This is the second time I’m writing this as the post seems to have got lost during the blog redesign 🙁 WordPress obviously doesn’t want me to let the world know about my training!
So anyway, this Sunday, I will be taking part in my first ever triathlon albeit a teeny weeny one and I wanted to share with you my training hints and tips. Now I’m no PT and as mentioned just now this is my FIRST triathlon so don’t go taking what I say here as professional advice, it’s just what’s helped me 🙂 so here we go, how to train for a triathlon…
First of all, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have access to all equipment? i.e. bike, runners, gym, pool?
- How fit are you already?
- How much time do you have?
- Can you train while commuting to work?
- Which is your strongest/weakest discipline?
OK so, if you’ve entered a triathlon there’s a good chance you already own your own bike, running kit and potentially have access to a gym. If you do, training is relatively straight forward – you can train for all three disciplines within a gym (provided there’s a pool) and it gives you the perfect chance to practise ‘transitioning’ from one to the other. Well not transition exactly as I doubt the gym staff would be pleased to see you jump out the pool soaking wet and onto a bike! Think of it more like consecutive training.
Top tip: dependant on current fitness and time, aim for 5 workouts a week with 2 including swim and one including a longer bike ride.
If you’re reasonably fit already and at least occasionally swim, bike, run or all three then it won’t be the individual exercises you need to worry about but more so how to effectively train to ensure you can go the distance and complete all three comfortably. Of course this depends on distance you’re competing in…
In truth, I haven’t changed much about my usual routine, which includes a 10k bike each way to work and a weekly run of around 4-5k but I’m not overly concerned because the distance is teeny weeny. That said, I had wanted to train and do it well.
Top tip when training for the bike: remember to shift! Use your gears. Its easy for cyclists to find a gear they like and stick to it but you’ll have a much better ride if you move through your gears effectively.
Incorporating your training into a commute to work is the best way to save time, you shouldn’t need to set aside extra time around your usual routine this way. Luckily, I live and work close to parks that both have a decent 4k loops or tracks giving me the perfect opportunity to include both bike to run in a single training session. I just bike to work a little earlier, complete a loop around the lake and then head to work for my usual shower or visa versa on the way home. Just make sure you take a bike lock and a bag your comfortable running with unless you’ve got awesome organisational skills and can leave the bag at work while still having everything you need for the next day.
Top tip when training for the run: although it’s a short distance, you need to focus on stamina and endurance. The best way to this is to ensure your legs are strong so go for interval training and try sprints.
Swimming is definitely my downfall and having just cancelled my gym membership it is the most inconvenient to train for as well. There are outside baths nearby to where I live but I’m one of those people who can’t bare their weekend to be taken up by gruelling fitness so I haven’t got round to going…something I might regret when the day comes and I have to throw myself into the cold water at 7:30am [potentially in the dark] on the day of the race. Never mind, I’m certain the adrenaline will pull me through!
Top tip when training for the swim: use a pull buoy so that you can swim with primarily your arms and reserve energy in the legs for when you really need it.
I’ll be taking part in the Gatorade ‘Fun Tri’ in St. Kilda – the last in a 5 race series and a grand total of 300m swim, 13k bike and 3k run.
Wish my luck! You can probably figure from the above that I’m going to need it 🙂