My First Sprint Triathlon: How It Was

My First Sprint Triathlon: How It Was

Recently I’ve run my first triathlon. Today I want to tell you about it and say a few words about my preparations and training, and the results I managed to achieve.

For my first start, I’ve chosen the Sprint distance on the triathlon competition Bangkok Triathlon 2018.

  • Distance: Swimming – 750 meters, Cycling – 27 km, Running – 5 km (0.47 – 16.78 – 3.11 miles).
  • Preparation time: 3 months.
  • My results:  31 among 268 participants; 10 among 83 in my age group (30-39 years).

My results

Running My First Triathlon: How It Was

The race appeared quite hard for me, especially the swimming part, but I’m pleased with the result. Now I’ll tell you more about each stage.


The swimming part was the hardest for me. We had to swim in the canter of Bangkok in the Chao Phraya River under the Rama VIII Bridge.

There were two problems:

  • Polluted water;
  • Strong current.

Running My First Triathlon: swimming

Running My First Triathlon: swimming

Running My First Triathlon: swimming

Running My First Triathlon: swimming

Running My First Triathlon: swimming

I could easily solve the problem with muddy water by taking a pill of recovered carbon, but it was too difficult to do something with the current. About 150 meters (0.093 miles) before the finish there was a moment when I oared like crazy for 20 seconds and didn’t move further at all. I even thought it was the end of my race) Fortunately, I saw a rope with the buoy, and I caught it and pushed myself forward, which gave me a new impulse, and somehow I was able to swim to the finish line. However, coming ashore, I was more dead than alive.



After swimming I was so exhausted that I had no strength to run to the bicycle. I walked and thought: “Oh, it’s great that the transit zone is so long!” It took me 2 minutes to reach my bike, and that was quite enough to recover. Further, it was all plain sailing. The cycling stage was good, I’ve covered it with the average speed 30.2 km/h.




Running was hard, but quite bearable. The main problem was to run up the stairs of the bridge twice, and then go back down. At that moment my legs were clogged. However, all in all, I’m quite pleased with the race. I managed to win 15 positions during this stage. The average running speed was 5:02 minutes per km. 



Here is my official final disposition of the entire distance:

final disposition of the entire distance

The result is great. Especially, when taken into consideration, that I began to train for my first triathlon only 3 months ago.

My First Sprint Triathlon

Main conclusion: train hard, fight easy. I should work more on endurance and strength. The next start in a month. I’ll cover the Olympic triathlon distance (1,5 km swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run). I’ll start my preparation training soon.

What Do I Need For My First Sprint Triathlon

In order to participate in the triathlon competition, you will need the following equipment.

What Do I Need For My First Sprint Triathlon

Swimming stage

  • Triathlon Tri Suit;
  • Swimming Goggles;
  • Sport Sunscreen Lotion;
  • Triathlon Watch (optional).

Cycling stage

  • Triathlon Tri Suit;
  • Racing Bicycle;
  • Cycling Bicycle Shoes;
  • Cycling Helmet;
  • Triathlon/Running Race Number Belt;
  • Water Bottle (Electrolyte Mix);
  • Polarized Sports Sunglasses;
  • Energy Gel.

Running stage

  • Triathlon Tri Suit;
  • Shoes for Running;
  • Triathlon/Running Race Number Belt;
  • Polarized Sports Sunglasses;
  • Run Visor or  Running Cap;
  • Energy Gel.

You should also think over your breakfast before the start. If you have any health issues, it’s crucial to have all necessary medicines at hand.

What Do I Need For My First Sprint Triathlon

How Do I Train For My First Sprint Triathlon

My preparations for the start took 3 months. I started training from absolute zero. I’d never done swimming, cycling or running before.

I decided to start with running, as this type of physical activity had always been the hardest for me. I’ve chosen the best training program for me, and in 8 weeks I managed to cover 10 miles with a good result (173 among 4491 participants of the charity race in Bangkok). I’ve described that race in the post “How I ran my first 10 miles”.

At the same time, I started to attend swimming-pool, and a month before the triathlon competition I bought a bike and began a full-fledged preparation for the cycling stage.

Here is my typical training program for a week that helped me to get ready for the first triathlon on Sprint distance in the course of three months:


Morning training (swimming):

  • 200 m (0.12 miles) – warmup (any style);
  • 2*200 m (0.25 miles) – crawl;
  • 5*100 m (0.31 miles) – crawl;
  • 10*50 m (0.31 miles) – crawl;

Evening training (running):

  • Recovery running (3-8 km);
  • Press, strap, stretch, pull-ups on the bar;


Morning training (swimming):

  • 200 m (0.12 miles) – warmup (any style);
  • 4*200 m (0.5 miles) – crawl;
  • 4*100 m (0.25 miles) – crawl;
  • 4*50 m (0.12 miles) – crawl;

Evening training (cycling):

  • Bike - 1 hour with accelerations (3-6 accelerations for 2-5 minutes);


Morning training (in the gym):

  • Working on the muscles of the chest, back, shoulders and legs.

Evening training (running):

  • Tempo run (2-5 km)


Morning training (swimming):

  • 200 m  –  warmup (any style);
  • 4*400 m – crawl;

Evening training (cycling):

  • Bike - 1 hour with accelerations (3-6 accelerations for 2-5 minutes);


Morning training (swimming):

  • 200 m – warmup (any style);
  • 2*800 m – crawl;

Evening training (running):

  • Interval run (5-12 rounds for 200-400 m)


Morning workout (bike + run):

  • Cycling 20-40 km + 3 km of running (right after cycling).


  • Rest

Tips For Sprint Triathlon

As the swimming stage of triathlon appeared to be the hardest for me, I want to give some advice concerning swimming.

  1. Work on strangth! In triathlon the strength of your hands is crucial, so your training program should contain many exercises on strength in the gym, as well as swimming with training paddles.
  2. Work on your technique! It’s very important to learn the most efficient regime of swimming. You have to swim even without proper functional training! To achieve a good technique address a professional swimming coach or read the book “Total Immersion”.
  3. Buy an antifogging agent. If your swimming glasses fog up during the swimming stage, you will feel disoriented and lose your speed.
  4. Arrange training in the open waters. When preparing for the first triathlon, don’t forget to try swimming in the open waters. If not, you will be not ready for the race.
  5. Develop your will power. Do not skip workouts and do your best.

Psychology plays an incredibly important role in sports, and in the triathlon, it is crucial. It is all about character and will power. Triathlon, like any sport of endurance, is difficult from a psychological point of view. However, psychological features in sports are trained as well as physical strength. You can work on it, change it and make it better. If you are in good shape, all depends on your psychological readiness.

Nevertheless, no physical and psychological difficulties go in comparison with the euphoria after the covered distance — you’ll want to experience this feeling again and again. A big plus of triathlon is that for everyone it becomes a unique lifestyle. Everything seems impossible until someone does it. You just have to try, get involved and, if you stay committed, you will have a reason to be proud of yourself for the rest of your life.

From Zero To Ironman

Hey there! My name is Dmitry. Since recently I am keen on running and triathlon. My blog will let you know my way from ground zero to the Ironman. I am sure that sport makes our life better and helps develop not only the body, but also other good features of character.

Now I live in Thailand and train by myself to get ready for a triathlon and long distance races. Professional coaches help me make training programs, and they monitor my progress. In this blog, I will tell you about my progress, training and sports achievements. I hope you will find it useful and interesting.

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