How to Train Your Body for Full Triathlon Distances

triathlon distances

Swimming, cycling, and running. Can you do all three back to back?

Triathlons are the ultimate test of speed and endurance. If you’re really serious about completing one, read on for tips and advice on real triathlon distances.

Getting Ready For Your First Triathlon

A triathlon involves a half-mile swim, a ten-mile cycling ride, and a 5K run. Even though they might sound impossible at first, these triathlon distances are well within the capabilities of a healthy human.

In fact, you don’t need more than twelve weeks to train for your first triathlon, and if you are already fit, you can hope to finish your first one after just six weeks of training!

Your Triathlon Workout Week

During your prep time, you’ll want to work out about six hours a week, or roughly one hour daily. Ideally, your workout week should look like that:

  • Two days of swimming training
  • Two days of running training
  • Two days of cycling training

As a beginner, you might want to combine two forms of training in a single workout day. For example, go for a run after finishing a swim, or vice versa.

If you are a runner, cyclist or swimmer already, you’ve got a third of this covered. Incorporate the other two disciplines into your workout routine and go from there.

Solo, Group Training, and Personal Training

If you’re new to sports, you will want to either join a triathlon training group. There are thousands around the world, and you can use the internet to find those nearest to you. Group training is especially effective if you find yourself lacking motivation, as group members usually support each other.

If you can afford it, you can also hire your personal trainer. Your personal trainer has to be a triathlete to be able to set efficient periodized training for you.

It is not advisable to train for your triathlon distances on your own unless you are an experienced athlete. Even if you are experienced in one of the three disciplines, it is possible to focus too much on one discipline and exhaust yourself before the finish line.

Consistently Making Your Triathlon Distances

Going the full triathlon distances is the first goal, but doing it consistently and at better times, is the real challenge.

To become a real triathlon athlete, you need general conditioning, strength training, and combination workouts to maintain your fitness levels and consistently make your triathlon distances.

While not directly affecting your speed and endurance, strength training will help your triathlon efforts in a number of ways, including:

  • Improve running, swimming and cycling form
  • Boost efficiency
  • Decrease injuries

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Set Realistic Goals and Stay Motivated

Finishing a triathlon is a true life accomplishment every single time.

Whether you are a beginner just starting out, or a seasoned triathlete aiming for a medal, you need to have a clear goal as you run, cycle and swim through all those miles.

Motivation, support and proper education are crucially important. When sweating and panting to finish your triathlon distances, you need to remember that you are not alone.

Check out for a wealth of training tips and general health advice for experienced and aspiring triathletes alike!