Triathlons are becoming more and more popular these days – they are a great way to push your body to its limit by undertaking three different long distance cardiovascular sports consecutively.
Training for a triathlon is completely different than a marathon because you will use the majority of muscle groups in your body. It is because of the all-round effort needed to complete a triathlon that they are seen as such a high achievement.
To help put you on the right track, here are some to the point tips for taking part in a triathlon of all distances, without all the jargon…
- Ideally, you will have given yourself plenty of time to train before the event, depending on your level of fitness and distance you will be doing. You will want to plan your training too, rather than taking each day as it comes. Doing so helps you to stay motivated and train for each of the three sports equally.
- Progressive training is the most popular way of preparing for a triathlon. In basic terms, this is all about slowly increasing your workout each week or fortnight. This can be your intensity, distance or time. We advise you split your training into three blocks:
- The first is about getting your base fitness in check with long and easy miles. You’re training to be able to handle the duration, but also to build enough fitness to handle the more intense workouts that are to come.
- In the second block, you should start to put in more work such as hill training and longer duration training. This means working out for longer periods of time to develop your strength. Shuttle runs are also very useful in this block. For example, you can run 20 minutes at an easy pace, 15 minutes at moderate pace and then 10 minutes of fast running.
- Now that you have fitness and stamina, the final block involves developing your speed. You can do this by regularly completing the same distance/route/course and timing it. Having a target time is great incentive and you’ll soon see the seconds fall off your best time!
- Pacing yourself is very important as you will be using your legs and back for each sport in the triathlon. The last thing you want to do is go out too fast during the swimming and cycling, and not be able to run the last leg of the event because your legs are too tired.
- Aerodynamics is huge in cycling. Try to ride as low as you comfortably can. Bend your elbows at 90 degrees instead of sitting up like a statue. Even better, stay as much as you can on your aerobars. Every second counts in a triathlon and this is possibly the biggest time-saver in the race.
- Practice your transitions during your training. You can win precious seconds or even minutes by learning the art of changing out of your wet suit and putting on your biking gear as fast as possible. This will also mean having the right triathlon gear. You will need a tri-suit, elastic laces, wetsuit and a well maintained road bike (mountain bikes are fine, however road bikes are built for time).
The Harborough Triathlon is the only triathlon event in the Harborough district, to find out more visit the Race Harborough triathlon page and sign up!