Being a goal-oriented gal, I have learned I work out much more consistently when I have a goal in mind, like training for a race. If cross training is your thing, why not try a triathlon? Mixing up the endurance sports of running, biking, and swimming helps to keep overuse injuries and boredom at bay.
I don't blame you for not being up for the challenge of an Ironman triathlon that involves swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and running a full 26.2 mile marathon. So why not tackle a much shorter and more doable sprint triathlon which includes a .5 mile swim, 12.4 mile bike ride, and a 5K (3.1 mile) run? The distances may vary a bit from course to course depending on the body of water for the swim and the terrain for biking. Just be warned — a sprint tri is the gateway race to longer and longer distances.
Here is the training schedule, created by the YMCA Tri Club , that I used a couple of years ago when training for my first tri. It is a great training program that slowly builds so it is  great for beginners but has easy recovery weeks every three weeks or so. Even if you're not planning on participating in a triathlon, this training schedule might be just the thing you need to get ready for the beach.
Continue reading to see the 14-week training schedule.
|Week||Run time in minutes||Bike time in minutes||Swim time in minutes||Total workout time||Extras|
|Week 1||30, 20, 20||45, 30||30, 20||3 1/4 hours|
|Week 2||30, 20, 20||45, 30||30, 20||3 1/4|
|Week 3||30, 30||45||30||2 1/4|
|Week 4||30, 45||60, 45||30, 30||4 hours|
|Week 5||30, 45||60, 45||30, 30||4 hours||Open water swim practice|
|Week 6||30, 20, 20||45, 45||30, 20||3 1/2 hours|
|Week 7||30, 45, 30||60, 60||30, 45||5 hours|
|Week 8||30, 45, 30||60, 60||30, 45||5 hours||Open water swim practice|
|Week 9||30, 45, 30||60, 60||30, 45||5 hours|
|Week 10||30, 45||60, 45||30, 30||4 hours|
|Week 11||30, 45, 30||45, 60||30, 45||4 3/4 hours||Work swim-to-bike transition|
|Week 12||30, 45, 30||45, 60||30, 45, 30||5 1/4 hours||Practice triathlon|
|Week 13||30||45, 45||30||3 hours||Open water swim practice|
|Week 14||30||45||30||1 1/4 hours||RACE|
Don't forget to print this out  and put it on your fridge. Nothing is as satisfying as crossing off a 60-minute bike ride!