Home > Athletics > Preparing for a Triathlon

Preparing for a Triathlon

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 6 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Preparing For A Triathlon

Competing in a triathlon is not for the faint-hearted and, as it combines running, cycling and swimming, you’ll have different training regimes for each particular discipline, all of which will differ from person to person and to condense each of these into one short article would be impossible. For the purposes of this article however, it’s going to be broken down into training phases. From the basic training you’ll need to focus on initially to more intense preparation as you get closer to the race, to competition ‘season’ itself and, not forgetting recovery – which is as much a part of triathlon preparation as any training itself.

The Triathlon Season

Most of the major triathlon events of the UK season tend to occur between May and October of each year, although there are partial variations of the event over shorter distances or throughout the year. These events are held all over the country and the best way of finding out what events are happening near to where you live is to visit the British Triathlon Association’s website which features a calendar outlining all of the various events for the year ahead. Once you have identified a triathlon(s) in which you want to apply to compete, then you should start your basic training about 3 months ahead of the scheduled date.

Basic Preparation

Here you’ll be simply concentrating on drill sessions for each of the disciplines and it won’t be that intensive at first but will be quite lengthy and often a bit repetitive. It’s also the time for any strength training if you need to do some and to get to grips with any new equipment you intend to use, the most obvious being a bike. During this period, you should monitor and keep an ongoing record of improvements in times and also keep records of your heart rate.

Although you’re still building up to full competition, you should be looking to improve your speed and time completions in each of the disciplines and this is where some of the smaller events on the calendar in the early part of the year can come in useful.

By competing in one or two of these partial events, you can gauge improvement by entering events that just focus on one specific discipline such as the sprint alone or an aquathlon which just contains the swimming and running elements or a duathlon which focuses on the running and cycling. This gives you an opportunity to focus more on the particular discipline(s) you feel you need to work most on in order to improve.

Intense Preparation

After 3 months and close to the triathlon itself you should be at your peak both stamina wise, fitness wise and with your technique, the objective now is simply to build up more speed. It’s all about the intensity level where you’re getting your heart working to the top of its capacity and this is where you should really begin to see the improvements in your times. Keep a log book of your heart rate and times and see how they progress.

Competition Season

Most serious triathletes will compete in a number of races covering different distances and conditions within a season. You’ll no doubt have other commitments like work and family to also fit in so it’s important not to overdo it. Your fitness levels will be at their peak and simple basic training will be enough if you’re competing on a fairly regular basis just leading up to small periods of intensity training just before a race.

Don’t get despondent if your improvement seems to stand still or dips slightly below peak performance from time to time. This is perfectly natural. If all athletes just kept on improving each time they competed, the 100m would be run faster than a bullet can travel. The reality is different however and the human body has its limitations so you should be prepared for the fact that you’ll probably hit your peak performance capabilities maybe twice over the course of a given season, no matter how well you’ve prepared.

Recovery and Overtraining

One of the major causes of injury and poor performance by any athlete is their obsession with training and it’s this that mostly causes the damage or limits performance. You can actually try too hard. Muscles need rest not only for recuperation but rest enables them to become stronger so make sure you build in rest days into your training schedule or you could actually be doing more harm than good which could ultimately result in muscle strains, tears and complete muscle ruptures so allowing a good 48 hours between training sessions and working a routine where you’re focusing on different muscle groups each time you train will be the best way to maintain a healthy training regime and is more likely to keep you injury free.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Kaz
    Re: Darts Safety
    Is it safe for students of 14 to 16 years old to play darts in a pupil referral unit. Is there any health and safety rules
    20 November 2017
  • zozo
    Re: Training For Competitive Sports
    This articale can really help people with losing weight.
    27 October 2017
  • SafeSport
    Re: Dealing With Muscle Cramp
    The bod - Your Question:This website helped understand the quantum physics behind these types of injuries such as a ankle break I had…
    29 March 2017
  • The bod
    Re: Dealing With Muscle Cramp
    this website helped understand the quantum physics behind these types of injuries such as a ankle break i had no idea that the muscle…
    28 March 2017
  • Adele
    Re: Safety Tips For Playing Cricket
    This website is very good, I wish these people would stop club penguin hates
    28 February 2017
  • Real Kian
    Re: Safety Tips For Playing Cricket
    I don't like you using my name without my permission I'm reporting you fraud
    10 February 2017
  • Prof.Tom Wood
    Re: Safety Tips For Playing Cricket
    Im in a priority group and play at high standard and think that its bestest and betterer than you boylan haha you are bad 1v1…
    10 February 2017
  • Boylan
    Re: Safety Tips For Playing Cricket
    I think that cricket is the best I'm a regular player and think this is the greatest everer omg so good!!
    10 February 2017
  • Zishi
    Re: Safety Tips For Playing Cricket
    I'm a great cricket player, the only thing that bugs me is the safety side of it. After watching cricket last year and to see…
    9 July 2016
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SafeSport website. Please read our Disclaimer.