Starting As a Beginner Triathlete
So you want to start training for your your first triathlon, huh? We think that is totally awesome! Great job! And you’ve come to the right place; we’re here to help you get started and to support you along the way as you train for your beginner triathlon!
Before you get going with beginner triathlon training, something that we will need to determine is what kind of physical condition you are starting from. If you run 5 miles a day or are an avid mountain biker, that’s a bit easier than if you are not used to any kind of physical activity.
But please don’t get discouraged if you fall under the latter; not only can you still do your first triathlon, it will be a great way to get off the couch and back into shape.
There’s more to it than just swim, bike, run for the triathlete beginner…
Make it a “Beginner” Triathlete Training Plan
I still remember getting my first triathlon training book in the mail. After spending much time reading reviews, I purchased the best book I could find online and anxiously waited for its arrival. When I tore open the cardboard box, there were three pictures of elite athletes sweating profusely with terrible grimaces on their faces.
As I read the first chapter, it seemed as if the author was trying to talk me out of doing my first triathlon by explaining how it’s the “most excruciatingly painful sport” ever. I put it down and didn’t pick it up again for nearly two years!
When training as a beginning triathlete, don’t bite off more than you can chew…
The best thing about a made-for-the-beginner triathlon training program is just that: it’s for beginners! I’ve seen way to many triathlon training schedules that start you off with 45 minutes of running or 60 minutes of swimming laps. Ugh, I’m discouraged already! Start with a triathlon training plan for beginners — one that shows you how to start with the new sport of triathlon from scratch.
“Must-knows” for beginner triathletes
Starting triathlon training can be very overwhelming — Jess and I know that and that is exactly why we started this triathlon blog. We break it down into bite-sized pieces so you don’t have to dive in too deep with your training right away.
Here are some excellent triathlon training tips that we learned the hard way and wish we knew as beginners.
Beginner Triathlete Do’s…
1. Find a mentor – If you find someone who already has a little bit of triathlon experience they can teach you all the shortcuts and lend you some advice that will save you from reinventing the wheel. A mentor will really pay off saving you time, money, and possible injury with the helpful tips they can offer.
2. Get the right gear – No it doesn’t have to be expensive, and it can even be borrowed, but you’ll find it helpful to have good running shoes, a proper bike set up, and a wetsuit that fits. Read about Jess’ Beginner Triathlete’s Swim Gear Guide, Bike Gear Guide and Run Gear Guide by clicking on the links.
3. Practice your transitions – Swimming, biking, and running: you may have them mastered as individual sports, but what happens when you put them all together into one event? Check out our Beginner Triathlete Transition Tips as well as our Race Day Checklist to help give you confidence as you put all three sports together.
4. Use stretching and strength training workouts – Triathlon training is not only about cardio and endurance. To gain better results faster, use cross-training workouts and you’ll find many added benefits (like my favorite, a sexy and toned body!). A strength training workout will also help you avoid injury and a stretching routine will help you recover from your workouts faster. Ladies, are you hesitant to do a strength training program because you don’t want to bulk up? Check out Jess’s post: Triathlon Strength Training- A Message For The Ladies. And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for some great triathlon workout videos! Make sure you stretch afterwards!
5. Understand triathlon diet and nutrition – Donuts and coffee sure taste good, but they sure won’t fuel your triathlon training for very long. Unfortunately many triathletes (beginner or not) completely miss the boat with their diet and nutrition plans ultimately sacrificing energy levels, performance, and slowing recovery time. Check out our Triathlon For Weight Loss Nutrition Guide for nutrition tips, and delicious recipes.
8. Train Your Brain – It’s important to train your body to build endurance and stamina for your first triathlon, but it’s also just as important to build mental toughness and visualize your success. Our Beginner Triathlon Training Program provides you with weekly strategies and tips from motivational life coach and triathlete, Doug, that will help you overcome fears, face challenges with confidence and persevere when things get tough.
7. Use a REALLY good program – Long story short, there are tons of beginner triathlete training plans out there, some good, some worthless. Take some time to find one that will meet your needs as a beginner. Read reviews, ask around, and read up to find the info that will best help you. A triathlon training plan for beginners could make or break the future of someone new to the sport of triathlon.
Jess and I have worked really hard on creating a really good plan to help beginners training for their first triathlon. Actually, anyone could use it to pick up lots of helpful tips to improve their personal record, but it’s designed to break down triathlon training for the beginner. We use a step-by-step video training system that guarantees you’ll finish your race with a smile on your face. It’s very cool, so check out our beginner triathlon training plan here.
Beginner Triathlon Training Dont’s…
1. Don’t over train – As a personal trainer, I’ve seen it far too often and it is a big problem. What happens is that people want to get into shape so bad — and so fast — they end up working out too hard, too often and finally end up burning out, or worse, suffering injury. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Consistency is key…especially with triathlon training for beginners.
2. Don’t spend too much on new gear – Hey, this is your very first triathlon. I know that you will absolutely love it, but until you know that you love it and want to do more triathlons, you can simply minimize your investment and borrow or rent your gear — especially the big ticket items such as a bicycle or wetsuit.
3. Don’t try new things on race day – The day of the race is not the right time to experiment with new gear or change your swimming stroke. Practice up and be sure you are familiar and feel comfortable using all your gear and transitioning with it.
4. Don’t skimp on your triathlete nutrition – It’s not that complicated but can feel like a miracle! If you challenge your body in new physical ways and it will require more, and better quality nutrition. It’s not that hard to dial in your diet, and doing so will give you huge advantage in your training, make you feel better and more energetic all day, as well as keep your body lean, toned and sexy.
5. Don’t wait too long to register – What are you waiting for? The longer you wait the harder it gets to commit and start training. No more excuses! Signing up early helps motivate you to get into a groove with your training and give you plenty of time to get the kinks worked out and be fully prepared and fully confident in yourself on race day. Be brave! Sign up for a triathlon! (click to read a great post by Jess.)
Beginner Triathlete Training Success!
Here’s to your success with your triathlon training as a beginner, and we hope that you not only enjoythis fun journey, but it takes you to new and exciting places in life.
I promise that it will be worth it, and that you will be so glad you did it. Your family will be proud of you and friends will be impressed (if not jealous!) or your commitment and new-found confidence.
Go for it! And we’ll be here at TwoTri.com cheering you on all the way!
Trainer Davey Anderson and Jess
For more info about our Beginner Triathlon Training Plan, click here.
We’d love to connect with you!
Posted by Trainer +Davey Anderson