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Has Yorkshire’s Brownlee Brothers inspired you to try a triathlon for the first time? Or perhaps it was 2012’s Superheros, the Paralympians that gave you the fire to get into sport for the first time?! Triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK and is a great compliment to running training as it involves various distances of swimming, biking and, of course, running, depending on the event.
Ironman is one the most well known triathlons in the world. They are a series of long distance races, consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile (42.2 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. If this sounds a bit daunting to you, don't worry there are beginner triathlon races you can try.
If you’re thinking about your first triathlon, but not sure where to start, Tri Together – the award winning beginners’ triathlon have races that are much shorter in distance. The Tri-Together - London 2013 takes place on 1 September 2013 and consists of a 400m swim, 15km bike ride and a 5km run. Sign up for the race here.
Tri-together share some of their coaches professional training tips to help you get started in your training:
If you are a beginner, start your swimming training by going to your local pool. Warm up by swimming some gentle lengths.
Have a small rest and then swim as far as you can front crawl or breaststroke (if you cannot swim front crawl.) This will help you gauge how much work you have to do!
Check the distance of the pool you are swimming in. Not all pool lengths are the same. You do not want to find out the pool you are training in is only 15m and you are not fully prepared on race day.
Front crawl technique advice:
Think about streamlining your body, reduce the movement of your leg kicks, and make yourself as tall as you can in the pool. Swimming effectively is all about reducing your drag. This will help you move through the water with greater ease. Slow your arm rate down, it is not about producing as many arm pulls as you can on one length. This will tire you quicker!
The bike leg is the easiest section to get ready for. Again, start slowly. A basic mountain bike and helmet is all that is needed.
If possible commute to work or ride your bike as much as you can. Spin classes are a good workout and once you have built a base, add a run straight after.
Most of your time will be spent on the bike and so it is important that you build good endurance in your legs. As it is low impact you can ride every day, as long as you moderate the intensity. Cycle to and from the swimming pool as much as you can to adapt to the sensation of the transition.
Yes, it is called a run, but you can actually walk. There is no rule that says that you must run the whole way. In fact, many people will walk some or nearly all of the run section. Make sure that you have some energy at the end so that you can look good as you run across the finish line!
Weeks 1-6: 5 km run outside and timed: 3 sets - 2.5km run with a brisk walk that is half the time it took you to do the 2.5km run. E.g. If you run 2.5km in 7 minutes, walk briskly for 3 minutes 30 seconds.
Week 7: 5 km run following a bike session.
Running is the highest impact of the 3 disciplines and therefore the most likely to cause injury if you do a lot. The hardest aspect of the run in the triathlon is the heavy feeling in the legs following the bike section. That is why you do ‘bricks’ of bike and run. During the 2.5km runs, aim to run as fast as you can in order to teach your body to run faster and give you ‘gears’.
If this is your first triathlon, getting started with your training might seem like a daunting prospect. Which to start with first? How should you split your time? Your overall fitness level will have a part to play, so if you're new to regular exercise, don't jump straight in at the deep end, but build up slowly. As a guide, you should start training at least three months before the triathlon. The sooner you start, the easier it will be in the long run. If you're thinking about your first triathlon, sign up for the Tri Together triathlon, Tri Together is an award winning series of triathlons for people of all ages and abilities to swim, bike and run together. Started in London in 2011, it won the 220 Triathlon Race of the Year and was shortlisted for the British Triathlon event of the year 2011. In 2012, it went on to win the Triathlon London Professional Event of the Year and is now set to expand from from one event to three, taking place in London, Lancaster and Glasgow in 2013. All Tri Together events are open to disabled and non-disabled people and are ideal for everyone from the complete beginner to the seasoned triathlete. Beginners will be supported all the way to the finish line with training programs, taster training sessions and opportunities to try alternative cycles and racing wheelchairs. You can take part on your own, in relay teams of twos or three or get the whole family involved with our junior races open to those aged 8 and over!
Join us in London, Lancaster and Glasgow in 2013 and be part of this unique triathlon experience.
Sign up for Tri-Together Now! All Tri Together events have a late start and take place on Sundays: Lancaster on 7 July, London on 1 September and Glasgow on 22 September.
Online entry is now open so secure your place early visit www.lcdisability.org/tritogether or text TRI to 80878* standard text rates apply.
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I love Triathlon and am a member of Absolute Triathlon Club in Nottingham I have competed upto Ironman level and if you fancy a go it is one of the most welcoming sports you can imagine. If anyone on here needs any advice on Triathlon then please do feel free to bend my ear if I can help in any way I will.
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