Triathlon Training Prep For First Timers

First Triathlon

What can be more intimidating than running a 42 km marathon?

When you have to swim 3.9 km and bike 180 km beforehand!

The triathlon is the true test of endurance, conditioning and the human spirit.

It takes a special kind of toughness to dedicate 17 hours to complete a grueling race under the most extreme conditions.

The idea of challenging the boundaries of human fortitude is what draws people to do a triathlon.

But how do you train for your first triathlon?

Health Check Up

Even if you exercise regularly or compete in races, it is always a good idea to get a complete physical and medical checkup before training for a triathlon.

Keep in mind you will be training in 3 disciplines which will subject your body and the Central Nervous System or CNS to different types of stresses.

Your immune system will be at risk of being compromised more frequently.

Hire A Coach

Hiring a coach who has had previous experience doing a triathlon will help you prepare physically, mentally and emotionally for the race.

He or she knows what it is like getting ready for competition and share the experience of the actual triathlon.

An experienced coach takes away the guesswork in preparation, saves you time and greatly alleviates the level of stress.

Find The Right Gear and Equipment

Preparing for your first triathlon will take 12 weeks. That’s 12 weeks of event specialisation and integrated training.

You have to find running shoes that fit your arch type, running style and can handle constant pounding on pavement.

The same goes for the durability of your bike. Triathlon training includes practicing the transitions from swim to bike and bike to run.

Your gear should allow you to transition without losing much time and energy.

Set Your Training Schedule

How would you schedule training for 3 distinct disciplines?

First you have to dedicate at least one day per week training for each event. Second, your training must be progressive.

This means every week, you should increase the amount of work you put in whether in terms of distance or intensity.

Third, you should taper off the work load after every third or fourth week so your body can recover.

A sample triathlon training schedule would be:

Monday/Thursday – Swim
Tuesday/Friday – Bike
Wednesday/ Saturday – Run
Sunday – Rest

                  Week 1     Week 2:      Week 3:        Week 4:
Swim         900 m        1km              1.3 km          650 m
Bike           16 km         19.2 km        24 km          12 km
Run            3.2 km        5 km            6.4 km         3.2 km

Finally, join a sprint triathlon first where the distances are half of a full scale triathlon.

Joining a triathlon could be a great experience for you. By planning for it and committing yourself to the program you could be declared an Ironman in a few years!