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For First Timers



Very exciting 🙂  When I trained for my first one I used this plan: (I cut and pasted the plan and put it in excel to help me track, because I’m anal like that)  It is for an Olympic Distance Tri (1 mile, 15-20 miles and 10k) but my tri was .75 miles, 15 miles and 4 miles so it really helped me feel prepared.  The first time I trained I pretty much followed it to a T, not necessarily the days of the week, but I got in the amount needed and felt totally prepared.  The second time, I was not good about following it and felt a lot less prepared.
Below is another type of training plan you could use if it fits you better.  Both sites, trifeul and beginner triathlete are good resources.

The important stuff-

If you don’t swim a lot, get in swimming time- it is the first event and you’ll be anxious, so better to go in knowing you can do it easily than being worried about being prepared.  Generally, the swims are easy although depending on how many people they let go at once it can be overwhelming at teh beginning.  The way I approach the swim is to just swim, not to be competitive with myself or those around me.  That way, when I exit the water I’m not exhausted and I’m ready to take on the next two legs.

Biking- you HAVE to have a road bike.  My friend did her first tri on a mountain bike and she was miserable.  Get in a lot of on the road bike practice- so you have the shifting down.  Do hills, do LOTS of hills.  My first time I would road bike when I was in NH but for the majority of the training I did spin classes and would stay after class and keep spinning to get in the time needed for my training that day.

Running- do you run now?  If yes, the one thing you should be prepared for is that after you get off the bike, your legs will feel like they’re made of jello and you won’t really know what is going on or how to keep moving, you are running though, so just keep going the feeling will subside!  If you don’t run now, at all- then I might start with a couch to 5k program just to get yourself moving.  If you run a little, but not a lot- then just listen to your body as you increase your mileage.  Don’t focus on speed, just focus on increasing mileage.  If you focus on both you’ll hurt yourself.  As much as you can, try to train with out music and by yourself so that you’re prepared for race day (no music, and probably no buddies to chat with, although I do tend to chat people up on the run, makes things bearable.)

The most important thing I can offer, especially after injuring myself badly this year is listen to your body.  If something hurts, stop and then rest and ice.  If something feels like it may hurt if you keep going, stop and rest and ice.  I don’t know how competitive you are, but I get really competitive- especially with myself and I push myself beyond my limits.  For the most part, this has worked for me and I do know my body and how hard I can push it.  However, I recently pushed too far and too hard and I’ve been unable to run for a month which is utterly depressing for me.  So- let that be a lesson!  Don’t beat yourself up if you have to miss a day for any reason, you can make it up and don’t’ beat yourself up if you get hurt and need to take multiple days off, you’ll be better for it in the end.

Weights- a lot of plans talk about weight training.  I did a little bit during my first training season, and just Yoga during my second.  I would recommend trying to fit some in, but I honestly don’t know how necessary it is.

Gear- get good goggles, get fitted (if you can) for good running shoes and get padded bike shorts.  If you’re doing a late summer tri you shouldn’t’ need a wet suit.  I usually wear my sports bra under my bathing suit so I can just hop on the bike after (I have tri shorts, so I swim, bike and run in them).  I usually throw a shirt on over my bathing suit after the swim.  People may talk about/mention biking shoes- I don’t have them.  I really want to get them, they make a huge difference in the amount of energy you can put in to each pedal stroke.

Hmm- I think that is hopefully enough to get you started!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 10/02/2010 7:38 pm

    Brick sessions (running off the bike) should never be missed during tri training. Wobbly leg syndrome is horrible if you haven’t practiced it! Sensible advice re:injuries. I lost months to ITB because I ignored the signs and tried to push through the pain. I now know better.

  2. Avinoam permalink
    09/19/2011 4:58 am


    Great Post. Enjoy reading it.


  3. primoseto permalink
    06/25/2012 12:37 pm

    i have the other source of practice schedule.. check this out

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