Making the decision to compete in a triathlon is a life-changing moment, as it is the moment you decide to become the fittest you’ve ever been. This extreme sport is not to be taken lightly, testing your fitness and stamina to the max.
If you are competing in a standard triathlon – also called an Olympic triathlon – you will be expected to swim for 0.93 miles, cycle for 25 miles and run for 6.2 miles.
Each discipline will draw on different skills and strengths, so it is essential that you dedicate enough time to them all in order to tackle each one head on.
Here are our top tips for each section of the event to make sure you are raring to go on race day.
The first step with training is to assess where you are as a swimmer. How far can you comfortably swim? Do you feel your technique needs improvement? Once assessed, you can formulate a structured plan of exercise to increase your speed, technique and confidence in time for the big day.
It is also advisable to mix up your training with indoor and outdoor sessions, so you get a good feel of what it is like to swim in a lake or the sea as, depending on your race, you are most likely going to be swimming the 0.93 miles outside.
Outdoor swimming will prepare you for the possibility of strong currents, and will get you used to swimming in deep waters. The last thing you want on the day of your triathlon is to freak out in the water because you can’t see the bottom, especially when there is a throng of other triathletes around you making their way through the choppy waters.
A good app for this is the Swim Planner app, which creates a workout for you, based on your swimming ability and desired workout distance.
After you have wriggled your way out of wetsuit, you will be ready to take on the cycling section of your triathlon. Usually considered the most important section of the race, it offers the best chance of improving your time and ending on a high, or losing valuable seconds that will leave you disappointed in your performance.
With 25 miles to cover, you need to keep an even pace that will see you keep a decent time and help you reserve energy levels for the final push with your fun to the finish line.
As with swimming, it is advisable that you mix up your training to involve different cycle paths that offering differing terrains. Taking your training to rougher ground will help to improve your strength, balance and control of your bike.
With the correct bike training, you can expect to increase your speed without reducing the stamina needed to tackle the last event. It is also worth investing in some decent triathlon clothing, including some well-fitting shorts. ActivInstinct provide a great selection of triathlon shorts, along with all the other triathlon equipment and clothing you need.
If you are a seasoned runner, then the thought of a 6.2 mile run might seem like a walk in the park. However, this does not mean that you can shirk your training responsibilities with this part of the triathlon, as any holes in your training can severely impact your overall performance.
You will be running after swimming for nearly a mile, and cycling for 25 miles, so your body will be more than ready to take a breather and collapse on the nearest grassy knoll. This is the part of your race when it is essential to have that last bit of pep that will see you soar to the finish line.
Training for this section should involve ways to increase your speed and stamina, as well as keeping a steady pace that will allow you make a final push for the best time you can achieve.
Your hard work and dedication in training for your triathlon provide a multitude of benefits. There is nothing better than triathlon training for burning calories, so you will trim the fat, tone your muscles and generally feel years with the positive improvements that have been made to your body. So, if you haven’t already, get signed up today!