Triathlon training plans for Garmin


Whether you are new to triathlon or have been training for a few years, you are probably looking for a good triathlon plan to boost your fitness level and prepare for an event. If you own a Garmin device, it’s quite natural to wonder if Garmin offers triathlon training plans. Let’s see what they have to propose, and why not some alternative training plans that could be quickly uploaded onto your Garmin watch.

Does Garmin have triathlon training plans?

Garmin offers 8 self-guided triathlon training plans for Sprint and Olympic distance. They are available on https://connect.garmin.com/ under Training / Training Plans. You can schedule them in your Garmin calendar and then transfer the workouts to your Garmin watch.

Example of a sprint triathlon training plan in Garmin Calendar

This means that you can use the Garmin watch as a virtual coach throughout the different workouts of the training plan. It will tell you what to do and when. This is pretty useful.

For some reason, the swimming sessions do not appear in the calendar, and cannot be transferred to your Garmin device as workouts. You can only see the swimming workout detail on Garmin Connect website.

How to transfer workouts from your Garmin Training Plan to a Garmin device

Once you have scheduled a training plan on Garmin Connect:

  1. Open Garmin Connect App on your phone
  2. Go to Garmin Calendar
  3. Select the workout you wish to add to your device
  4. Select the icon on the top right of the screen (phone with an arrow)
  5. Pick the device you want
  6. Your workout will be exported next time you sync your device with Garmin Connect
How to import workout from training plan to Garmin device

Now you can see your workout by starting an activity and looking for the available workouts in your watch.

Do Garmin triathlon plan cost money?

Garmin triathlon training plans are free. If you wish to import them directly on your watch, you will need to own a Garmin watch and send the workouts via Garmin connect. Else you are free to copy manually the content of the training sessions in your training device.

Throughout this article, I will give the links to the different triathlon plans offered by Garmin (in printable PDF format). They are also available on Garmin Connect if you prefer.

Which Sprint triathlon training plan Garmin offers?

Garmin offers 2 sprint triathlon training plans. They are both 12-week long with an intensity of 4 workouts per week. You can either do them based on heart rate zones or perceived intensity of effort. One plan is entry-level, the other is intermediate.

Let’s see in more detail the differences between these training plans. In the picture below, I took a screenshot of the sprint triathlon plans available on Garmin Connect and numbered them for reference.

Blue training plans are based on heart rate data using your effort zones.

Green training plans use the perceived effort as a metric of intensity.

Plans n°1 & 2 are identical, same with plans n°3 & 4. The only difference is heart rate data versus a feeling of effort intensity. For instance, on plan n°1, they might ask you to run in Z1 (zone 1 of heart rate zones) and in plan n°2 for the same workout they will say “easy pace”.

So there is actually a choice between 2 sprint triathlon training plans:

  • Plan 1 (or 2): for beginners triathletes (<2 years of training)
  • Plan 3 (or 4): for intermediate triathletes (>2 years of training)

Details for the beginner training plans can be found here, while details for the intermediate training plan can be found here. In these documents, the plans are fully detailed with explanations and acronym descriptions.

Which Olympic triathlon training plan Garmin offers?

Garmin offers 2 Olympic triathlon training plans. They are both 12-week long with an intensity of 4 workouts per week. You can either do them based on heart rate zones or perceived intensity of effort. One plan is entry-level, the other is intermediate.

Let’s see in more detail the differences between these training plans. In the picture below, I took a screenshot of the olympic triathlon plans available on Garmin Connect and numbered them for reference.

Blue training plans are based on heart rate data using your effort zones.

Green training plans use the perceived effort as a metric of intensity.

Plans n°1 & 2 are identical, same with plans n°3 & 4. The only difference is heart rate data versus a feeling of effort intensity. For instance, on plan n°1, they might ask you to run in Z1 (zone 1 of heart rate zones) and in plan n°2 for the same workout they will say “easy pace”.

So there is actually a choice between 2 Olympic triathlon training plans:

  • Plan 1 (or 2): for beginners triathletes (<2 years of training)
  • Plan 3 (or 4): for intermediate triathletes (>2 years of training)

Details for the beginner training plans can be found here, while details for the intermediate training plan can be found here. In these documents, the plans are fully detailed with explanations and acronym descriptions.

Alternative triathlon training plans for Garmin

A famous platform for training plans is Training Peaks where you find lots of triathlon plans. It’s not free but like Garmin triathlon plans you can load the workouts to your Garmin watch or bike computer (except for swimming workouts).

Most of these workouts are proposed by coaches which let you contact them during the duration of your training plan. Training Peak platform also offers coaching services by real professionals, which can be another way to look at training.

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