A lot of people start out the new year wanting to get fit. One common goal is to be able to compete in a triathlon, but how do you get to that point? A super step towards a full on triathlon is the Indoor Triathlon at the Y coming up on March 10th that you can use for training and to gauge your preparation. Here are some other great tips on training for a tri.
Most triathlon training programs assume you can do six or more workouts a week of 30+ minutes each. If you haven’t worked out in years or are otherwise too out of shape for this, it may be a good idea to start with a “couch to…” program.
Check out this website with further ways to help you get started:
If you can already handle 30+ minute workouts most days, then pick a race that you want to build toward, ideally one 16 or more weeks in the future.
Don’t be in too much of a hurry to ramp up your training. You don’t have to do a half-iron distance race this year if it’s your first year of training. Do sprints this year, and see how that goes – you have plenty of time to build up to longer-distance races. That said, follow your dreams – I’m just trying to emphasize that you don’t have to do everything all at once. The key is to establish good habits and build fitness for the long term without getting hurt.
Now start looking through training plans appropriate for the race distance you selected. Many books are available with plans, free plans to choose from along with an active community happy to discuss them with you. Here are a few important things to keep in mind when choosing your plan:
- Starting Volume: Look at the first week or two of training. Do the number of training sessions and the length of each feel do-able to you?
- Peak Volume: Your plan probably peaks 2-3 weeks before your event. Assuming your fitness allows, will you be able to fit those weeks into the rest of your lifestyle?
- Plan Flexibility: How likely are you to have sudden unexpected changes in your schedule? Some folks may never pick training schedules with more than one planned session per day, for instance, so that they can do double up sessions after unexpected business trips cause them to miss workouts.
Those are just suggestions to help guide your plan choice. Once you pick a plan, stick to it as well as you can! But when you can’t, don’t beat yourself up. It’s more important to rest up from being sick or let that injury heal thoroughly than to bat 1.000 in training sessions.
The YMCA has the Indoor Triathlon coming up on March 10th that you can use for training to see how you are doing. This year you can take on the tri individually, as a team or both. The event consists of 20min of swimming, 20min cycling and 20min on a treadmill. Results are determined by total distance. Prizes for each age and gender division will be awarded, with team and individual being separate.
So come on in and get registered. Give it a tri!