Are you wondering how to start triathlon training from scratch?
If you’re a beginner triathlete or you’re new to exercise and you’ve taken on a new challenge, read on for tips on how to get started in triathlon.
When you first start your triathlon journey there is a lot to learn. It is an exciting time for you and hopefully your motivation is high.
If you are starting from scratch your fitness levels may be very low though, and this might feel very frustrating, uncomfortable and disheartening at first. Especially if you see others overtaking you with what seems like ease.
Stay motivated though, because your fitness gains will be quite swift, and the initial discomfort of being out of shape will soon go. The fitter you get the more enjoyable your triathlon training will become.
What To Consider When Triathlon Training From Scratch
Manage your expectations.
When you begin triathlon training from scratch keep your starting point in mind. If you’ve never trained before and you come from a largely sedentary lifestyle, you cannot expect to be winning straight away.
Even if you come from a different sports background, you might be very fit in you other sport – maybe rugby for example – but unfortunately this fitness may not translate into triathlon fitness.
It is not the most comfortable feeling in the world being unfit in a chosen sport, but things will get better as your fitness develops.
If you have been inspired by a friend who is heavily into triathlon and they ask you to ‘go for a run’ with them, don’t be put off by the pace being too much for you, or that they have to wait for you.
You will get fitter, things will get easier, you will enjoy it!
Have a plan
Planning your triathlon training is really important for several reasons:
By creating or following a training plan you will have more motivation than making it up as you go along. It can be very motivating knowing what you are doing. As it can be demotivating not knowing.
Follow a triathlon training plan so you know what to do and when to do it.
By having a plan to follow you will end up training more consistently. When it comes to training for triathlon consistency is king. It is more important than doing masses of training. Doing a moderate amount of training will result in great results if done consistently. Doing masses of training inconsistently wont.
By having a plan to follow you will be able to show progress. In turn this will help with your motivation as you see improvements in your fitness. And this will lead to further consistency in training.
By following a specific triathlon training plan you will ensure specificity for your sport. If you want to improve at swimming, cycling and running in triathlon, a specific training plan will help you do that.
Take it easy
When it comes to starting off in triathlon you’ll find your fitness improves very quickly. You’ll feel fantastic and want to do more.
Be careful not to over do it too soon. While your aerobic systems and your muscles will develop fairly rapidly in response to training stimulus, your tendons and ligaments are slower to adapt.
By taking it a little slower, and having a gradual increase in training volume and intensity, you will reduce the risk of injury.
Preventing overtraining is also important. While you want to train hard enough to elicit a fitness improvement, you also want to prevent overtraining.
Enter A Triathlon
If you are just starting out in triathlon you might not have a race in mind. If you really want to see fitness improvements there is nothing that focuses the mind than entering a race.
Entering a race will give you the commitment to train consistently.
Entering your first triathlon may feel scary or daunting, but if you do you will step up to the challenge and you will get a better result than if you don’t. By committing to an event you will be more likely to stick to your sport. While you may be triathlon training from scratch, there is no reason you can’t do a triathlon in the early days. Give yourself 12 weeks – depending on your background – and see how you get on.
Happy training, Nico.