How to Train for a Triathlon as a Beginner

How to Train for a Triathlon as a Beginner
A first triathlon can be a daunting step, even for seasoned athletes. Many individuals find it difficult to undertake three areas of competition at all, much less at the same time. But even for the inexperienced, training for a triathlon doesn't have to be intimidating. A good training schedule will ease you in and prepare you for your first race.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Step 1
Find places you can work out. This is most important for the swimming component of triathlons. Swimming pools work, but lakes are the perfect place to train and prepare for the rougher and larger waters you will race in.
Step 2
Allow yourself at least eight weeks to train for a triathlon. If you aren't already physically active, you may need 12 weeks or more.
Step 3
Start gradually, training one component a day, six days a week. You should have two workouts a week for running, cycling and swimming. Allow one rest day per week. Your workouts should be moderately challenging but not exhausting.
Step 4
Obey the golden rule as the weeks wear on: Do not increase your total weekly workload by more than 10 percent each week. Exceeding this limit could cause muscle exhaustion or overexertion and strained or sore ligaments.
Step 5
After three or four weeks, begin working out two components every day. You will have a dominant component with an equal workload to the corresponding workout the week prior. You will add a secondary component--swimming or cycling, if the dominant workout is running--and work out for 10 to 15 minutes to help your body acclimate to switching gears, simulating what a triathlon will be like.
Step 6
Two weeks before your triathlon race, complete a trial triathlon with the same stage lengths as your upcoming race. Use the same course, if possible. Take note of your strengths and weaknesses during your race.
Step 7
Lighten your workload in the last few weeks, particularly the last few days. Work out extremely lightly the day before--just enough to break a sweat.

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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