You’ve decided to participate in a triathlon, congratulations! That shows real commitment to your body and health.
You can’t just do a triathlon out of nowhere, though. At least most of us can’t. You’ve got to take the time to train and build up your body’s strength and endurance.
So how do you go about training for a triathlon? What exercises should you do? What should you focus on?
Should running, biking, or swimming be your focus? Or should you focus on all three?
Many website and companies will advertise having the best training routine for triathletes, but one size doesn’t fit all. And, they can’t all be the best.
To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a mix of exercises, tips, and routines that will help you train for the big event. Read on to see our recommendations and see how they can be adapted to you.
Strengthen Your Core
A triathlon has you swimming, biking, and running, so abdominal workouts may be the last thing on your mind. But they should really be the first thing you think of. A strong core will help you through every stage of the race.
Now that doesn’t mean you have to spend an hour doing crunches every day. That would get overly boring and there’s plenty of other ways to strengthen your core.
Start with planks. These exercises are great for core strength.
And you don’t have to limit yourself to basic planks, either. Shake things up a bit by adding some flutter kicks or knee drives to your planks. The variety will keep things interesting while you strengthen that core.
If planks aren’t your thing, there are other exercises you can do. Rowboats are one example.
Sit on the ground and alternate flutter kicks while holding your torso and legs up. This will definitely work that core without putting as much strain on the rest of your body.
You want your full body to be functioning as best as possible, so don’t neglect your core! Do core-strengthening exercises while you build up your triathlon abilities and throughout your training.
Your core isn’t the only part of your body you want to be strong. Strength training overall is a great idea when training for a triathlon.
Don’t be afraid to incorporate lunges, squats, and similar exercises into your routine. Weight training is great for strength too.
Go for exercises that strengthen every area of your body, including shoulders, arms, back, and legs. The stronger your body is overall, the better your ability to push it to the max.
Triathlons are endurance events. Help your body endure the entire race by giving it the best start possible.
Focus On Each Element
Since a triathlon incorporates three different kinds of races, you’ve got a lot to train for. Simplify it by focusing on each element of the race. There are certain things you’ll want to work on for each sport.
Chances are, you aren’t fantastic at running, biking, and swimming. Maybe you’re lucky enough to be great at all three, but most of us will need to work harder at one thing more than the other.
Focus on becoming better at your weakest sport, but still focus on all three. Don’t train for only one or two, you need to be prepared for every element of the race!
Research various running, biking, and swimming routines and consider how they’ll work together. You want to work on each sport, but in a way that doesn’t push your body too much.
An actual triathlon event is long, but that doesn’t mean you have to start out training big. In fact, you should start small. Remember, everyone was a beginner at some point!
Something as simple as a 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometer bike ride, and 5-kilometer run is just fine.
And don’t worry about making time to train every day. A few hours a week is enough to help you get started. And, it’s good to let your body rest instead of pushing it every day.
As you train, don’t forget to stretch! Getting enough sleep is important too. Stretching and sleeping will both help your body be in tip-top shape, and it will need to be.
Find the Perfect Balance
While you don’t want to push yourself too much, you also don’t want to be too lax. Overexerting yourself can lead to injury and kill your desire to train. Not doing enough will prevent you from getting to where you want to be.
As you create your training routine, seek for balance. You need to build your ability, and you need to do that in three different sports. Make sure you give enough time and focus to each while not over or under exerting yourself.
The Best Training Routine for Triathletes
There’s no one perfect training routine for triathletes. While you should be working on improving your swimming, biking, and running, there’s not one right way to do it.
Don’t be afraid to start small. Always start at the right place for your fitness level. If you’re a beginner you’ll be starting your training at a different point than an experienced athlete and that’s okay!
Make sure you take time to train for each sport, working hard to improve in your weakest areas. And don’t forget to devote time to strength training. Your body will thank you for it!
We’ve given you a handful of ideas without steps so you can build your own training plan. If you’re looking for something more detailed, check out our week-by-week triathlon training guide.