Swim
Swim in a lake or ocean four times before the week-eight race to learn how to gauge currents and glare. Also, learn the breaststroke. The freestyle is fastest and most efficient, but the breaststroke is less physically demanding and lets you lift your head out of the water, making it easier to breathe if you're struggling. After week seven, be able to easily swim 1,500 yards.

Workout

Weeks 4–5
Mon., Wed., Fri.: 1,400 yds, in intervals, at moderate intensity.

Weeks 6–7
Mon., Fri.: 1,500 yds, in intervals, at moderate intensity. Wed.: 1,500 yds, in intervals, at low intensity.

Bike
Learn to ride rolling terrain and turn 180 degrees without clicking out of your pedals. Since race-day courses may include tight corners or turnaround points, try maneuvering around a traffic cone. Ride with friends to develop the ability to dart in and out of them. But don't draft: It isn't allowed in most triathlons.

Workout

Weeks 4–5
Tues.: 60 mins at moderate intensity, then three 10-min sprints with two-min rests between sets (speed interval). Sat.: 75–90 mins at low intensity.

Weeks 6–7
Tues.: 60 mins at moderate intensity; three speed intervals. Sat.: 105–120 mins at low intensity.

Run
Practice your transition from bike to run by timing how long it takes to change gear – you should be able to do it in under a minute. Use Velcro cycling shoes and quick-tie running laces to speed up the process.

Workout

Week 4
Wed.: 30 mins at low intensity. Sat.: 15 mins at low intensity (right after bike). Sun.: 40 mins at low intensity; 10 striders.

Week 5
Wed.: 40 mins at low intensity. Sun.: 45 mins at low intensity; 10 striders.

Week 6
Sat.: 30 mins at low intensity (right after bike). Sun.: 45 mins at low intensity; 10 striders.

Week 7
Wed.: 40 mins atlow intensity. Sun.: 50–60 mins at low intensity; 12 striders.