With the proper triathlon training beginners can thrive and become intermediate and then advanced, it just takes time, patience and determination.
Triathlon is the ultimate lifestyle sport because you don’t need to invest too much cash or time into completing a triathlon. Also, the varied modes of exercise mean you will keep strong, fit and healthy and never get bored.
The cycling portion of a triathlon is usually the more successful one, as this is the part of the race where you can move more freely and travel faster. Compared to the running and swimming legs of a triathlon, cycling isn’t as physically intensive. Therefore, some of your competitors may overlook the cycling part in their training. This is where you can make some hay by putting more time into your cycling training.
The first thing you have to do is get the right bike. Not just any bike will do if you want to do well in this area. Sure, there is nothing wrong with a basic model, but you might be at a disadvantage during the race. Mountain bikes are preferred because they have better handling, brakes, wider tires, and changing gears is easier.
A key when buying a bike is to make sure it’s the right fit, which can be done by getting a bike fit at your local store. If you are purchasing a new bike, then they will do this free of charge.
In order to get the best results, you must be comfortable while riding your bike. This is why it’s critical that you get a bike that fits and suits you well.
Triathlon Training Beginners
Get Familiar With Your Bike
Once you have your bike, the next step is to get familiar with it. While indoor cycling is a wonderful way to train, it’s not the same as riding out on the road. You will have to practice getting off the blocks. This involves placing one foot on the pedal, pushing off, then getting the other foot on the pedal.
Changing gears is something that will take some getting used to also. Going up hills is where this really comes into play, as changing gears can make this a lot easier. It does require taking your hands off the handlebars, so be sure to practice doing this until you feel comfortable.
The brakes on mountain bikes are very good, but you will need to learn the proper way to use them. This involves understanding the amount of pressure that must be applied in a number of situations. It’s a good idea to ride slowly at first when getting used to the brakes to avoid any serious accidents.
Get That Triathlon Training Started
Start off working towards a sprint-distance triathlon. This consists of a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run. If you set aside 45 to 60 minutes each day of the week you will probably be able to complete your first triathlon in 10 weeks.
One approach to triathlon cycling training is to start with a 30-minute session once a week initially, then progress to about an hour or so. Then, you can start mixing in some 5-minute runs to simulate what you will do in the triathlon.
Once you have decided to compete in your first triathlon, you will need to put aside time at least three times a week to train. You will need to do at least 30 minutes or more each time. Make this a priority in your lifestyle and actually schedule the time to do this. Once you get it going it will be easier to stick to it.
In triathlon training beginners will need to work up to a 15-mile sprint.
Obviously, it is not a good idea to do the entire 15-mile sprint on the first day, or those joints will scream at you.
If you are overweight, you may find that your knees hurt at first when you run. In this case, rather start off with the cycling and shed off some extra pounds before starting to run. If you do need to strengthen your joints, start a high repetition strength training program. This will prepare your joints and tendons before you get serious.
Remember these two rules in your training always:
- When you train, never go up in training distance more than 10% a week, or you will only set yourself back.
- Make sure to schedule in a week of rest each month, because if you keep going up 10% each week and never rest you will burn out. The rest will make you come back stronger.
In triathlon training beginners should focus on either just the run or the bike for 2 to 6 months to build up your aerobic base. Starting with all three sports will just be too much to cope with. Once you are fitter you can add in the other one, but always follow rules 1 and 2.
Swimming, Biking and Running
Once you are fit and you have built your base, start your training for all three sports. The ideal would be to train twice a week in each of the disciplines and rest on the 7th day. The other option for triathlon training beginners can have one day where you do two events like a swim and then a run, then you get two days off a week.
An Example of a weekly workout plan:
Monday: Swim and Run
Don’t Neglect That Strength Training
While you are training for that first triathlon, weight and strength training is very important too. You will need to do a weight routine with lighter weights and lots of reps combined with a walk or jog routine. You don’t want to build a lot of muscle like a body builder as this is counter-productive for a serious triathlete, but you still need to have strength in your muscles.
That’s it for triathlon training beginners. Now it is up to you.
For tips on cycling uphill, click here.