Triathlon: How to Start Training

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  • Matt Cook
  • |
  • Mar 7, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Triathlon-How-to-Start-Training.jpgWhether you are a self-proclaimed couch potato or a multi-marathoner, preparing for a triathlon can be a daunting challenge. Among registration, getting gear, and all that training, prepping for race day can be a big task. 

The good news is that your gear doesn’t need to be the best and newest on the market, your schedule doesn’t need to be extreme, and you’ll quickly find that the most rewarding part of triathlon training is meeting people and having fun. No matter your current fitness level, as long as you give yourself ample time and the right tools, you can easily conquer your race day. Here’s how to start training.

Get the Right Gear

Whether it’s for a Sprint or an Ironman, your training cannot begin until you have equipped yourself with the right gear. For training, the most important thing you’ll need is a good pair of shoes. These don’t have to be flashy, but you should be willing to invest as much as possible in a pair that fits well and is designed for running. 

Your swimsuit and goggles only need to be functional and a cap is optional. Decent riding shorts are a godsend when it comes to combatting saddle soreness, and though tri-bikes with clipless pedals and aerobars are what the pros use, any bike will do for your training as long as it’s in good working order.

Make and Follow a Weekly Training Plan

It’s a big commitment to start training for triathlon, but when you set a good training schedule, your sessions will be manageable and you’ll be able to more easily stick to your training routine

It’s recommended that your triathlon training take place over approximately six weeks, increasing the distance and intensity of your activities each week. A formula of one day swimming, two days running, one day biking, one day “brick” and one day rest is an excellent formula for getting into fighting form.

On your brick day, you simply practise changing from one exercise to the next, and veterans suggest that mastering your transition from bike to running is key to success on race day.

Other Triathletes

WeekendTriathleteis a great place to find info to start training, but there will come a time when you reach the limits of what a blog can teach you. It is important then to reach out to people who have undertaken the same training and have successfully completed races. 

They will be able to give you tips on your technique and eating habits, and what works best for them in their training regimens. You can also consider joining a triathlon club or group and learn along other newcomers to the sport.

Focus on Your Weakness

The most challenging facet of a race is the fact that you aren’t training for a single event. For many, this challenge is the most appealing part of a race. But in training for your first event, it is important to be honest with yourself about where your strengths and weaknesses lie. 

All events are not created equal and by focusing more energy on the event(s) that you find challenging you will get the most out of your triathlon training.

Set a Menu That Fuels Your Workouts

You ask your body to do a lot of hard work when you start training.To maximize the results of that work, your triathlete diet is as important as the hours you spend in the pool or on the road.

Combining protein-rich food with a moderate intake of carbs is a no brainer for any athlete. Simple meals based around lean proteins such as chicken breast and fish will get you through the trials of your training and ensure you don’t encounter any surprises on race day.


Topics: Triathlon Training


Matt Cook

Matt Cook

Father of 3 and former competitive swimmer, Matt completed his first Ironman 70.3 in 2013 in Muskoka. He has since completed another 70.3 and is planning on doing a full Ironman in 2016 or 2017. Matt took up triathlons for the challenge, to relax and to just to stay in shape so he can enjoy life with his family.

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