15 Best Tips for Triathlon Training


Triathlon

Getting ready for a triathlon is very difficult, especially if this is the first triathlon that you are taking part in. The biggest hurdle that a lot of people have is not knowing how to properly prepare and train. Fortunately, getting ready for a triathlon can be made easy if you know the best tips to get in shape, and prepare for all aspects of the race. Triathlon

1. Establish a Training Schedule

When you are setting up a training schedule, you will want it to be something that you can keep, so make it a schedule that works for you. You will want to be very realistic in how much you are going to be able to train every day and also set up a plan for where you will train. Making sure that you are consistently getting out and practicing every day to going to be the most effective way to prepare for a triathlon. Like the old saying goes “Slow and steady wins the race.”

Example Workout Schedule

This is an example of what your training plan could look like in the month and a half leading up to the race.

WeekMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
1Swim
30 min
Bike
40-45 min
Run
15-20 min
Swim
30 min
Day OffBike & Run
30 & 5 min
Swim
30 min
2Run
15-20 min
Swim
40 min
Bike
40-45 min
Swim
30 min
Day OffBike & Run
50 & 7-10 min
Bike
50-55 min
3Run
20-25 min
Swim
40 min
Bike
40-45 min
Swim
40 min
Day OffBike & Run
50 & 10 min
Run
20-25 min
4Swim
40 min
Bike
50-55 min
Run
20-25 min
Swim
30 min
Day OffBike & Run
45 & 5 min
Swim
30 min
5Run
25-30 min
Swim
40 min
Bike
40-45 min
Swim
30 min
Day OffBike & Run
40 & 5 min
Swim
30 min
6Run
15-20 min
Swim
30 min
Bike
40-45 min
Swim
20 min
Bike & Run
20 & 10 min
Day OffRACE DAY!

2. Train With Other People

Training with other people can help keep your training sessions consistent and productive, especially when you’re new to triathlons. The easiest way to do this is to train with others who are getting ready for their own races. There are a number of running and training groups that you can find online in order to meet up with other competitors and train with them. If you can’t find anyone else training, then swim groups, or jogging partners are a great alternative.

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These people can help motivate you to keep training and also will help keep you responsible so that you are ready once race day arrives. Training with other triathletes can also help you learn what to expect when you are actually in the race, making it easy to adjust to the race itself.

3. Avoid Overtraining

When you are getting ready for your first triathlon, it can be very easy to get excited and start over training. This can potentially lead to injury and fatigue that adds additional rest days. Instead, you will want to know where you are at when you start and slowly build up to the pace that you are going to want to have during the race itself.

4. Do Key Workouts First

When you are planning your workouts for each day, you are also going to want to plan to do key workouts before you get to others. You will want to start out your workout with a warmup and stretches, then do your key/most important workouts, and then finally move on to the less intensive or important workouts. Lifting weights or strength training is typically going to be a key workout while endurance training can usually be done last. Otherwise, your muscles will be tired out and the chance of injury is going to greatly increase. Tired muscles also lead to poor form, more stress on your joints, and less effective overall workouts.

5. Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard (Know Your Limits)

One way to avoid overworking yourself is to make sure that you are listening to your muscles. You need to be able to tell when your muscles are telling you that they are done and can’t do anymore. This can take some practice to tell the difference between a tired pain and an almost injured pain, but it is typically recommended that you play it safe to prevent injury. Triathlon.

You never want to push yourself too hard when you can call it a day and just come back again in a day or two and work the muscles again. Calling it a day before your muscles are completely out of energy is always going to be the better option. Give yourself an opportunity to continue another day instead of risking an injury, which can sideline you for weeks.

6. Avoid the Grey Zone

Triathlon

When you are training, you are going to want to avoid Zone 3, also known as the “grey zone” as it is here where you are to be getting the least benefits. You are putting too much effort in order for it to be a good endurance workout, but not enough for it to be a good muscle-building exercise.

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7. Train your Weaknesses

A pitfall that many newcomers to running triathlons fall into is just training what they are already good at, while not improving their other areas enough before their first race. If you have run a number of marathons, then you won’t need to train your running too heavily but will want to focus on your swimming and biking ability. You want to train all your muscles in order to be fit and ready for your race.

8. Have Brick Workouts

You are going to want to include a brick workout while training in order to get your body ready to swap from one muscle group to another. In the example training calendar above you will see the brick workouts are when you work on both running and biking the same day. This helps you get ready for your transition when you have to do it during the actual race. Since biking and running work different muscles, it will take a bit of time to get used to this transition, but the more you practice the easier it gets.

9. Practice Race Transitions

This becomes so much easier if you are including brick workouts in your training, but you are going to want to have practiced your transitions so that you can do it quickly and find out what process works best for you. If you can go to the actual location of the race it will be best, but even just practicing drying off, and getting into your biking gear will help you know what to do and make the whole race seem a lot easier. Practice transitioning from biking to running as well, especially if you are having to switch from biking to running shoes.

10. Train in Open Water

Another great way to train is to make sure that you are going into open waters and getting practice swimming there. Swimming in open waters and in a pool is greatly different as you are going to have to deal with uncomfortable temperatures, waves, and currents. If you can get used to swimming in these waters then it will be far easier when you start the race for real. A strong recommendation is to hang back for a minute when the race starts to avoid being super surrounded by other swimmers.

If you are to train in open water, take extreme caution. Go with friends to make sure you’re not alone if you get into trouble, and make sure they’re equipped with flotation devices and safety gear. While your triathlon may take place in open water and training there may help you accurately prepare for the conditions you may face, training in open water is dangerous, and not something to undertake casually, or without supervision.

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11. Train Your Digestive System

A key aspect of the race that most competitors don’t think about is making sure that they train their digestive system prior to the race. Traditional, it is recommended that you replenish anywhere between 25 and 35% of the calories that you are using each hour. You also are going to want to drink between 20 and 40 ounces of water every hour.

If you aren’t used to eating and drinking while working out, it can make you very uncomfortable while racing, and can also result in cramping or stomach pains. This can cause you to end your race early, so if you want to finish the race in the best condition possible, you are going to want to train your stomach along with the rest of your muscles.

12. Remember Warm-ups and Cool-downs

Making sure that you are warmed up before you start your workout is one of the most important things that you can do for any workout. Stretching out your muscles to loosen them, and jogging slowly are all critical ways to warm up before a workout. This helps prepare your muscles for the exercise ahead and gets your heart beating, pumping more blood throughout your body. All of this helps reduce the likelihood of injuring yourself when working out.

The same advice is applicable when you are finishing up your workouts. Stretch out your muscles again to get them to relax, and slowly jog to help your heart transition to a resting heartbeat. It is recommended that you take at least 5 to 10 minutes when warming up and cooling down in order to prevent any injuries.

A smart approach to warming up and cooling down is to just slowly transition from your current state to the one you’re moving to. So if you plan to go running, start by walking, then move to a slow jog, a standard jog, and eventually into your run. When cooling down, just do that in reverse.

13. Set Yourself a Goal

Setting a goal before you start your race will help you perform well. Do some research, and set up a SMART goal for you to shoot for. As you do more and more triathlons, you will adjust your goal to push yourself more, as you get faster and more fit. You will also want to set a number of goals for yourself during your training periods as well.

14. Make Sure You Are Getting the Right Nutrients

Triathlon

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that you’re also going to want to make sure that you are getting the right nutrients into your body. Having a proper diet will give you everything that you need to build up your body and help you recover from your workouts. This guide from Harvard is the best example of how your plate should look when you do have meals.

If you are looking for an example of what you should eat while intermittent fasting, the Mediterranean diet is one that many researchers recommend as it provides everything that you might need in a balanced amount. Along with this, any leafy greens, healthy fats, lean protein and complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains are all healthy options to include.

15. Pack Everything You Will Need

Before you leave for the race, you are going to want to make sure that you have everything that you are going to need. Fortunately, a number of coaches and racers agree that there is a basic list of equipment and supplies that you are going to want to have with you.

Swimming:

  • Bathing Suit (or two)
  • Goggles (That fit properly)
  • A Swim Cap

Biking:

  • A Bike (Any bike works fine)
  • Shoes (Running shoes work fine when you are starting)
  • A Helmet
  • Bike Shorts
  • Sunglasses
  • Lights (For the front and back of your bike)
  • Flat Fixing Pack (In case you get a flat tire)
  • An ID (Just in case you pass out)
  • Balloons (To help locate your bike)

Running:

  • Good Running Shoes
  • Hat or Visor

Other Supplies:

  • 2 Towels
  • Sunscreen
  • Water or Sports Drink

Abel

Empowering minds and bodies through my fitness journey! Passionate fitness enthusiast and blogger on a mission to inspire and motivate. Transforming lives one post at a time with evidence-based workouts, nutrition tips, and a sprinkle of wellness wisdom. Join me on this sweaty adventure to unlock your full potential and cultivate a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Let's break a sweat, embrace the grind, and celebrate the victories together! ✨ #FitLife #WellnessWarrior #FitnessBlogger"

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