Jen Rulon

How do Beginners Train for Triathlon?

Training for a triathlon can be a daunting task, especially for beginners who are new to endurance sports.

Here are some tips for getting started with triathlon training:

Set a Realistic Goal

Choose a triathlon that is appropriate for your fitness level and experience. For beginners, a sprint-distance triathlon (typically a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, and 5-kilometer run) is a good place to start.

Many athletes will start off as runners and then they want a challenge beyond the marathon. It starts as a sprint triathlon, then an Olympic Triahtlon, Ironman 70.3, and then the Ironman Triahtlon! 

BUT, one step at a time! 

Build a Training Plan

Create a training plan that includes workouts for swimming, cycling, and running. Start with shorter distances and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts over time.

There are plenty of training plans online to buy or heck, you can go to Pinterest and find training plans. 

Just make sure it is designed by someone who has experience!

Focus on Technique

Spend time practicing the proper technique for each discipline. Work on improving your form in swimming, cycling, and running to avoid injury and increase efficiency.

When I work 1:1 with my athletes, I try to get them to send me videos of them swimming and running, so I can provide feedback for them. Those two videos are crucial for me as a coach. Cycling, you have to get outside and practice riding the elements. 

Include Strength Training

Incorporate strength training exercises into your routine to improve your overall strength and endurance. Focus on exercises that target the muscles used in swimming, cycling, and running.

If you have followed me for a while, I am a HUGE fan of strength training. Heck, I have my own app out with a TON of strength training workouts available! 

The key to strength training is to keep the muscle on as long as we can until we get specific with our workouts for the triathlons.

Rest and Recover

Allow time for rest and recovery between workouts. Listen to your body and adjust your training plan as needed to avoid overtraining and injury.

You know those days off that you do an “active recovery” workout. It is NOT a day off! Rest is crucial for all of us. Take that day off as a day off!

Seek Guidance

Consider hiring a coach or joining a triathlon training group to get guidance and support from experienced athletes.

Well, you know I was going to say that! HA! I have worked with athletes who are getting ready for a sprint triathlon to an Ironman Triathlon and their 13th Ironman Triathlon. I love the newbies and how it teaches me what I need to remember. Go back to the basics of coaching and that brings me joy! 

Remember, consistency is key when it comes to triathlon training. Stick to your training plan and stay committed to your goals, and you’ll be well on your way to completing your first triathlon.

Honestly, crossing the finish line to triathlon is the best feeling ever! Trust me; I remember it like it was yesterday!

If you want to get on a call with me, I would be happy to talk you through such things to see if there is anything that I have to offer! 

AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I have been coaching triathletes, runners, and cyclists for over 21+ years; I received my Master's Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. And as you may have learned, there is more to life than swimming, biking, and running. It is a lifestyle, and I am here to help you cross that finish line with a smile, whether it is an Ironman Triathlon or the Ironman of Life. You can find my knowledge shared in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Southwest Research Institute Human Performance Summit, Training Peaks Workshops, "Self Motivation Strategies for Women" on Amazon, Men's Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach—she's a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14, 2017.

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