Getting and staying fit can be a lot of fun if you are motivated. But how do you stay permanently motivated? Training for a triathlon is one way. A triathlon includes three different elements: swimming, cycling and running. The variety of disciplines is part of the attraction. People of all ages and athletic levels take part in triathlons and have great fun doing it.
Triathlon for Beginners
Although the idea of a triathlon is often daunting to a beginner, the events are normally inclusive and friendly. It is taking part and doing your best that counts.
People who are new to triathlons might like to take part in a “Sprint” event first, which involves 0.47 miles of swimming, 12 miles of cycling and 3.1 miles of running. If you want, you can go shorter distances in “Super Sprint” events. These are an ideal introduction to the sport but still give you something to aim and train for.
At the top end of the scale, full “Ironman” events comprise 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling and a marathon 26.2-mile run. For that type of endurance, you need a lot of intensive training. But you must start somewhere.
The essential triathlon items you’ll need are:
- Swimming goggles
- Swim cap
- Road bike (you can take part on a mountain bike)
- Cycling helmet
- Shirt (tight fitting for aerodynamic benefit)
- Triathlon shorts (or bike shorts over longer distances)
- Running shoes
Training for Triathlons
If you can, it makes sense to train on the course of your chosen event. This will give you confidence on the day of the contest and help make sure you are familiar with your surroundings.
“For a sprint event, start training three to four months beforehand.”
Look for an achievable training plan online and stick to your new regime. Typically, you’ll be running, cycling and swimming two times each per week. You’ll gradually increase distances and start to combine the activities to practice transitions.