How To Train For Your First Triathlon | An Introduction To Triathlon Training

- Okay, so you've plucked up the courage

and you've entered your first triathlon,

but where do you start?

- Well we are going to help you out.

GTN are going to be bringing you a series

of training videos to help you train

and prepare for your first triathlon.

- But wait, before we get stuck into the training,

let's make sure you're really ready,

and you know what to expect.

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- Well let's put it this way.

Some athletes will train almost all year

for an event so they hit it in the best shape possible.

- Well that's the ideal, and probably

what you'll find the pros doing,

but it's not always the way for everyone else.

So, I would recommend a minimum of 10 to 12 weeks

to fully prepare and be ready for your first triathlon.

- That's not to say it's not possible in less time,

but to turn up feeling relaxed and confident,

then this length of preparation should do the trick.

So we're going to be gearing these series of videos

to a 10 to 12 week training time.

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- We've got three sports to train for

and juggle, but how much time should we spend on each?

It's a tough question, and it's not as simple

as one rule fits all.

- If we take a triathlon event, about 1/5

of the total duration is swimming.

- 1/2 of the total duration is cycling.

- And the remaining 30% or so is running.

- Now it's not particularly scientific,

but if you weigh up the duration you spend training

on each discipline, then it's a pretty good starting point.

Let's say you can fit six training sessions

into your normal week, so you could break it down

as swimming twice, cycling twice,

and then running twice, but, they don't

all have to be the same length.

So, for example, you could cycle up to an hour in length,

you could have your swims at 30 minutes each,

and then your runs could be 40 minutes.

- But what should you do if, say,

you come from a swimming background?

Well, it's actually really common,

and you could probably get away with spending

a little less time on your stronger discipline,

and spending a bit more time working

on your weaker discipline, at least to get

them up to a comfortable level, and you can,

of course, play to your strengths,

but that's probably something for a little later on.

For now, we want to make sure

that you complete your first triathlon comfortably.

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- How hard should you go?

- Forget it!

Whilst training for your first triathlon,

it's mostly about completion, so following

a gradual and sensible plan that keeps you consistent

with your training is the key.

- I like to think of it as though you're building

a foundation block, so you can't start to go

forwards and upwards until you've got

a really solid base.

So, although it's quite often tempting

to want to go hard and fast now,

it could end up being detrimental

if you try and do it before you're ready.

- Well, we've got three disciplines,

that means three different sports to buy different kit for,

and then we've got a race kit too.

It really starts to add up when you buy all of that.

- But, unless you really want to,

you don't need to take out a mortgage for a new bike and kit

before you've done your first triathlon.

Now, as much as we're sure you're going to love this sport,

it's probably best you have a go

before you splash out on a big spend.

- So, here is a list of the main essentials

for your first triathlon.

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- A working bike.

Now, it doesn't have to be all singing all dancing

like this one, as long as you're comfortable,

and it's something that will get you around safely.

And, if you are keen on looking

at your aerodynamics, and you don't want to invest

in a tri bike, then you can try using

some tri bars like these that will fit on most road bikes.

- A tri suit. It's not essential.

In fact, I wore speedos and a t-shirt

for my first triathlon, but, looking back,

I slightly regret that now,

but you can get changed too.

However, I would say a tri suit

is a really worthwhile investment.

It's one suit for the whole race,

and it has padding for the bike,

but not so much that you can't run in it,

and it's really good to swim in too.

A helmet! Oh!

Again, it doesn't need to be anything fancy, just safe.

- A swimming cap. And goggles.

- A wetsuit.

Unless, of course, you're doing an indoor swim,

or it's too warm for a wetsuit.

- You can do the cycling in your running shoes,

or, in your cycle shoes.

It's important to keep your energy levels high

when you're doing a triathlon,

so find out what nutrition works for you, and then stock up.

- And there we go, you should be a little more clued up

on what to expect when you're training

for your first triathlon.

And make sure you keep an eye out

for our series of training videos that are coming up.

And, best of luck for your first triathlon,

I'm sure you'll get the bug,

just like Heather and myself did.

And if you haven't done so already,

please click on the globe to subscribe to GTN for free,

and if you like this video, hit that thumbs up button.

And, if you haven't actually chosen

your first triathlon yet, you can see our

'How to Choose Your First Triathlon' video

by clicking down here, and to see our

'Triathlon Myth-Busters' video, just click down here.