When One Sport Isn’t Enough: Training for Your First Triathlon

TriathlonPeople’s enthusiasm for triathlons has dramatically risen in the last 10 years in the United States alone. If you’re training for your first triathlon ever, before you change into your running shoes, dive into open water, and hop on your bike, these foolproof tips from The Labs can aid you in reaching the finish line faster.

Essential Tips for Cycling and Running

For your first triathlon training, consider interval training. Incorporate a couple of shorter, but harder bursts in your usual workout routine, with 15 to 30 seconds of rest in between sets. This will help your body acclimate to performing at a much rapid pace, which is required for triathlons. But, don’t perform more than one set of cycling or running interval sessions each week since these can put unwarranted stress on the body.

You should also practice transition workout, also called bricks, most especially biking to running since your legs will need to adjust to running once you hop off your bike. In addition, practice running on gravel or dirt trails to prevent stressing your feet on hard sidewalks and streets. The uneven surface on gravel and dirt trails will also serve as a workout for your ankles and foot muscles and prevent injuries that can happen when running on hard and flat surfaces.

Basic Tips for Swimming

For your triathlon training, swimming must ideally be done under the tutelage of a professional coach. You can practice alone or in a group setting if you wish. You must also practice your swimming skills on actual open water several times before the race, so your body can adjust to the differences — hint, it is extremely different from swimming laps in a pool. Additionally, practice sighting objects while swimming in open water, so you won’t have a hard time dodging buoys and other swimmers come race day.

Fuel Up and Rest, Rest, Rest

Always stay hydrated to make sure your body is in perfect condition. Drink even if you’re not feeling thirsty and make sure to drink extra fluids before and after working out. Eat a well-balanced diet, stop smoking and drinking alcohol, and eat a protein-rich snack an hour before and after your workout. Most importantly, get sufficient rest and sleep to allow for maximum recovery from workouts and prevent burnout and injuries.