You don't need to be a pro athlete to be ready to give tri a try. If you're moderately fit, you can be ready for a "sprint" distance mini triathlon in eight weeks. Most sprint triathlons are just a half-mile swim, a 12- to 15-mile bike ride, and a 5K run. (Repeat after me: I can do this!)

Although it’ll only take a couple of months, throughout training for your mini-triathlon, you’ll get in very, very good shape. Triathlons offer beginners a doable challenge, fast results, and little risk of injury, says Terri Schneider, endurance athlete and coauthor of The Triathlete’s Guide to Mental Training.

Not to mention the life-altering mental benefits. Really! "'Doing a triathlon changed my life' is the comment I hear most often from the women I train who are new to the sport," says Schneider.

Mini Triathlon 8-Week Training Plan

Training doesn’t have to feel hard-core, says Schneider, who created this newbie mini-triathlon guide. Include speed bursts in at least one cardio workout per week; on strength days, do at least one exercise for each muscle group. (This at-home full-body routine is a stellar option to start with!) Here’s how to get race-day ready in eight weeks:

Week 1 Mini-Triathlon Training Plan

Week 2 Mini-Triathlon Training Plan

Week 3 Mini-Triathlon Training Plan

Week 4 Mini-Triathlon Training Plan

Week 5 Mini-Triathlon Training Plan

Week 6 Mini-Triathlon Training Plan

Week 7 Mini-Triathlon Training Plan

Week 8 Mini-Triathlon Training Plan

Cross-Training Tips for Mini Triathlons

For the Swim

For the Bike

For the Run

5 Gear Picks for Your Mini-Triathlon

While you could drop thousands of dollars on fitness gear, we've boiled things down to these five favorite training essentials to help you rock your mini-triathlon.

  1. With its lightweight aluminum frame and relatively light price tag, the Felt VR60 Road Bike (Buy it, $949, is perfect for the beginner triathlete.
  2. The supercute Zoot Sports LTD Triathlon Suit (Buy it, $165, goes from the swim to the bike to the run—with SPF 50+ protection for sun safety.
  3. Giro’s Seyen MIPS Road Cycling Helmet (Buy it, $70, has 26 vents to keep you cool while firmly hugging your head.
  4. Mizuno’s Wave Prophecy 8 Running Shoes (Buy it, $150, have a unique cushioning system to get you through the final miles.
  5. Barracuda’s Triton Polarized Fog-Free Goggles (Buy it, $30, have a comfortable silicone seal to prevent raccoon eyes. (See also: 10 Top-Rated Swim Goggles to Keep Your Eyes a Splash-Free Zone)


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