SYSTM Review: Sprint Triathlon Plan

Before I started the training plan, I tried to do some research and find some reviews on SYSTM to find out more about it. There was very little user generated reviews of it so I want to share my thoughts on my experiences using it.

I did about 4 weeks of the season prep, and a full block of the 12 week race prep. The options for the plan I picked were:

  • Sprint distance Triathlon

  • ~10 hours of training per week

  • mental training and strength training

So to cut to the chase… Did I get results, yes. The plan was engaging and my fitness on all 3 disciplines increased significantly; its certainly better than no plan. I came in the top 10 in my Age Group at an AG qualifying race.

Here is my Strava aerobatic fitness score throughout the process. As you can see there is a nice and steady upwards trend. I was mostly injury free which indicates the fitness building was at a good pace.

One negative, which I feel affects Sprint training plans more any other; is that training plans just use sessions from the full distance plans (just a theory). If you are doing a Sprint you will get the same sessions with the least amount of volume, you get a bit more volume for standard, and more for half.

There may be one or two sessions specific for your distance but sometimes, I just feel like they didnt really gel with my race. An example would be a 2 hour bike + 45min brick session, for a sprint.

I am a fairly strong swimmer (top 5 in AG), however these sessions were my most partially complete sessions. I feel the volume was far too much for a Sprint (3k in pool), but also some of the sessions where just far to complicated! The main issue for me was the activation set where the plan had you doing this,that and all sorts - which would be fine if it was an irl coach tracking these but even if I wrote them down, I wouldnt be able to read what was next in the rest period.

I didnt think I would like the video style training, but I have to be honest, it was really entertaining. It’s holding me back from getting a coach, because the workout videos are really engaging.

Training outdoors suffers however; I do not have a power meter, and you can not train outdoor with HR targets (you do have HR targets indoor). I often had to ask if I should enjoy the sun and have a subpar session, or sweat inside knowing I smashed the targets.

Hope you like bricks, because every run is an easy brick. Okay, its not, especially at the start of the race plan, there are some nice sessions; but towards the end I felt like I would never have a dedicated run session again.

HOWEVER I can not understate how much better the season prep plan runs are to the race plan - hill reps, different intervals, there is so much variety on the season prep plan - this needs to be brought across to the race plan especially for sprint where you can get away with more strength work.

They where fine, I am well adapt at the gym and didnt need the guided sessions, I used them as a rough guide. The dynamic movement sessions are a must try though, they will really help with your explosive performance.

Surprisingly good, I already had a lot of what this teaches as good habits anyway, but nice addition to the plan. I wasnt a fan of the hypnosis/meditation.

I would like pod cast style listening in this area, rather than everything require to fill out a form.

Wahoo ecosystem
You need to be aware of this: run and swim planned workouts do not sync to watches! I own a wahoo rival watch, and to get my run workouts onto my watch I had to manually create them in training peaks. Because of a bug, this has to be a bike workout (which may mean your targets are wrong), then sync that to my watch. I really hope this process is smoothed out in the future

Dear lord, why are there so many apps. Please Wahoo combine ELEMNT Wahoo SYSTEM and Wahoo into one uber-app that does everything. These apps don’t even share the same naming convention lol

I certainly would recommend Wahoo SYSTM to somebody who wants to build their fitness, wanting more than free plans online but less than hiring a coach. Hope this helps somebody.


@MrBinaryCats Good review. Yeah - definitely some overlap. It seems like with Beta History and also the My Device menu item that they are gradually getting to a point where one or more apps probably get dropped.

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Agreed with everything here, I really enjoyed the season prep tri training plans, they’ve really helped me get a feel for what a good triathlon training week should look like.

  • The swim sessions definitely need a bit of TLC, there are a lot of typos, errors, and confusing instructions
    • Agreed that the distance/time in many sessions is way too high, as a ~2:10/100m swimmer I’d be in the pool for over an hour and a half if I followed the sessions to a tee
    • Would be great if there was a way to use the swim pace test to fine tune the sessions somehow
    • My favourite thing about the cycling sessions is that they give the why of the session which has really helped me get a better understanding of overall training goals and also helps with prioritisation of sessions when life gets in the way. The swim sessions have much less of this, so I’ve had a lot of confusion trying to figure out what sessions were low, medium, or high intensity and therefore where they fit in the grand scheme of the week/block. If I needed to move swim sessions around I was generally all at sea, whereas cycle/run sessions were pretty obvious
  • I personally found the amount of brick sessions too high, certainly in the season prep plan where that level of specificity doesn’t seem required
    • It felt as though brick sessions were being used to pad out turbo trainer training sessions with extra volume. As someone who’s susceptible to injuries from running, I usually switched these sessions out with additional cycling. I’d prefer a cycle session with overall higher volume than a medium volume cycle plus brick

Overall it’s a great plan, have had a blast using SYSTM for the past 9 months or so, looking forward to another winter of base training with it in a few months.


Great summary @MrBinaryCats. I took up triathlon at the end of 2022. Knowing how much benefit I got from following Wahoo coaching and the SYSTM DIY training plans, I had a Wahoo coach write me a Tri training plan.

Despite having told him I’m a weak swimmer and runner, my plan called for Ironman level training volumes, which after 7 months of subsequent training, I still cannot achieve.

It was then that I realised that the run/swim workout libraries in SYSTM are very limited. And what they have is geared towards established athletes, not newbies like me. The cycling library, on the other hand, is amazing and has plenty to choose from for every level of cycling athlete.

I have to expect there’s a plan to expand both the swimming and running workout libraries and programs to approximate the cycling program, but based on what I see, it’s a long way off. So much content needs to be created that it will take many years of concerted effort and one or more acquisitions, ala Sufferfest.

As much as I wanted to have a Wahoo coach for my triathlon training, I’ve had to go elsewhere.

I cannot agree more, @dtjohnnyb. There is an abundance of info out there on the what and the how of cycling, but it’s the why that pulls it all together and allows an athlete to really fine tune their training. The why is an area where SYSTM excels. I have picked up so many relevant tips from the videos, podcasts and this forum. It’s a very rich experience that has levelled up my cycling time and again.

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