Find out a series of helpful tips on how to get started if you decide to take up triathlon and how to effectively prepare for your first competition. Triathlon is a relatively young sport and allows athletes to show all their best qualities. The competition begins with swimming in open water. After that, you need to quickly change to a bike and cover a certain distance on it. The final stage of the competition is running.
If you decide to find out where to start triathlon classes, then you must first understand how serious the body is experiencing. Triathletes need to swim for several hours, and then drive and run about five tens of kilometers. Most often, people come to triathlon who already have at least basic training in one of the sports listed above.
According to statistics, former swimmers most often achieve high results. However, there are exceptions, and in many respects everything depends on the willpower of the athlete. If you want to try your hand at this challenging but exciting sport. Now we will tell you how to start triathlon training and how to organize the training process.
Triathlon for beginners: useful tips
Let's start with a few guidelines that will definitely help you.
- Olympic standards require you to swim 1.6 kilometers, cycle 42 kilometers and run another 10 kilometers on the highway. It is quite obvious that it is necessary to start from small distances, gradually approaching Olympic standards.
- You will have to train daily and in any weather. You can start exercising yourself. But we recommend that you seek advice from an experienced trainer.
- To achieve high results, you should alternate the stages of preparation.
- During swimming, athletes use wetsuits, which are quite difficult to change to regular sneakers. It is important to remember this, because the time lost during the dressing period can negatively affect the final result.
- After swimming and cycling for a long time, running another 10 kilometers can be a daunting task. We recommend combining cycling and running in one block.
- The triathlete's special clothing looks beautiful, but you should not buy it right away due to the rather high cost.
- We recommend using a floor pump to quickly inflate the wheels of your bike.
- Special two-layer socks are available at sporting goods stores. They will help to avoid the appearance of calluses.
- We recommend checking your heart rate every day after waking up. If this indicator is 10 percent or more higher than normal. You should skip class.
Triathlon training program - training
Here's a rough workout plan for the week:
- Monday - 45 minutes swimming at moderate intensity, 45 minutes cycling, moderate intensity. There is no running training.
- Tuesday - 60 minutes low intensity swim, 60 minutes high intensity interval jogging. Cycling is not available.
- Wednesday - 45 minutes high intensity bike, 60 moderate intensity cross country running. Swimming is relaxation.
- Thursday - 45 minutes high intensity swim, 45 minutes low intensity jogging for recovery. Cycling is not available.
- Friday - practicing swimming technique at a distance of 1.5 kilometers. There are no other sports.
- Saturday - 60 minutes of cycling at low to moderate intensity (Brick session). Two hours of running at low to moderate intensity. There are no pool sessions.
- Sunday - 45-minute recovery swim workout in the evening, biking 50 kilometers. There is no running training.
Do not get hung up on what specific sports discipline you are doing. You need to focus on the right training intensity and eat right. Since between classes you will not have the opportunity to rest for more than three days, special attention should be paid to the correct diet. Below we will talk about the features of all types of training and the corresponding nutrition.
In any sport, low-intensity activities have the same format. You need to work for a maximum of one hour at a slow pace, when you can calmly carry on the conversation during the training. As a result, you will receive a charge of energy, which then must be correctly distributed between the two remaining sports disciplines. Here are specific examples of organizing low-intensity training:
- Swimming for a maximum of one hour in your favorite style. In this case, the IVN should be five points on the Borg scale.
- Cycling for 60 minutes at a heart rate of 50 percent or less of your maximum heart rate. This activity allows you to develop aerobic endurance.
- Running training is carried out in the same way as cycling. Maintain a pace that is two minutes slower than your competition.
Since classes are conducted at a low intensity, then you do not need an additional source of energy. However, this is true provided that the duration of the workout does not exceed 60 minutes. You can train on an empty stomach and the body will have enough energy obtained from glycogen and fat reserves. In other words, low-intensity training can be done at any time, since there is no need to "refuel" before starting a session.
On days when a lesson with low intensity will be held, for each kilogram of body weight, it is necessary to consume no more than three grams of carbohydrates and 0.75-1 gram of protein compounds. It will be enough for you to eat three times a day. In this case, the serving size of complex carbs should be equal to your fist. You also need to add a handful of protein sources to this food. We recommend adding to this a salad of fresh vegetables without any quantity restrictions. For a snack, you can use fruits or vegetables.
If, before the start of the competition, you have planned one workout, then the amount of carbohydrates per kilo of body weight should already be from 5 to 7 grams, and protein compounds should be consumed in an amount of 1–1.5 grams per kilo. After the first training session, it is imperative to consume recovery foods. This will activate the processes of replenishing energy reserves for the second session.
It is equally important to drink enough water throughout the day. Drink often, but not a lot of fluids. The urine should remain light yellow. When you have planned two lessons for the day, we suggest that you get acquainted with an example menu:
- 60-minute low-intensity session - for breakfast pita with omelette after training in 30 minutes. Snack - banana.
- 45 Minute High Intensity Workout - Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup for lunch. For an afternoon snack, try a mango and cranberry smoothie. Eat fish and potatoes, mango, kiwi, and hot chocolate for dinner.
Moderate intensity session
There are already some differences depending on the sport discipline. We offer you to get acquainted with an approximate plan of training programs:
- Running workout - 10-minute warm-up and immediately after its completion, run at an accelerated pace for 20 to 40 minutes. This is the so-called "threshold run", when the athlete moves at a speed of 30 seconds less in comparison with the competitive one, but close to the latent threshold.
- Cycling lesson - the duration of the training is from 1 to 1.5 hours, and the pace of movement should be moderate. Focus on the fact that you can speak calmly during the trip, however, you have to take an extra breath between sentences. Your heart rate should be between 60 and 70 percent of your maximum.
- Swimming - warm-up (100 meters at a slow pace). After a 30-second rest, eight approaches are performed, each of which has 4 heats for a distance of 25 meters. Cool down - swimming 100 meters at a slow pace.
You need to eat food in small portions during the day preceding these exercises. Here is a sample menu on the day of moderate intensity training:
- 50 grams of oatmeal.
- 1 or 2 slices of malted bread.
- One toast.
- A jar of Greek yogurt with one or two teaspoons of honey.
High intensity lesson
These trainings are carried out at or even above the lactate threshold. The main purpose of high-intensity training is precisely to increase the lactate threshold so that you can swim, run or cycle faster. Consider a rough workout plan:
- Running workout - six runs, each 6 minutes long, with pauses between them 120 seconds long. Surely you will breathe heavily while running, but breathing must be controlled. If your start is too fast, then you may not have enough strength for all six sets.
- Cycling lesson - training is carried out on a flat surface in the format of interval races 5x5. The heart rate should be 80-90 percent of the maximum.
- Swimming - to warm up at a calm pace, cover a distance of 200 meters. After a 30 second rest, do four 25-meter heats with an 8-9 Borg IVN. Again a 30-second rest and overcoming the 200-meter distance at a moderate pace. Then 8 heats of 25 meters with a 15 second pause between them. The entire sequence above must be repeated three times.
Conducting high-intensity training requires supplying a large amount of complex carbohydrates to the body. If a woman conducts one workout a day, then for every kilogram of body weight, it is necessary to consume 5 grams of carbohydrates. With two sessions, this figure will already be 7 grams per kilo of body weight. Men will need 7 and 10 grams of carbohydrates with one and two sessions, respectively.
If you do a high-intensity activity in the morning, then provide your body with carbohydrates in the evening. You should have breakfast at least an hour or two before the start of the lesson. When your workout is scheduled for the evening, you should consume one gram of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight during each of the three main meals. If you are combining triathlon with work, then you need to carry food with you to provide your body with all the necessary nutrients.
Learn more about preparing for the Beginner Triathlon in this video: