Whether you are planning to do a sprint triathlon (16 miles) or an Ironman (140.6 miles) your starting point is a training plan, which you need to start well before the event. If you are doing a sprint triathlon and you are very fit and familiar with swimming, running and biking, then an 8 week training period would be sufficient. If you’ve just started competing then you may want to give yourself at least 16 weeks to train.
It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the course of the race and if possible to practice swimming, running and biking each part. Include an open water swim once or twice a week if the swimming part is not taking place in a pool.
Resistance training twice a week is also essential with compound moves, which use multiple muscle groups at the same time, like lunges and pushups.
Do a minimum of two sessions of each activity (swim, run and bike) per week, including one brick session. This is two sessions back to back, for example, a swim/bike or a bike/run session.
Include one day of rest from training so that you have a chance to recover, either before or after your brick workout.
Your week could look something like this:
There is no perfect way to train for your first Triathalon. The important thing is that you do your best and enjoy the journey of working out how to swim, bike and run, and see how you like to do it best.
It’s a good idea to practice your nutrition before the race as you will want to find out what foods, energy supplements, protein powders, etc work for you. This applies to hydration too. Get to know your body and how much water it typically needs.
Sometimes, less is more. - Be consistent but go easy on yourself. If you’re feeling really tired or your muscles are sore on a particular day, it’s better to rest that day or go for a light walk.
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