Beginner Triathlon Program

So, you’re going to take part in the upcoming triathlon in your town this coming Summer. You think you’ve got what it takes because you think you’re a solid swimmer, a capable cyclist and a lightning runner. And you think there’s little need for you to think or plan too far in advance?

 

 

Wrong. Triathlon is an extremely demanding sport. You’ll never be successful in triathlon without a proper training program. Worse still, you may not even finish or at least not enjoy your first tri experience. But this begs the question:

What makes for a good triathlon training program?

You’ll need to come up with, or buy, a triathlon training program designed for your individual experience level for starters.   Where are you starting from fitness-wise?   Are you a true beginner, middle of the road or more advanced?   What is your basic athletic level?

To what extent are you familiar with the different events in a triathlon?  What kind of attitude do you have? What’s your overall goal?

I hope you’re beginning to realize that triathlon training isn’t as simple as you first thought.

Training for a triathlon requires a level of commitment, discipline, perseverance, and patience that the average person just doesn’t have.

Once you can answer the individual questions about your particular training requirements, you then need to plan the training schedule itself.   This should be carefully planned out and structured.

If you’re organized, and follow a well-designed plan, you will avoid the risk of either over- or under-training.   You’ll also ensure that you do sufficient training in all three events rather than the subconsciously avoiding your ‘bogey’ event (its just human nature to do so!)

Be Ready for Variety

There are some training exercises for triathlon that you may not have experienced before.   First is the dreaded ‘brick’, that is, transitioning from a bike workout immediately to a run.  This prepares the body for that unique feeling of running on ‘dead legs’ for the first couple of miles after your triathlon bike ride.

Another thing you need to work on that is peculiar to triathlon are the transitions.  You need to get comfortable moving from swimming to biking and then from biking to running.   You’ll save valuable seconds (even minutes) in the race itself if you have strong Transition Technique.

Some things to bear in mind when starting your beginner triathlon program:

  • Start slow. Don’t dive headfirst into your training without first building a solid aerobic fitness base. If you over-do it too early, you’ll injure yourself.
  • Complimentary training. Make sure you train your body to adapt from one event to the next. The real skill involved in triathlon training is to be able to go fast and hard in one event without that effort ruining what you do later. There is no point in posting a personal best bike time if by doing so you have no energy in your legs for the run. Triathlon is a three leg event and what counts is your aggreagate time.
  • Stretch. New triathletes often forget that flexibility plays an important part in your training. This will help avoid injury and help speed up your recover time.

Good luck with your training!

Terry

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