Getting Started

Nervous about getting started? Don’t be! We have all the resources you need to start your triathlon career on the right track!While triathlon is an individual sport, it’s a great idea to train with a a club or a training partner. To get started you do need some essential gear: a swim suit and goggles, a bike and helmet, and some running shoes and a sports watch.

If you are planning to coach yourself I highly recommend reading a book on proper training methods. Some great books about triathlon training are:

  • Triathlete’s Training Bible by Joe Friel
  • The Complete Triathlon Book by Matt Fitzgerald
  • Champion Triathlon Training by George M Dallam and Steve Jonas. 

Training Basics

Training for a triathlon can be a long and grueling process that can take six months or more.The “A” race is the race in a season that is your most important race. Training will generally  be centered around this race and while triathletes generally compete in multiple triathlons during a season, the other races are considered tune ups or precursors to your “A” race.

In general there are four phases of training:

  • The Prebase is the first phase and this simply involves getting into shape five to seven months ahead of the race day.
  • The Base is the biggest part of the training schedule. During the base phase athletes spend several months building endurance and training volume.
  • Following the Base athletes enter the Build section of the season. During the build section, triathletes will continue to do endurance work, but they will add in some high intensity training.
  • In the month before an athletes A race they will reduce training volume and add speed.
  • Finally in the two weeks before an A race triathletes will significantly reduce volume to rest for the upcoming race.
How do you find the best way to train? Ask yourself what you like best. Do you like to have a partner to motivate you? Do you prefer to be on your own? If you like training with someone, ask a friend to train with you. Follow a plan. You can find plans online here. Otherwise, you can either choose to fit in training when you can (best for high school athletes) or hire a coach. 

Most Important Things to Consider When Training

  1. Have a goal – set goals for yourself! Without goals, motivation can be difficult to find.
  2. Have a plan – Whether it’s training on your own, with a friend, from an online plan or from a coach, choose a method of training that works for you and stick to it. 
  3. Put in the hours – Even the best training plan from the best coach won’t work if you don’t put in the hours. Make sure to put in the amount of time needed for your desired result so you’re not disappointed come race day!

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