How to Train for a Beginner Triathlon

How to Train for a Beginner Triathlon
If you want to start competing in triathlons, it's wise to ease in to competition rather than dive head-first. Triathlons are demanding but the training can be far more strenuous, requiring triathletes to prepare for three separate events. You should start off with a sprint triathlon, featuring a swim of around 500 meters and a run between four and five kilometers.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Swim trunks or Speedo Bicycle Running shoes
  • Swim trunks or Speedo
  • Bicycle
  • Running shoes
Step 1
Find workout locations. This is most important for the swimming aspect. Indoor pools will work, but lakes are ideal--they will prepare you for open-water waves.
Step 2
Work out in one area per day. This amounts to two runs, two swims, and two bike workouts a week, with a rest day thrown in. Do this for two or three weeks to let your body acclimate to the different exercises. Your biking should be between five and 10 miles a day, your swims between 200 and 300 meters, and your runs between 10 and 20 minutes. If necessary, you can break these up into smaller portions and rest in between.
Step 3
Gradually increase your workload. The golden rule is a maximum 10 percent increase in your total weekly workload. You can do more, but slow down if any part of your body begins to hurt--it could be a sign of overexerted muscles or worn ligaments.
Step 4
After three weeks, begin mixing your workouts. This is an essential component of triathlon training. You will have two successive workouts each day, training your body to switch gears easily. Package workouts in every possible combination but establish a dominant workout--which will comprise 75 percent of your workload--and a secondary workout following the dominant, where you will achieve your remaining 25 percent.
Step 5
Two weeks before your triathlon, complete a trial run of the race on the location where it will be contested if possible. Observe your strengths and weaknesses, and emphasize those in the following week.
Step 6
Reduce your workload the final week. Your third- and second-to-last workouts should be comfortable and short, and your last one should be a brief workout quickly touching on all three components of the race.

Tips & Warnings

Focus on nutrition by eating a balanced diet, cutting out red meats, eating protein shortly after your workout and carbo-loading on pastas and breads the night before a race.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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