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Training for a Triathlon.

Updated on September 24, 2013

The triathlon as you probably know is three events in one hence the name Triathlon

Basically you have to be able to swim ride a bicycle and run. I used to engage in Triathlons from about when they got popular around 1985 to 1996. When I was competing I was very fit. So much so that I could run 33 kilometres before breakfast on a Saturday morning have a shower and sit and drink coffee with my training buddies.

I would run about 100 kilometres a week; Ride a bike around three hundred kilometres a week and swim about five kilometres a week. This is the sort of training that needs to be done if you want to compete in a long course(half-ironman) event or a full Ironman event.

It is at this is a level of training that one needs to build up to carefully. If you don’t your certain to get ill or injured.

I Started by running cycling or swimming for 20 minutes at a time. I made sure I did this once or twice a day for about two month’s The pace does not matter in the early stages all your trying to do is build up a level of fitness where you wont risk getting injured. So just run about 60% of say your maximum for twenty minutes. If you can do this quite easily then increase it to half an hour. You should check your pulse before at the end of the run and then about five minute after warming down.

Another important thing to do is to keep a record of your training you can buy special training diary from running 7 sports shop. These books allow you to express how you’re feeling as well as being a good motivational tool. It is important to log your progress and see how your body and your emotions are coping with the extra stress that you are placing on you body. That way you’ll avoid those dreaded injuries.

You need to keep an eye on all your joints and stretch out after every workout. As soon as possible after the event within minutes and then later in the day.



Injury & illness prevention

Don't Let This Happen To You!

Here are some common signs of poor training techniques…

1. A hit-or-miss mentality with stretching and strength training.

2. Determining your training sessions on the fly in terms of what you do, the mileage, and intensity level or pace.
3. More or less doing the same thing each time you swim, bike, or run.
4. Having only a general or vague sense of how many miles you are doing weekly in each area.
5. Switching your day off or not having a day off at all.
6. Not taking nutrition and sleep seriously.
7. Having no written account or log, charting your training plan and progress.
8. Procrastinating about the specific triathlon events you plan to train for and compete in.
9. Only doing individual training sessions, and not incorporating group swims, rides, and runs.
10. Not giving proper attention and training to swimming, biking, and running technique.
11. Being easily swayed away from your plan into what others are doing.

A good guide is The Dave Scott’s Triathlon Training Manual. it is about fifteen years old but the elements are true today as they were then.

Cross Training

The great thing about triathlon training is that each of the events complements each other. For instance the cycling improves your leg strength as well as your cardiovascular system. Similarly the swimming is great for your lungs and cardiovascular system. As well swimming is great for loosening up the body the joints the muscles. The main thing with the swimming of course it to get the techniques as good as you possible can because great technique allows you to swim almost effortlessly.


With the cycling phase of your training keep it simple, don’t overtrain. Again you want to keep the training enjoyable. Mark Scott the former World Champion Ironman could do an 8 hour bike ride on the Thursday before an Ironman event such as Hawaii. We mere mortals need years of training like Scott to get to that level. I often see inexperienced triathletes getting far too serious, ‘then burning out’ in disgust at themselves and the quit the sport. The triathlon is a gruelling event so getting too serious especially at the start will spell disaster. Remember why you’re training for triathlons. Keep the goals clear in your mind and check on them on a weekly basis to see that you have not deviated off the track. You’re doing it to improve yourself in every way. If it becomes a burden and starts burning you out that is the time to stop and take stock.


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