What is a triathlon? Our introduction to triathlon blog post covered the basics and hopefully showed you that, with preparation, completing one is totally doable! With this second post in our triathlon series, I explain how take your ambitions across the finish line. I recommend a sprint triathlon for your first event.What are the distances for the standard sprint triathlon?
- Swim: 750 m
- Bike: 20 km
- Run: 5 km.
Wait, don’t stop reading! This may look a bit overwhelming, but here are a few hints to help you succeed.
If you are new to endurance activities, a progressive training program that is 12 weeks long will help you get prepared. For those who regularly do endurance sports, a shorter time frame of about eight weeks of training should be sufficient. Work at a pace that is comfortable for you. Use this example of a weekly training schedule:
|Monday||Rest day||Rest day||Rest day|
|Tuesday||Morning swim||Evening run|
|Thursday||Short swim||Short bike|
- If the swim section of the triathlon you plan to participate in is in open water, join an open water swim group to familiarize yourself to swimming in a less controlled environment (e.g., bigger waves) and with people nearby.
- Swim in a pool on alternate days to help focus on your technique.
- Consider taking a few lessons to improve your efficiency.
PAL Pro-tip: If you get cold in open water, a swim cap and wetsuit will keep you warmer!
- On your weekly long ride, practice on terrain similar to that of the race course (i.e., hills, flat, and rolling).
- Doing back-to-back swim-bike or bike-run workouts (called a “brick”) gives you experience switching between sports and using your muscles in different patterns.
- Staying hydrated and keeping your nutrition up is very important during your training and event day. Practice drinking and eating on the bike. This is easiest place to eat during a triathlon.
- Determine the pace (minutes per km) you hope to run the 5 km at during training. For example, doing 6 minutes per kilometer will give you a run time of about 30 minutes.
Equipment and other things to consider:
- Test all your equipment beforehand.
- Practice taking off your wetsuit (if you`re using one) and putting on your shoes and helmet quickly. If you’re using cycling shoes, practice replacing them for your runners.
- Lastly, don’t forget to practice your finish line dance!
These are all general recommendations. A personalized approach yields the best results; the Physical Activity Line can help you design a training plan. Call 8-1-1!