in your routine:
1. High Knee Skips – lift knee, extend down with heel strike.
2. High Knees – lift knees fast to create a high tempo.
3. Butt Kickbacks – kick heels against your bottom at high tempo.
4. Side Cross Overs – run sideways, with your arms raised out to each side for balance, crossing one leg in front of the other. Twist from the hip. Your arms stay in line with the direction the body is travelling.

Other Terms

Strides: Over a distance of around 50m, walk to jog to run to sprint pace at the end for a couple of seconds. Stretch out stride length at the beginning, then run at normal stride length. Repeat three to six times. 
Jog: Moving faster than a walk but slower than a run. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Run: Moving fast, breathing deep in and out of the mouth.
Kick: Kicking during swim practice. Do with or without a float.

Pull buoy:
A pull buoy is a float that fits between the legs and allows the swimmer to focus on the arms while keeping the legs still.

Key sessions: If you’re struggling to find the time to complete all the sessions, aim at least to do the key sessions on Saturdays and Sundays. If your resting heart rate is up (see test below), take a day off and start again when you feel strong. Do not train if you feel unwell and always drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Resting Heart Rate test:
Do this as soon as you wake up.
Lie in bed and take your pulse at the wrist or neck for one minute, five times a week. If it stays the same or within a few beats, the average will be your true resting heart rate. If it changes look at your lifestyle or training to see if this is affecting it.
As you become fitter it may fall, but everyone is different and this isn’t a measure of performance, but it will
let you know how you are responding to training.

How hard should you train?

Some of the sessions listed in the schedule suggest optimum training intensity, which is measured by your rate of perceived exertion (RPE – see table, right).

Take care: if you are training for your first super-sprint triathlon, then simply completing the described sessions at your own pace should enable you to finish the distance comfortably.

If you already have some racing experience, you may want to push yourself a little harder by completing the sessions at a variety of intensities. Follow coach Rick Kiddle’s guidelines to train and race faster and stronger than ever before.

Intensity level

If you are unsure about RPE, try matching the words and feelings in the list below to describe the intensity level.

1 - Very, very easy (talking takes very little effort)

2 - Easy (talking is very comfortable)

3 - Controlled (Easy to talk, no problem to continue)

4 - Steady state (Could keep talking for a long time)

5 - Getting harder (Talking is still somewhat comfortable)

6 - Hard (Talking is more challenging, not as comfortable)

7 - Intense (Feels tough, very hard, must push self)

8 - Very hard (Challenging, breathing is deep and rapid)

9 - Strenuous (Uncomfortable, rapid breathing)

10 - Maximal (Cannot talk, ready to stop)

Previous page
Twelve-Week Super-Sprint Triathlon Schedule - Session Key
Next article
Your Event Day Checklist


Discuss this article

We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member

Smart Coach
Free, fully-personalized training plans, designed to suit your racing goals and your lifestyle.