Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Summer Triathlon Training Tips - Part 1

Summer is the time when many hardcore exercise enthusiasts prepare to take on the ultimate physical challenge: a triathlon.

However, if you've never done one before, or think it sounds too difficult for you, you may want to think again. Participating in a triathlon can be a great way to challenge yourself to finally get in shape!

But what's the best way to get started? Running. Biking. Swimming. Each of these are by no means an easy feat, so how do you them all together in triathlon?

Call it intimidating, brand it as daunting, but, a triathlon can be done, even by those who have never participated in one. This week and next, we're sharing a few things you should know about triathlons, including tips for preparing to enter one.

Types Of Triathlons

Sprint Triathlon

2010 ITU Sprint Distance Triathlon World Champ...
2010 Sprint Distance Triathlon World Championships, Lausanne, Switzerland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
•    Half mile swim
•    19-mile bike ride
•    3.1-mile run

Basic Triathlon - The first, and most commonly used format for triathlon distance races follows international Olympic guidelines and includes:

•    .93 mile swim
•    24.8 mile bike ride
•    6.2 mile run

Half Ironman
•    1.2 mile swim
•    56 mile bike ride
•    13 mile run

The Iron Man Triathlon
•    2.4-mile (3.9-kilometer) swim
•    112-mile (180-kilometer) bike ride
•    26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) marathon run

According to Sam Cardona, who is an eight-time Ironman competitor, it takes three months to properly prepare for a triathlon.  Triathlon is a sport, and as, such there is a science to it. To be a successful triathlete—or at least start training to become one—takes a lot of hard work, but, it surely can be done with the right mindset and proper guidance.

Here Are Some Tips to Get You Started:

Build on your weakness, not your strength

A triathlon involves three disciplined events, namely swimming, cycling and long distance running, so your training requires you to develop your skill and endurance in each of these key sports. You may be as good as Michael Phelps when it comes to swimming, but, if you do not embark on a multi-sport training, you will not succeed as a triathlete.

If you are training for a triathlon, chances are you already have a background in at least one sport, so build on what you are good at, but, remember that triathlon requires you to be good at not one, but, three key sports.

This means it is important to train in all three sports, this include lap swimming, running and bike riding. The goal is always to build up speed and endurance.

Triathlete in the cycling portion of the event.
Triathlete in the cycling portion of the event. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Develop a workout plan that builds your strength and endurance

What kind of training plan should you have? By all means go for one which develops your overall muscle tone and helps you achieve high levels of cardiovascular strength.

This will help you build core strength and endurance, so, you have what it takes to see you through all three phases of triathlon over great distances. Remember, you’re gunning for triathlon, not sprint, so short bursts of speed just won’t cut it.

When doing your training, keep in mind that the human body is a stunning piece of engineering. Your body becomes stronger as you train, but, if you keep on doing the same workout, your body’s strength development level will also stagnate.

Plan your workouts so that your level of training progresses as you go along. Refrain from allowing your body to get used to your workouts by incorporating exercises and workout sessions that change in form and cycle from time to time so you are able to constantly challenge your body.

Check back next week when we'll share some specific training tips for each portion of the race.

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