Triathlon Training Tips
A triathlon race consists of swimming, cycling and running over various distances. Whilst competing in triathlons may seem daunting at first, the variety of disciplines makes training interesting and certainly won’t leave you feeling bored with your routine. It is a hugely rewarding sport, which puts all your athletic abilities to the test. Absolutely Fitness can aid you in your training through our fantastic facilities and vast quantity of gym equipment, whilst also offering personal training sessions. Before you start your training with us, check out our triathlon training tips.
Choose your distance wisely:
Even if you consider yourself a skilled swimmer, cyclist and runner, if you haven’t competed in a triathlon before then we recommend that you start with a shorter sprint distance event first – there’s plenty of time to build up to the Ironman Triathlon yet! This shorter event entails a 750m swim, 20km bike ride and a 5K run. Switching disciplines in a triathlon is a challenge so it is important to get used to competing in all three consecutively before challenging yourself further by increasing the distance of the event.
Choose an appropriate training schedule for YOU:
Allow yourself enough time to prepare for the event, both physically and mentally. If you’re an adult who doesn’t exercise regularly at the moment, you can still be ready to complete your first sprint triathlon in 12 weeks. You should do at least one training session of each discipline per week, keeping your bike workouts longer and your swims shorter to match what will be expected of you in the race. Avoid the temptation to push yourself too hard at the beginning of your schedule and make sure to spread out your sessions to avoid injuring yourself. Remember: if you need a rest or a lower intensity week, take one! Most importantly, choose a training schedule that works with your daily and weekly commitments to keep your goals achievable.
Practice all three disciplines:
This may seem like an obvious one but we all like doing things we’re good at and tend to avoid the things we’re not. Although it may be tempting to train most in the discipline you enjoy, it’s hugely important to follow tip number 2 and distribute your training equally across all three disciplines, especially focusing on improving your weaknesses in each.
Prepare for open water swimming:
One of the first things you should consider before entering a race is whether you’re confident with swimming in open water or not. If it’s your first triathlon then you may want to enter a sprint triathlon that holds the swim in a pool. Cold water can shock your body so focusing on your breathing is extremely important. Even if you consider yourself a strong swimmer it’s vital to start practicing open water swimming early because it’s completely different to swimming in the comfort of a pool. Also important to practice is the triathlon swimming technique, which uses less kicking than the front crawl you may be used to in order to conserve energy for the other two phases.
As already mentioned in tip number 1, switching disciplines in a triathlon is a challenge. It’s important to be familiar with this before race day by practicing bricking, which means doing two of the disciplines one after the other. The most important ‘brick’ to practice in training is from bike to run because your legs will need time to adjust. It’s important to get used to how this feels to make you feel more comfortable and to shave seconds off your run time by knowing how to get into your running rhythm quickly. To save even more time on race day you could even practice transitions while bricking.
It’s important to stay hydrated whilst you’re training so make sure you drink two to three litres of water a day to keep your performance levels up. Some triathletes also have drinks with added electrolytes and sugar to enhance their energy, especially mid-race.