Welcome to the den of athletic dedication and achievement. You may be wondering what you’re doing here, why you’ve signed up for; are you absolutely out of your mind to put your body on the line and test your willpower against fellow inductees? A triathlon isn’t an impossibility reserved for the fit and experienced; if you haven’t ran a kilometre in ten years, shudder at the thought of a blistering cycle leg or feel out-of-shape and defeated by your own lack of confidence, then a triathlon is perfect for you. Follow our five simple tips to get started on your athletic road to personal glory.
What Do You Want?
We stride through life in control of our surroundings, making decisions around long term business strategies and implementing complex infrastructure – in fact, most of us are more comfortable in making choices for companies, family units or other people, neglecting the question of what drives us. When you have a quiet moment, sit down and draw up a written list (not typed) of what you want to achieve and how long your first triathlon will be – physically rounding out these words and goals will not only promote ownership, but also solidify your commitment. For an extra dose of inspiration, ask your partner, flatmate or friend to witness your goals, sign off and display the list somewhere public.
Every Fitness Journey Starts Here
If you’re fortunate and live near accessible bike paths and running tracks, skip the gym membership, you have everything you need at your fingertips. Invest in a good triathlon rig – there are a wide range of Merida road bikes to get you started, catering to most budgets. A base workout plan will help you to establish a median level of fitness, reducing joint issues later on and most of all, you’ll find yourself getting into a rhythm.
Running Base: Try a walk/jog program, start out with 30 second sets of walking and jogging, on a rotational basis. Repeat three times a week for 30 minutes per session – you’ll end up jogging for 15 minutes without even realising it! Increase jogging increments by five seconds per week until you feel confident and able to lengthen your stride to a run.
Pulling Your Weight
Weight training has countless benefits to all athletes and everyday gym junkies. A regular routine, incorporated into a triathlon regime, will strengthen failing joints, stimulate muscle activity and re-organise muscle mass to accommodate lean muscle. You’ll probably feel like a truck hit you at first; to stave off the I-don’t-want-to-go syndrome, recruit a friend to weight train with you, so you can push each other and gain that competitive edge. Remember: High reps build a stronger body. Challenge yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re unsure what machines are best for you.
Congratulation, you are now ready to start training for the running, cycling and swimming stages of your triathlon. If you’d like a little professional help and don’t want to rely on PT Google, check if there’s any support clubs in your area or talk to a PT.