If you’re an athlete at heart, then doing a triathlon may be a lifelong dream. In this three-in-one event, participants swim, bike, and run a set distance in hopes of reaching the finish line, and possibly setting a record for their age group.
Being an athlete usually means becoming highly skilled in a particular sport. Triathletes excel at three, and they train throughout the year to build endurance and techniques.
Whether you’re a beginner or experienced triathlon veteran, there’s something you can learn about boosting your triathlon training routine. Fixx suggests starting your training at least 8 weeks before the event, like the Australian Noosa Triathlon.
Noosa is open to amateurs and professionals alike, so it’s the perfect triathlon event for everyone.
Every triathlon is composed of three elements: swimming, bike riding, and running. There are, however, some special triathlon events that only use two elements, like the aquathon (riding and swimming) or duathlon (running and riding).
Australian triathlons are broken into 5-year age brackets and happen at the local, state, national, and international level.
The world’s first recorded triathlon event took place in San Francisco, California, in 1974. Today, it is a beloved sporting event worldwide that attracts millions of participants around the globe. In Australia, participants as young as 12 can compete.
The Olympic-distance Noosa Triathlon is ranked as one of the world’s top 10 triathlons thanks to its incredible location and unique events.
You can participate in different triathlon distances in Australia depending on your athletic skill/ability and preferences. We suggest attempting a novice or sprint triathlon first, then trying other distances with more training and experience.
- Swim > 750 meters
- Bike ride > 20km
- Run > 5km
- 750-meter swim
- 20k bike ride
- 5k run
- 1,500-meter swim
- 40k bike ride
- 10k run
Half-Iron/Long Course Triathlon
- 2,500 to 3,800-meter swim
- 80k to 120k bike ride
- 20k to 30k run
- 3800-meter swim
- 180k bike ride
- 42k run
The biggest distinguishing factor for a triathlon is its distance. Depending on location, distance can also feel completely different. Swimming 1,500 meters in a pool, for example, can be less challenging than swimming 1,500 meters in the ocean.
Roads and trails can make biking more or less of a challenge, so each event really has a unique feel and caters to a particular type of athlete.
It’s best to check out the details of every distance event before you sign up for a triathlon. Once you know how each event will be held, it is easier to begin customising your training schedule. Knowing where the event takes place even allows you to visit it ahead of time and do some test runs before the big day.
How to Start Training for a Triathlon
If you know how to swim and exercise regularly, you can train for a triathlon in six to eight weeks. If you don’t currently exercise or know how to swim, then you should give yourself six to four months to prepare.
You’ll have to focus on building strength and endurance first, then target different muscle groups and strategies for swimming, biking, and running.
Swimming is by far the riskiest part of the event, so if you are a poor swimmer or have never learned how, sign up for classes with a professional instructor ASAP. Once you’ve become a confident swimmer, you can work with a triathlete coach to help you become proficient in both pools and open waters.
If you are new to swimming, do your first triathlon in a pool. This is much safer for you, and it ensures you’ll have greater access to emergency assistance if you need it during the event.
Triathlete coach Alison Freeman suggests that experienced athletes and swimmers can get by with two to three sessions a week, while weaker swimmers, new swimmers or athletes who want to prevent injury should swim four or five times per week.
According to Freeman, high-quality aquatic workouts and interval sets are great ways to build strength and stamina. She places greater emphasis on bike training to make the transition from water to riding or riding to running easier.
You should start biking at least three times a week, and begin introducing brick sessions at the mid-way point of your training. Brick sessions are when you complete biking and running back-to-back in a single training session. This most closely resembles the activity you’ll perform during the triathlon.
Sprint training can be some of the most challenging, even for experienced athletes. A triathlon challenges you more than any other sporting event, because you’ll be running after you’ve already swam and biked for an extended period.
Instead of gradually easing into your run, your body will already be in a highly energized state. It will have exhausted a lot of energy making it through the swim and ride, so it will have less to work with while you’re running.
This 8-week triathlon sprint plan is for athletes who can already swim 100 meters easily and perform 20 minutes of continuous biking and 10 minutes of non-stop running.
For those with less experience, you will need a longer period of time to build strength and endurance. Those completely new to sprints should spend the first 30 days of their training establishing a daily walking practice.
You must train your muscles, including your heart, to handle the continuous pace before introducing more intense activity.
Breathing will also be another major component. Rhythmic breathing is crucial to help you properly oxygenate your body and muscles throughout the run. You will enter several zones during your sprint, ranging from mild to intensely challenging.
The rate of perceived exertion (RPE) can help you learn how to better understand your body’s needs and make adjustments to stay safe.
Train Better — And Safer — With Fixx
If there’s one thing every triathlete knows well, it’s muscle cramps. While these are difficult and disruptive on a regular day, they can be downright detrimental or even dangerous during a triathlon.
Stock up on Cramp Fixx before your event, and always keep it handy during your training. CrampFix delivers a rapid relief formula of electrolytes to stop muscle cramps in under 2 minutes.
And while you’re working on staying energized, a boost of Fuel X can help you give your body and muscles a boost with a formula that only uses natural ingredients.
Explore the full range of Fixx products here.
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