Train for your first Triathlon

If you want to do a triathlon, but aren’t sure you can do it, rest assured – you can train for your first one in just 3 months. This article contains simple steps to prepare you for your first triathlon.

Enter a race

If you want to sign up for your first triathlon, it’s pretty simple:

Step 1 Visit the event finder on the British Triathlon site.

Step 2 Find a date 3 months out from now.

Step 3 Find a race labelled as a “sprint triathlon.” The exact distances will vary for these shorter triathlon shorter races due to the terrain of the specific course.

Step 4 Choose a race close to you that’s 2-3 months out and sign up. Now!

With a date in the diary you can work backwards.

Triathlon gear

Triathlon gear can be expensive. Including a bike, wetsuit, not to mention shoes and clothing for each discipline and more, it can soon mount up! Fortunately, you can do triathlon on a budget. The rule of thumb to live by is to work with what you have and upgrade if you truly want to continue with the sport.

You only need 5 items for your first race:

  • Swimsuit
  • Goggles
  • Bike
  • Helmet
  • Running Shoes

Training for a triathlon

Training for a triathlon is intense, but it’s totally possible. If you pick up a training guide and follow the workouts, you can be ready to go in 3 months.

You’ll want to practice brick workouts a few times before your first race. A brick workout is a workout where you incorporate two disciplines and transition from one to the other in the middle of the workout as you would in a race. The most common brick workout is the bike to run transition, although swim to bike transition can also be done. You won’t forget your first brick workout for some time.

Triathlon nutrition

Nutrition is often referred to as the fourth element of training because it can have such an effect on the outcome of a race. This is especially true when it comes to longer distance races, such as a half or full Ironman. Nutrition is an area that can get really complicated really quickly. The easiest way to avoid that is to keep things simple:

  • Stop eating junk food.
  • Stop drinking pop, juice and other beverages besides water, tea and Gatorade (after workouts).

For your first race you don’t need to carb-load. If you eat properly, your body will store enough energy for 90-120 minutes which is more than enough time for you to finish your first sprint distance race.  The truth is for the shorter races in triathlon the only thing carbo-loading will really do is upset your stomach if you’re not used to it so don’t worry about it until you’re on to much longer distance races.

Even if you’re not in great shape, if you can exercise for 15 minutes at a time, you can start training to run your first triathlon in 3 months. It won’t be easy but it IS possible! Now stop reading and enter that race…

For further advice on all things triathlon then please visit BFunctional, specialising in Personal Training and Performance Training.