A triathlon is a race that combines swimming, cycling, and running into a single event, making it a great fitness challenge. This also means that the training regimen is much different than training for a marathon, sea swim, or cycle race. While you must train for each individual event, and the transitions between them, having a strength training plan is especially important for beginner triathletes. Below are some training tips, and ideas to use as you train for a triathlon.
Building strength is often overlooked in favor of improving speed. However, you can do both. Combine strength training with individual swim, bike, and run sessions to build muscle while improving technique and speed.
Use shorter midweek sessions to focus on power in each discipline, by swimming against the current, running on an incline, or cycling in a higher gear for greater resistance. Then, use longer weekend sessions to focus on transitions and distance. Then, add in strength training routines 2 to 4 times per week. These should take 20-25 minutes and change every two weeks to offer variety and allow for progression.
Don’t avoid hills during training, even if the triathlon course is mostly flat. Learning how to efficiently climb and tackle hills helps to build strength and improves your overall form.
Your posture should change when you transition from a flat surface to a hill and vice versa. Remember to always look at where you are going and keep your chin up off your chest.
As a beginner triathlete, you are bound to feel some soreness and discomfort the day after training. This will subside as you get stronger, and you can use recovery techniques to reduce muscle pain.
Always take your time when learning a new exercise, and focus on your form. Consider asking for help from a friend, or performing the exercises in front of a mirror so you can check your posture. Be patient and give yourself time to work it all out safely.
This is to be done in addition to your running, biking, and swim training regimen to help build your overall body strength and prevent injury.
Using this strength training plan for beginner triathletes will help you to balance running, cycling, and swimming with building the muscles and stamina to support you throughout the race. Furthermore, regular strength training helps to minimize the risk of muscle injury during cardio. Incorporate the above strength training into your routine and see the difference in your fitness levels.