Five steps to start a beginner triathlon training program
Posted Mar 13 2010 5:55am
Let's face it - there is a plethora of information for the seasoned
triathlete who has a pretty good idea of what they're doing, but not much
good information to help a rookie navigate the steps to starting a beginner
triathlon training program. These five steps will give you solid direction
and a jumpstart to your beginner triathlon training program. And I promise
not to use any fancy lingo!
Beginner Triathlon Training Program Step #1.
Sign Up For A Race - the
biggest mistake that most beginner triathletes make is developing a vague
idea of some race in the future that they'd like to complete, without
actually signing up for that race. By taking that first brave step forward,
you send a clear message to your subconscious that you have in fact
committed to completing a triathlon. Nothing will light a fire under you
like actually signing up for a race.
Beginner Triathlon Training Program Step #2.
Have Your Swim Analyzed -
Because of the highly technical nature of swimming, which is more "form than
fitness", if you're going to spend money getting any type of face-to-face
coaching, your resources will best be invested in having some type of swim
expert, coach or Master's instructor look at your swim stroke. You can opt
to have your swim stroke videotaped, or have someone look at it live, but
prioritize getting an objective analysis of you in the water. Once you've
been told what you need to work at it, get in the water at every opportunity
possible, preferably at least three times a week if you can.
Beginner Triathlon Training Program Step #3.
Use Run/Walk Intervals - If
you're not accustomed to running for long periods of time, the utilization
of run/walk intervals is a great way to help ease your body into the rigors
of running. Try this method: head out your door and walk at a brisk pace for
5 minutes. Then run for as long as you can, even if it is just for 2
minutes. Once you're tired, walk again for as long as you ran (for example,
for 2 minutes). Repeat this scenario 3-5x through (run 2 minutes, walk 2
minutes, etc.). The next time you go out, do the run/walk intervals again,
but this time, walk for 30 less second than you ran. Continue to shorten the
walk each time, until you are doing a steady run. Once you're able to do the
steady run, start to increase your run volume by 10% per week.
Beginner Triathlon Training Program Step #4.
Choose A Bike - It's easy to
get intimidated or starry eyed by all the bike options out there. Here's the
deal: many triathletes do their first triathlon on an old mountain bike, and
feel just as fantastic and satisfied as the guy on the $10,000 bike.
However, your comfort and speed will be dramatically improved if you can get
your hands on a road bike. Craiglist, ebay, roadbikeclassifieds, and your
local triathlon club will all have good deals on used road bikes, as well as
used aero bars that you or your local bike shop can put on the road bike, if
you feel like riding in the aero position (not necessary, but also an
advantage). If you're nervous about falling off a "skinny tire" bike, just
practice on a soft surface, like your local golf course (look out for
balls!) or in a park with short grass.
Beginner Triathlon Training Program Step #5.
Don't Ignore Your Core -
Swimming biking and running are not going to address all the crucial muscles
that you need to stay uninjured, fit and fast. By hitting the weight room,
even if just 2-3 times per week for 20-30 minutes, you're going to do
yourself a big service when it comes to injury prevention and building a
solid foundation upon which you can comfortably swim, bike and run. Which
muscles should you focus on? Prioritize the abdominals, low back and outer
hip muscles, also known as your core!
Those five beginner triathlon training program tips will launch you in the
right direction, but remember that it's crucial that you find good social
support and ongoing instruction to grow you in your journey as a triathlete.
Reach out and find your local triathlon club, favorite triathlon blogs, good
Triathlete magazines, and even consider options like the Rock Star
Triathlete Academy at
which is full of tips and tricks for complete triathlon beginners all the
way up to advanced athletes trying to qualify for Kona!
Ben Greenfield is the Renaissance man of the sport of triathlon.
He's a fast triathlete, a coach, a personal trainer, and much more