Quantcast
My TriFind
Login / Register
My Saved Races
Race Calendars
Find by State
Custom Search
International Races
Popular Searches
Events by Sport
Our Other Sites
News & Info
Triathlon News
History of Triathlon
Injury Information
Tips for Beginners
Triathlon Spelling
Triathlon Media
Triathlon Magazines
Triathlon Videos
Multisport Books
Race Directors
Add Your Event
Advertise on TriFind

This page presented by Endless Pools Swimming Machines

The Beginner's Road Map

Have you ever looked up at a mountain you are about to climb and thought, “How in the world am I going to get up there?” Maybe you’ve felt the same way about triathlons. The desire to get to the top is there, but you have no idea which trail to take. The best trail to start out on is the beginning trail or the sprint distance. For a beginning triathlon program, you can spend as little as 2 hours a week training.

 

At the IceBreaker Triathlon in American Fork, Utah on March 29th, I asked a few first time triathletes the best advice they’ve been given. Here is what they told me: For your first triathlon it’s a good idea to have one goal: to finish. After the race, evaluate your performance and choose one thing to improve for the next triathlon, supposing there will be one. Focus on becoming more comfortable with your weak sport. Just go out there and have fun. Cheer for those around you as you pass each other.

 

Those are great suggestions, but may not help you climb that mountain. A map will help you get there and below are suggested trail markers that will take you to the top.

 

  1. Set your goal: pick a sprint distance triathlon you want to compete in that is between 12 and 20 weeks away. Less than 12 is not enough time to prepare and more than 20 can cause burnout without proper training. If swimming is not your strength, you may want to consider the type of swim you will be most comfortable with: pool swim versus open water swim.

 

Now you have at least 12 weeks to become acquainted with the course which is usually found on the triathon’s website. Do it. Come race day, know the course.

 

  1. Determine how much time you can devote to training. Write down how many hours each week and how many hours each day you have to train. Think about all your commitments: family, work, and other responsibilities. Sometimes it’s good to get your family involved so they understand what you are doing and so they can support you. Hey, maybe they’ll want to start training with you! Many triathlete coaches suggest the minimum number of hours for a beginner sprint triathlon training program is two. Seven to eight hours is the most you will need to spend, but you can train more than that as well; as long as it is done correctly.

 

  1. Gather your tools. If you aren’t involved with any of the events, you will need a few basic items to get started. As you get into the sport of triathlon, you may want to invest more in your gear, but here is a list of basic items that you really can’t do without.

 

Swim: swimsuit, cap, goggles, wetsuit (if swimming in cold open water)

Bike: bike, helmet

Run: shoes

 

It would probably be a good idea to have something to bike and run in. You can either throw on a tee shirt and shorts or spend a bit more and get a tri suit.

  1. Decide what training program is right for you. Have you already been working out? Are you coming off the couch? Do you come from a running (swimming or biking) background? The answers to these questions will determine what type of training program you choose. If you already workout several times a week, you may want to choose the beginner advanced, however, if you are coming off the couch you will want to start with the very beginner program and keep the intensity low at first. If you come from a running background and want to focus on swimming because that is your weak link, then you may want to choose the swim emphasis program.

 

 

Number of times each week

Hours per week

Swim

Bike

Run

Very Beginner Program

1-2

1-2

1-2

2

Beginner Program

2

2

2

2-4

Swim Emphasis

3

2

2

2.5-4.5

Bike Emphasis

2

3

2

2.5-5

Run Emphasis

2

2

3

2.5-4.5

Beginner Advanced

3

3

3

4-8

 

  1. A few more questions: Are you overweight? Do you have previous injuries? BEFORE STARTING TO TRAIN, you probably should consult your doctor, especially if you are overweight or have health problems.

 

If you are committed to loosing weight and understand the benefits then climbing this mountain is still within your grasp. Individuals interested in a total conditioning program (which could include weight loss) can contact the author for a free DVD.

 

  1. Start training! There are many theories and training programs out there. A basic program should include training for each sport at least 2 times a week with usually no more than 4. Rest and patience is important… you are training for three events and cannot workout at maximum intensity every time. Doing this will lead to over-training, fatigue, sickness, and injury. Below is a simple beginner program format where X equals time. 

 

Week:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

1

Swim- X

Run- 20 min

Bike- X

Off

Run- 20 min

Swim- X

Bike- X

Off

2

Swim- X+10%

Run- 22 min.

Bike- X+10%

Off

Run- 22 min

Swim- X+10%

Bike- X+10%

Off

 

  1. Eat right and drink at least 64 oz. of water throughout the day.

Stay on course, follow the trail markers, and discover success. This road map will take you to the top.

 

Happy training!


jAmiE Hubbard
Superior Tri Sports

USA Triathlon Certified Coach
Swimming Coach / Instructor
BS Exercise Science/Fitness & Wellness Management: BYU
fitwithjamie@gmail.com
801-979-3197