Believe it or not, a triathlon is one of the most accessible and versatile sports for any age and fitness level. There is a wide range of distances available to choose from that go from 100m swim to 3800m swim, 3km to 180km ride, and 1 to 42km run. So it doesn’t matter if you’re new to fitness or not because there is an event you could train for and hopefully ace once race day comes up.
Choosing the Right Event for You
As mentioned, there are many choices available when planning to join a triathlon. Your first step is to choose the right event that you could participate in. If for instance, you don’t know how to bike, you can join an aquathlon that is both running and swimming. You could opt to join a duathlon, a mix, or running and cycling if you can’t swim.After choosing the kind of event, the next step is to look at the distance you are comfortable with, to begin with. They have the proper labels from beginner to pro triathletes so if you’re just signing up for your first ever triathlon, go for an entry-level event. You could reach more advanced levels once you’ve gotten the hang of it. A triathlon is an exercise and is something you have to keep doing to be good at or to have better endurance for.
Where to Get Expert Help
One of the challenges you’ll encounter in doing a race is to stay motivated from the first to the last event. Moreover, the training would take a lot of willpower and discipline. What you could do is to sign up for a triathlon and train for it with a friend. If your friends aren’t interested, you can always look for and sign up with an existing triathlon club. There are many of these clubs nationwide that give valuable support to their members. You may train alone with your coach or mentor or you may train with a group of other triathletes. Plus, they offer seminars where you could be advised by top triathletes in the game. You’ll never regret joining a club on your first try because their coaches could craft a customized training plan for you. They will also serve as your motivation to not get sidetracked and keep your eyes on the goal of finishing your first ever triathlon.
What You Need for Training
BikeFlat Kitbag (These are the essentials you need when you get a flat tire. This bag includes a tube, tire levers, and a mini-pump)Bike rack for your bike storage (Check FlexiMounts)HelmetGooglesSports sunglassesRunning shoesDigital sports watch
Triathlon Training Tips
It’s difficult to choose what to focus on the most when you are not that familiar with your body just yet. New triathletes discover along the way that they have a body part that is weaker than the rest. When they’ve identified this, only then does it become clearer for them to know what they have to train more. But then again, know that it’s absolutely important that you train alternately for all three events. Even though you will probably allot more time for your weak event, whether that be swimming, biking, or running, you still have to train for your strong event. Alternating training gives variety and makes it more fun to be consistent with your workout plan.When you’re biking or running, one marker that you are doing it correctly is that you could talk to someone while doing it. You would know that you need to slow down if you can’t carry a conversation or how much you should pace yourself.
Most beginner triathletes are wary of the swimming event. You have to take it slowly so you get the proper training. When starting, swimming just a lap is fine before you take the time to rest and do a lap again. Note that you don’t have to swim a huge distance when you are just starting your training and you could gradually add to it on the next training days. If you are joining an open swim event, make sure you will be able to practice in this environment before your race. Don’t go out in the open water alone. Join other triathletes or swimmers who do outdoor group sessions. If you don’t want to do open water, you may join an event where you’ll be swimming multiple laps in a pool. Note as well that flippers or fins are not allowed during the race so as you go along your training, get rid of them at some point.
When you’re just starting out, you will also be at a loss on what kind of bike training you need for a triathlon. It’s a combination of high-intensity training so that you could improve your strength on the wheels and training with lower intensity so that you could improve your stamina for long cycling distances. You have to determine the speed that you are comfortable in and you could maintain during the entire duration of the cycling event. The speed must be consistent when you use your gears and in line with the pressure, you apply on the pedals which should just be moderate. Too much downward pressure will exhaust your legs while too fast pedaling with little resistance will make you move slowly while expending a lot of energy from you.You may practice with a stationary bike then move on to the open road to practice your braking and cornering skills.
Start off slowly with your running training. You may walk for 60 seconds and then run for another 60. When you get the hang of it, you could run longer and longer until you could lessen the walking time. To increase your stamina for a longer distance, you may try interval training wherein you rest, sprint for a while, and then rest again. One pro tip is to train using the shoes that you would be using on race day.