If you’re good at swimming, cycling, and running and think you can perform on the big stages, try triathlon—a sport made to test your endurance.
The high endurance sport had its roots in the United States, where it grew tremendously until a decision to include it in the Sydney Olympics in the early 2000s. It’ll take about a month and two weeks to be ready for a triathlon. How long it takes to train for a triathlon also depends on your attitude towards training and your physical situation.
Training may seem unbearable at the beginning or insulting if you’re already familiar with the three sports in triathlon. However, what you’ll later find out is that triathlon is a welcoming sport for both newbies and those wishing to reach new heights.
Now that we know what triathlon and its roots are, here are other intrigues about the race.
What Are The Basics Of Triathlon?
Tri means three, which is why triathlon is a sport that includes running, cycling, and swimming. While you may start with whichever race you want in a triathlon, always pick swimming as the first race.
Of the three races, it’s the most energy-intensive. Going with the order of a race that puts you at a higher risk of injury, cycling should come second, while running should be your last race.
Distances in triathlons differ; depending on organizers, you can have a swimming sprint of about 750 m or a complete international distance race of 1500 meters.
On the other hand, the cycling and running distances are usually more considerable than the swimming sprints because of the energy needed to steer yourself in the water. Cycling is the simplest portion and takes the lion’s share of the distance covered. In a good long run, called the ironman, you could cover up to 112 miles cycling alone.
When it comes to running, the longest race you could go is up to 26.2 miles, and on the lowest end, a 5-kilometer run.
Triathlon races total five. The longest one is the long course triathlon called the ironman, while the least covered distance is in the sprint. Those mid between are the Olympic and Half-Iron in their order of difficulty.
How to prepare for a Triathlon
It takes about six weeks to get ready for a triathlon for people who know how to swim, cycle, and run in marathons, but it takes longer for couch potatoes.
If you are a person who does no exercise at all, you need to build muscle and be race fit before you can begin your six-week course. For you to be ready, you need to run at least three days per week. You could fit your beginner’s exercise with the triathlon races to be ready as soon as you have built enough stamina to start the six weeks of transition training to be a triathlete.
The swimming bit is the hardest of them all; you need to build confidence first beside a pool before thinking of taking part in a triathlon. If not, you risk pushing your body beyond its limits and injuring yourself in intense races.
If you have no prior swimming experience, your first triathlon must happen in a swimming pool instead of open water for safety reasons.
How to Find Triathlon Races for Beginners
While you’re busy prepping your body to endure what triathlon offers, finding the first race is vital to kick-start your love affair with racing on the big stages. On the internet, a good number of websites that schedule triathlon races are available via a Google search.
Pick the ones fit for a beginner if you are starting. Beginner-friendly races are those with short distances which do not have open water as part of the course.
On the cycling section, avoid races that have dangerous terrain, which is tricky for a beginner. Such terrains only increase your chances of an injury and destroys your confidence.
You should pick running tracks that require little effort to navigate for your first race. Chose grass surfaces for a start, and as you grow you can switch to sand and other high-intensity areas.
Timing is also a factor when picking races, and when competing in triathlons. It is best to coincide your first race six weeks after you have started triathlon training. Doing so will keep your mentality higher than waiting a week or two to race after training.
However, if you’re a couch potato, you should have your first race at least three months away. The dates will keep you alert, and in the gym in anticipation.
Which Exercises Are Best For Triathlon Training?
Going to the gym is essential to keep up with the huge demands of triathlon. Make it a habit to go to the gym at least three days a week to maintain good shape before your race six weeks away.
You can break your schedule into manageable exercises every single day, starting from day one of the six weeks. Make sure to at least run, cycle, and swim every week for the six weeks as you approach your race.
On Monday, you can have a thirty minutes swim. Complement the swimming with a cycling session on Tuesday. Keep up the rhythm by topping up on what you have already done on Monday and Tuesday by running on Wednesday. Take Thursdays off, and on Friday, combine two races typical in a triathlon. You could alternate between swimming and running, or swimming and bicycling.
Alternate the exercises whichever ways you like in the six weeks of triathlon training.
What Is The Reason For Training Before A Triathlon?
Triathlon is a demanding race which will push your body to its limits. Doing exercises before a serious race builds up your confidence and reduces how long it takes to train for a triathlon. You’re most likely to enter a second race when you have completed the first one without injuries.
The most important exercise in training is the brick workouts that tests your switching capability from one race to the other. For most racers, it’s a challenge to make quick switches from cycling to running. However, with a lot of practice, you can accomplish the feat easily.