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jgrissett's avatar

Triathlon advice?

Asked by jgrissett (468 points ) August 15th, 2011

I am wanting to do a Triathlon sprint, but I don’t know much about how to train for one. I am a decent athlete, but I would need to get into better shape before I signed up for one. Does anyone have any advice or tips? I just want to know where to start…

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4 Answers

creative1's avatar

Practice the bike/run portion to get you through what they call the bricks…. its when you feel like your feet have turned to bricks when you go to run after biking.

When I was training I had joined a club they had at the Y and they showed us a new form of swimming freestyle that actually makes you cut thru the water faster. You are up on your side more its a pretty cool way to swim, I would suggest looking ot see if there are any triathlon clubs in you area

Oh and one more thing we used to join in with the different bikers in the area and all bike together regardless what they were training for we were all just biking.

tranquilsea's avatar

Practise open water swimming as it is quite a bit different from swimming in a pool. Here’s a timely article from the New York Times

gondwanalon's avatar

I do 3 summer time sprint triathlons per year. I run 30 to 50 miles, cycle 60 miles and do 4 swim workouts (20 minutes each) per week.

The swim is the critical part of the triathlon for most new triathletes. Make sure that you are capable of a half mile swim in open water. If you can do that then you are in good shape.

Once you have signed up for a sprint triathlon, here are some tips that helped me. I learned them the hard way:

Start the swim off to the side of the field of swimmers to avoid congestion. I’ve noticed that a lot of swimmers start too fast and then seem to stall out. If you are directly behind them, then you have to work harder to just get around them. A start way to the left or right of the field of swimmers will avoid the congestion. You will swim a slightly longer distance but it is well worth it. Also very important is to start your swim slowly so that you don’t get out of breath. It is much harder to get your breath back in the water than on land.

After the swim concentrate on making a smooth and quick transition to the bike. Once on the bike put everything that you have into it (all of your concentration and all of your energy). Then survive the run as best as you can.

If you can afford a full length triathlon wetsuit consider getting one. I swim faster in one because it helps my body to ride high in the water kind of like a surfboard.

Good training!

robmandu's avatar

The brick – running after biking – is often a wall for a lot of folks. So practice it. Run after every bike ride, even if just a mile and not the full distance.

Many sprint swim legs are done in swimming pools with distances as short as 300m… should take you less than 6 minutes. If your sprint is done in a lake or other “open water” venue, then they typically run 500 to 750m. I prefer open water but you shouldn’t be surprised by kicks or elbows to your head. And you’ll need to practice sighting landmarks so you can swim a straight line. I typically will count 30 strokes, look up to correct path, and swim 30 more.

And also, practice your transitions… that’s the part where you come out of the water and gear up for the bike (a.k.a. T1). Or off the bike to ready for the run (a.k.a. T2). You can lose a lot of time tying your shoes or unpacking socks or trying to find your helmet. Learn how to have it all laid out in proper order so you can prepare quickly.

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