How to Train for a Triathlon

How to Train for a Triathlon
Triathlons are intense physical contests requiring training in three very different sports: cycling, swimming and running. It takes an all-around athlete who has trained in all three areas to succeed as a triathlete. It is important to establish a training schedule early on and stick to it if you want to complete a triathlon. When broken down into manageable workouts, finishing a triathlon is a reachable goal.


Difficulty: Challenging

Step 1
Establish a routine. Decide when you will practice and stick to it. Many people prefer morning workouts, which avoid the heat and can help jump-start your day. It is important to view workouts as part of your day and make time for them, rather than trying to fit them in when you can.
Step 2
Find places to work out. This is most important for the swimming component. You can use a swimming pool, but it's best to swim in a lake and train in the open waves.
Step 3
Allow at least eight weeks to train prior to your triathlon. If you are out of shape or have not been physically active leading up to your training, you may need to train for 12 or more weeks.
Step 4
Train for each leg of the triathlon two days a week, allowing one day a week to rest. You should push yourself in every workout, but do not overextend or exhaust yourself.
Step 5
Increase your total weekly workload by no more than 10 percent each week. Going beyond this limit could cause a number of injuries related to overexertion.
Step 6
Start working out two components every day after three or four weeks. Do not reduce your workload in the originally scheduled workout, but add a brief, brisk workout immediately afterward to help your body acclimate to changing gears while fatigued, simulating what you will experience in your triathlon.
Step 7
Taper your workouts in the final week. Reduce your workload by about 50 percent in the last three days, and only go on a light, 15-minute run the day before your 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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