Everything You Need to Know Before Starting Your Triathlon Workout

If in triathlon you only do one of the sports – swimming, cycling or jogging – as long as you are safe. But as soon as you take a second, a thought begins to arise deep in your soul. What if I was doing a triathlon? he whispers. There is something else I need to know.

I did triathlon a few years ago. Everything went well enough and I felt great – even won. However, crossing the finish line, I felt the deceased with triathlon. I guess this made me the perfect triathlon. However, some people love triathlon, and if you have any suspicions that you might be one of these people, you should consider doing triathlon this year or next.

So what do you do when you hear this whisper in your head? Start by looking for how much work a triathlon takes. Popular distances are:

  • Sprint : Swim 750 meters (about half a mile), bike ride 20 kilometers (12.5 miles), run 5 kilometers (about 3 miles).
  • Olympic : 1.5 km (almost a mile) swim / 40 km (25 mi) biking / 10 km (6.2 mi) running
  • Half Ironman : 1.9 km (1.2 mi) swim / 90 km (56 mi) cycling / 21.1 km (13.1 mi) run
  • Ironman : 3.8 km (2.4 mi) swim / 180.2 km (112 mi) cycling / 42.2 km (26.2 mi) run

Whichever sport you know, you are probably looking at that distance to get an idea of ​​how difficult a triathlon will be. A marathon is a ton of work, a half marathon is pretty hard, 10 km isn’t that bad, and 5 km is well, that’s half an hour of jogging. Very simple.

But in a triathlon, you can’t run those 5 km until you’ve spent about 5 km of effort on two other sports. And if you are a runner, you think of 5K as easy because you are good at it . If you only know how to ride a bike and, in fact, can not swim yet, these two stages of the competition will require a lot more effort than you think.

Find out what your triathlon will look like

Many triathlons do not adhere to standard distances, and some have logistical issues that you definitely want to know about in advance. So be sure to check out the triathlons in your area and find out which ones you might want to sign up for and how they work.

A sequence (almost?) Always swimming, then cycling, then running. My theory is that they are ordered according to the likelihood of you dying if you pass out during an event. If you break free while swimming, you may drown. Crash can occur while cycling. While running, you would simply fall on the concrete. I am not saying this will happen . It’s just a useful mnemonic.

Standard jersey includes open water swimming, which means you and a bunch of other people run off the beach (maybe off the nasty gravel) into a (maybe very cold) pond, lake, or river. Once you get through the swim, you will find your bike and do your best to put on your shoes and whatever you need to get started cycling. The clock doesn’t stop during transitions, so you need to practice quickly. After the second stage, you park your bike and go for a run.

Here are some examples of how it might be different in your hometown: you can swim in the pool, not in the lake. (Mine was.) Transitions could not be timed. The bike or jog may end up on a muddy road rather than a beautiful, smooth road. Yours might be an indoor triathlon that uses treadmills and exercise bikes. I’ve even heard of a triathlon that replaces other activities, such as one that allows participants to switch from swimming to kayaking.

Bottom line: do your homework.

Find out what you need to learn

Professional triathletes need to be good at all three sports, but people who line up in your friendly area will be good at one or two sports and just be able to get past the rest.

On the plus side, you really don’t need to be an experienced swimmer, bike mechanic, or marathon runner to practice the sport. So if you’re looking for workout plans or basic tips, check out the triathlon information for a version of the cheat sheet.

But on the other hand, beware of too much advice from other triathletes. For example, many of them are shitty swimmers. If you are looking for an expert coach’s eye on your freestyle kicks, book a lesson with someone who actually swims.

Here’s a non-scientific breakdown of what people most often need to learn for each sport:

  • Swimming : Learn to be in good shape so you can relax and swim to conserve energy rather than rushing about like you’re dying. If it is open water swimming, shake off any fears you may have about swimming in algae and mud and learn to swim in a straight line, even if there are no lane markings.
  • Cycling : Get to know your bike and learn how to use it. From a physical point of view, cycling is the easiest step – heck, you sit – but if you can’t change gears or are afraid to go downhill quickly, you will be miserable.
  • Running : Being able to run is the most basic skill, but you really need the ability to keep running even when you’re damn tired. This is part cardio and part mental workout.

Don’t skimp on your workouts

The most grueling part of triathlon is training. (Honestly, this is true for any long races.) Anyone can get out and run a couple of times a week, or cycle a couple of times a week, or swim a couple of times a week. But now you have to do all of this . The same week. Every week.

The good news is that you can shorten your schedule a bit for each one. If you usually run four or five days a week in preparation for your race, you can get away with two or three days when preparing for your triathlon because your other workouts are still keeping you fit. But you have to do all three. That year when I was doing triathlon, I thought that I remember perfectly how to swim, and went into the pool only a few times. Big mistake: I survived, but had the slowest sailing time in my wave and never caught up. A little more pool workout would really help.

To match all of these workouts, as well as to practice transitions, an important workout is a brick : you do a swim, then a bike, or a bike, and then a run. It is always in the same order in which you do them in the race so that you can make the transition correctly. It’s not easy to put on cycling shoes on wet feet, and you don’t want race day to be your first try.

However, there is nothing better than finishing your run and then jumping into a cool lake or pool. So think about that too.

Race day is tricky

Basically, you are in three races, so of course this is more difficult than any single event. On the eve of my trial, I came to pick up my racing package and volunteers helpfully wrote my racing numbers in Sharpy on my arms and legs. (After all, you cannot wear a jumpsuit while swimming.)

Most triathlon courses cannot accommodate everyone at once, so you will have some time for your wave. When swimming in open water, you may be given a color-coded hat so volunteers can keep track of who is who.

You are usually allowed to put on a wetsuit to keep warm in this cold lake. Wetsuits actually help you swim a bit, so they make swimming easier, but usually you are not allowed to wear them if the water is really cold . This means that the race organizers will determine on the morning of the race if it will be wetsuit day, according to the thermometer.

You must arrive early for the race so that you can set up your bike at the designated location and prepare all your gear for the transition. Be sure to check out every triathlete forum you find because they are full of weird little tips. (Stick a snack on the steering wheel! Sprinkle some baby powder on your sneakers!)

You can follow the person in front of you during the race, but there is no such label in the transition zones. Be sure to read them ahead of time, including any rules on what you can and cannot do. For example, you will run on your bike until you reach a line where you are allowed to sit and pedal.

In fact, it is only at the last stage that you can stop thinking about logistics; your transitions will end and the only thing you have to do is keep moving. After walking just a few miles – which, of course, will last forever – you will reach the finish line, pause for a drink and take a photo, and then start wondering if you are in love.


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