5 Training Tips for the Beginner Triathlete

beginner triathlete

It’s hard to train for a bike race. It’s tough to train for a marathon. And it’s not any easier to train for a 400-meter swim.

But training for all three of these events–at the same time? Talk about intimidating!

If you’re a beginner triathlete, though, that’s exactly what you’re up against. But over 4 million triathletes have gone before you, and there’s no reason you can’t join their ranks too.

Are you wondering how to train for a triathlon? You’re in the right place.

In this post, we’ll outline five experts tips to take you from beginner triathlete to seasoned pro in no time.

1. Keep Workouts Short and Flexible

Chances are, you’re balancing your triathlon training with work and family responsibilities. Scheduling lengthy workouts every day of the week probably isn’t realistic.

Instead, focus on shorter, high-quality workouts aimed to meet your needs. This will also prevent training burnout. A mobile app is a great way to help you stay organized and focused.

Another helpful tip? Allow for flexibility in your training schedule. If it’s a brutally hot day, go for a swim instead of a run.

2. Focus on Your Weakness

Even the most elite athletes have weaknesses. If you don’t know what yours is, you’re sure to discover it during triathlon training.

It’s tempting to gloss over your weakness and stick with what you’re good at or what you like best. Don’t do it.

If you discover your knees ache while cycling or your freestyle stroke lacks power, don’t ignore. Dedicate more time to strengthening your weakness so you’ll be a well-rounded athlete on race day.

3. Master the Brick

The what? “Bricking” refers to doing two events back to back–which is exactly what you’ll do on race day.

The most challenging brick for most triathlon beginners is the transition from biking to running. The muscles changeover is especially difficult and needs to be practiced–a lot.

Experts recommend biking the full distance of your upcoming race and then running only a mile. This training method is enough to get your body used to the transition.

4. Watch What You Eat

You can train all day long until you’re blue in the face. But if you’re filling your stomach with junk, you’re going to run out of fuel fast.

It’s an inescapable truth: You can’t out-train bad nutrition. Triathlon training requires the right amount of protein and carbs to keep your body going.

Stick with lean meats and plenty of veggies and healthy carbs. Make sure you’re hydrating properly too–electrolytes should become your new best friend!

5. Go the (Right) Distance for You

Sure, it’s every triathlete’s dream to compete in an Ironman triathlon. And perhaps one day you will.

But for now, don’t bite off more than you can chew. One of the biggest mistakes that triathlon beginners make is signing up for a race that’s too long and too hard for them.

Start with a sprint tri (750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run) for your first competition. Gauge the way your body and mind respond. When you’re ready, you can start working up to Olympic or ultra triathlons.

From Beginner Triathlete to Seasoned Pro

For the beginner triathlete, triathlon training can be downright terrifying.

But it doesn’t have to be. By following these tips and being consistent in your training, you’ll be running, biking, and swimming your way to victory in no time!

Looking for more great training tips? Check out our latest posts for more inspiration.