What it Really Takes to Sprint a Triathlon

Competition is an exhilarating experience. And while facing off against other athletes for a chance to prove superiority is certainly a worthwhile experience, some of the most fulfilling competition is the kind where an athlete strives not against other, but against him or herself. There is a personal feeling of triumph and satisfaction when setting a new personal record, or reaching new heights of ability, that somehow make the pain and the trials of training instantly worth the effort. And as far as personal fitness is concerned, there’s no better way to improve one’s own body, than by facing off against it.

These are truths that most fitness enthusiasts recognize. And despite the demanding nature of athletics, we find a certain joy in the struggles to become our best. And so we not only endure the pain of working out, we revel in it. We thrive on it. And when that pain has subsided, and we look at ourselves, and we see just how far we’ve come, we learn to love that pain—not for what it is, but for what it does.

And when it comes to personal challenge and beneficial pain, there aren’t many athletic events more valuable than the triathlon.

The triathlon is the definitive test of endurance, requiring not only superb endurance to successfully complete the event, but also discipline. As such, a triathlon tests much more than one’s athletic abilities; it’s also a measure of character.

Will you submit to the tides during your swim? Will you quit within the first hour, when you realize you’re just a fraction of the way through? Will you stop when you inevitably find yourself exhausted, with every muscle in your body screaming for you to give up? For many who are unprepared for the rigors of the triathlon, the answer to these questions is a simple and humbling ‘yes.’ But that isn’t to suggest that only world-class athletes should attempt to participate. With the right training schedule, diet, and attitude, you’ll be able to equip your body to face every challenge that the triathlon throws at you.

In this guide, we’ll discuss what it really takes to sprint a triathlon. If you’re interested in running your first sprint triathlon, or would simply like to learn what sprint star training is all about, read on—we’re not holding back any secrets.

Before we get into details, allow us to explain what a sprint triathlon is.

What is a Sprint Triathlon?

Personal fitness isn’t something that can be so easily rated, and there are certainly more gray areas than the black-and-white attitude of ‘fit’ vs. ‘non-fit’ would have us believe. As such, many who would otherwise consider themselves physically in good shape might still find themselves outmatched when attempting to complete a triathlon. And while some athletes might enjoy the prospect of ‘winging’ it, inadequate triathlon preparation is more likely to result in injury than in exhilaration. The simple fact is that it’s impossible to prepare for a triathlon overnight.

Instead, build up to it. Consider getting your first taste of triathlon by competing in a sprint triathlon. The sprint triathlon is essentially a condensed version of the full event—a mini triathlon, if you will—and is better suited for those getting started with a beginner workout schedule. With that said, the sprint triathlon is still very intense. All of the elements of the traditional kind are present here, which means you’ll still be swimming, cycling, and running for what seems like an eternity.

So, what are the three main triathlons?

In a nutshell, the sprint triathlon serves as an excellent way to get yourself acquainted with the triathlon. It’s the perfect choice for the beginner triathlete, whereas the Olympic-level is the traditional event that probably first comes to mind when you hear the word ‘triathlon.’

Any mention of the Ironman is quite frankly beyond the scope of this guide. Just look at those numbers. An Ironman training plan is best left for another discussion. If you’re fortunate enough to meet someone who’s completed the Ironman, give him or her a round of applause, and don’t be shy about asking them how they were able to prepare—they’ll likely be happy to share their strategy. And who knows? Maybe someday you’ll be able to compete alongside them.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, we’re finally ready to begin our discussion of sprint triathlon training. Let’s talk about commitment.

Commitment

To suggest that you need to be committed to not only sprint a triathlon, but to train for one as well, would be putting it very lightly. Commitment establishes the required foundation from which an individual can start to prepare for such an undertaking. As such, ensuring the right levels of commitment is the first step towards successfully completing the event. After all, preparation is a long and difficult road in and of itself, and if you’re lacking commitment, you might as well quit now.

But remember this: if you do quit, you’ll never experience the thrill of reaching your goal.

Ultimately, you have to be honest with yourself. Don’t ask yourself, “Do I have what it takes?” Since you haven’t yet completed a sprint triathlon before, you’re not exactly a trusted reference. Rather, try asking yourself the following:

“Do I feel that I have what it takes?”

If you believe in yourself, everything else will sort itself out. With the right attitude, you’ll be able to endure a rigorous 12-week training schedule (depending on your fitness background) with the occasional sleepless night. Extreme soreness will become an afterthought.

If your goal is to complete a sprint triathlon, but you feel that you need some help with commitment, we have a solution for you:

First, you must consider your sprint workout training as a process—not as a set of goals to achieve. It’s difficult to commit to a 12-week training program when you haven’t done anything like it before. So, take it one week at a time. Focus on what you’re doing that day, as opposed to what you have to do that week.

Secondly, you should enjoy your training. If running is your least favorite exercise, make a note of how great you feel after completing a run. Tell yourself that it’s building up your endurance so that you can cycle faster in your favorite event, if that happens to be the case. Consider actually keeping a journal, so that you can record the positive feelings and thoughts that you experience while working out—this will help you appreciate what you’re doing for yourself, and believe it or not, when you make a point to focus your mind on the positive aspects, then you’ll stop noticing the negative ones quite as much.

If you’re able to focus on the process, while enjoying your training, you’ll build consistency. And with consistency comes commitment.

Next, let’s talk about some of the advantages and disadvantages of competing in a sprint triathlon.

Why You Should Sprint a Triathlon

First, here are some negatives you should know about partaking in any triathlon event. As with any athletic activity, there is a very real risk of injury. This is especially the case with the triathlon, considering that it’s an event involving three different stages, each focusing on different endurance disciplines with their own unique movements. Mental burnout could lead to a lapse in coordination, which can then compound into injury. This means that even with the best training, spraining an ankle, pulling muscle, or otherwise harming yourself is a possibility that cannot be ruled out.

Additionally, effort is constantly sustained for each event; it’s not like you’re cycling for just 20 minutes. Extreme levels of exhaustion, which are a health concern, are indeed a possibility. It’s important for the untrained individuals to take note of these facts.

With that said, with proper sprint training and nutrition, the rookie trainee can drastically decrease the chances of injuries and other complications ever occurring.

Now, the positives of competing in this athletic event are numerous. We’ve compiled for you a short list of the reasons why you should sprint a triathlon:

  • Improve your athletic ability and endurance
  • Improve your health and well-being
  • Challenge yourself in a thrilling manner
  • Experience a unique form of achievement
  • Push yourself out of your comfort zone (physically and psychologically)
  • Test yourself in ways you have never imagined

We could go on and on about the physical benefits behind the event, but that would sacrifice the opportunity to mention the real upside of sprinting a triathlon.

Look over the last item on the list one more time. Can you fathom the amount of self-confidence you’ll develop from completing the event? If you’re able to cross the finish line in a leap of triumphant personal victory, won’t you have learned a little bit more about your innermost self?

You might even say that finding out what you’re really made of is the real reason why you should consider competing in a triathlon

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s take a look at the kind of training you’ll need.

Training for a Sprint Triathlon

Sprint star training is not for the fainthearted. While it certainly is possible to get yourself physically and mentally prepared for a triathlon in as little as 12 weeks, even if you’re currently unfit, it won’t be an easy task. To improve your athletic performance requires that you improve your fitness substantially. Getting your endurance to a high enough level, so that you’ll be able to endure the enormous stress that you’ll face, will definitely require some heart.

Remember: if you’re still reading by this point, it’s because you do feel you have what it takes. Keep that point in mind as we move forward.

What’s Your Fitness Level?

Before you can proceed with your training, it’s crucial that you accurately determine your current fitness level.

Beginners that charge into a strenuous training plan without getting their feet wet first would be making a big mistake. Lacking preparation in this manner is counterintuitive, to put it mildly. If you were to do this, it might cost your chances of following through with your training schedule. That’s because burnout is real. Try to do too much at once, and you’re risking complete failure.

If you’re a novice to training, you should take it slow (at least during the initial stages), and stick with workouts for beginners. Besides, you don’t want to injure yourself by overexerting muscles that are not yet used to being pushed to their physiological limit.

Regarding your endurance, are you currently able to run a few kilometers with relative ease? If not, don’t worry. Many people have to start from the ground up. Fortunately, athletic endurance is something that comes very quickly, as you’ll undoubtedly discover. Your muscles are remarkably adept at habituating quickly to the stimuli imposed upon them. In other words, if you struggle to complete your first practice run, the same might not be said about your second.

On the topic of running, some readers may be wondering if their prior experience as a runner is enough to ease their progression into a sprint triathlon. If you’ve been an avid runner for years, then it goes without saying that you’ll have to overcome a shorter learning curve when training for a triathlon. Make note how often you’ve been running lately, and you’ll have an easier time identifying your current fitness level.

If you’ve recently completed a long distance running event, you’re likely close to being ready to sprint a triathlon. At the very least, you’ll likely have the necessary endurance component established. But you can’t forget that running is not the only activity you’ll be doing. While it certainly builds up your cardiovascular resistance significantly, you’ll still have to practice on the bike and do laps in the pool. Particularly the latter, considering that technique is a crucial element in the swimming portion of a triathlon. Remember, not every training regimen is well-suited to every triathlon. Research your race, so that you can adapt your training to its specifics. Will you be jostling your way through other athletes in a mass start to the race, or will the start be staggered, with waves of runners being released at different times? Will you be running/biking on city streets, or across dirt trails? Can you expect flat terrain, or will you have to prepare for steep hills? Where will you be swimming—will you be in a calm-surfaced lake, or fighting ocean waves? Will the water be icy cold, or can you expect warmer temperatures? Will you be wearing a wetsuit? What kind of weather should you expect? Your training isn’t going to be nearly as valuable to you if it prepares you for the wrong race, so in your preparation, try to mimic the conditions you can expect to experience in the actual event.

To close off this section, it may help you to know the baseline level of fitness you need before you can follow this training plan. Here are three minimum standards you should be able to complete before following our training program:

  • Swim for 500 meters
  • Bike for 15 kilometers
  • Run for 3 kilometers

These baseline standards should be completed individually, without stopping. Don’t worry about timing yourself, unless the sprint triathlon you’re training for has a minimum finishing time—you’ll be able to worry about improving your times once you know that your body can handle the basics.

Test yourself in the three exercises. If you’re able to do the swimming and the cycling, but still struggle somewhat with the running, you know which activity you have to work on first. If you’re not yet able to run 3 kilometers at a comfortable and consistent pace without stopping, don’t fret; you’ll likely only need a few extra weeks of training. In that case, wake up early for a morning run 3–4 times a week. A good base-building training option is to run for short durations, and then taking short walking rests whenever needed, tracking your running interval distances and total run distances as you do so. Focus on running for longer run duration, with shorter rest durations in future workouts. Gradually increase your total running distance to 1.5 miles.

As you gradually improve your pace, you’ll notice that with each run you’ll be able to run a little bit faster for a longer distance without stopping. Before you know it, you’ll be running 40 minutes to an hour at a brisk, yet comfortable, pace.

Once you’re able to do all of the above, you can finally move on to the meat of the training program.

The Training Program

Assuming that you’ve raised your fitness level to a superior threshold by ensuring that you’re able to perform well in all three activities, you’re finally ready for some sprint star training.

Now, you may be wondering how long it will take for you to prepare for the event. While the duration of training will vary between individuals, we can set a realistic time frame that will work for the vast majority of trainees. We’ve alluded to the length of the training program before, so by this point you’re already familiar with our 12-week plan.

Unless you’re coming off an injury or are of below-average fitness, 12 weeks will be enough time for you to get ready. Otherwise, just take your time. Don’t rush the process. Get into shape as fast as you can, but do so reasonably. Once you’re able to swim, bike, and run without much trouble, you can finally start our training plan.

Here’s an overview of our 12-week scheme:

Weeks 1 and 2:

Early training phase. Build up endurance, and get used to the three exercises.

Weeks 3 and 4:

Transition phase. Now that you’re in better shape, it’s time to increase the intensity.

Weeks 5 through 11:

Endurance phase. Focus is on building endurance while optimizing power in your movements to improve performance

Week 12:

Competition week. Objective is to maintain intensity while emphasizing recovery before the ultimate event. Consider tapering your training in either volume or intensity, so that the accumulated fatigue of your 12-week training program doesn’t negatively impact your final performance.

Essentially, your first month will be about establishing consistency, your second month will focus on training to your limit, and by the third month you’ll be firing on all cylinders, so to speak, as you get ready for the day of the triathlon.

Remember, your objective is to be fully prepared for the sprint triathlon. Here’s a reminder of what the event consists of:

Sprint Triathlon:
750-meter swim • 20-kilometer bike ride • 5-kilometer run

It should go without saying that you should be able to do all three events individually before you take on the triathlon; being able to do so will be one of the key indicators that you are ready to compete. By the time your training is complete, cycling for 20 kilometers should be relatively easy for you. On the day of the event however it will be much harder, considering that you will have just swam almost a kilometer beforehand. Still, there is a big difference between difficult and impossible, and by being able to easily complete each separate event will go a long way towards ensuring that completion of the final race remains firmly in the realm of possibility.

In addition, while you focus on training your body, don’t neglect to train your mind as well. Your mindset holds the key to your success. With every training day, you’ll strengthen your willpower a little bit more. That’s why you must dedicate yourself at all times, and follow the triathlon training schedule religiously, so that on the day of the race, you’ll have what it takes to push through the discomfort and eventually cross the finish line.

Now, back to our 12-week plan. The first objective is for you to be able do each of the sprint triathlon events we just outlined above as soon as possible. Ideally, you’ll be able to swim 750 meters, bike for 20 kilometers, and run for 5 kilometers by the end of week 6–8. From there onwards, you can focus on improving your endurance even further and increasing your quickness as well. By week 9–10, you should be able to do each of the events separately quite comfortably.

Matt Fitzgerald suggests that the average triathlete will spend a fifth of the race swimming, half of it cycling, and the rest of the duration running. As such, training will incorporate the three exercises in a balanced manner, as it pertains to training volume, rather than time (an hour bike ride is approximately the same training volume as a 24 minute swim and a 36 minute run).

As such, your schedule should look something like this:

Weeks 1 and 2:

Weeks 1 and 2 focus on building up your endurance and priming your fitness for what’s to come. As a general rule, don’t worry about following the schedule perfectly. Life gets in the way sometimes. But you should be able to follow through at least 90% of the time.

Week 1

  • Monday: Run 2 kilometers
  • Tuesday: Swim 250 meters
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Swim 250 meters
  • Saturday: Run 2 kilometers
  • Sunday: Bike 30 minutes

Week 2

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: Run 3 kilometers
  • Wednesday: Swim 300 meters
  • Thursday: Swim 300 meters
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Run 3 kilometers
  • Sunday: Bike 30 minutes

Weeks 3 and 4:

Weeks 3 and 4 will feature your first timed runs. This is where you can first start to work on your speed. Pace yourself, but try to run a little bit faster each time. The same principle applies to your bike rides; increase your intensity each time, but do so within your comfort level.

Week 3

  • Monday: Swim 350 meters
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Run 3.5 kilometers
  • Thursday: Swim 350 meters
  • Friday: Run 20 minutes
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Bike 40 minutes

Week 4

  • Monday: Swim 350 meters
  • Tuesday: Run 20 minutes
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Swim 500 meters
  • Friday: Run 20 minutes
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Bike 60 minutes

Weeks 5 to 8:

During weeks 5 to 8, you’ll see some changes in the program. Here’s where the endurance element of your training will really start to kick in. Additionally, you’ll also be incorporating a higher intensity into the exercises, so it’s not just about time or distance.

With the timed swims, you should be going for an all-out effort. Your training will be split into intervals. For example, swim for 1 minute as fast as you can, and then take a minute to rest. Repeat as many times as you can, increasing/decreasing your intervals where appropriate. You’ll find that the more you do these intervals, the longer you’ll be able to sustain maximal effort, and the less rest you’ll need overtime.

The same principle applies to the shortened bike rides, identified by the asterisk above. Challenge yourself with a variety of paces, to improve muscular performance. For example, go as fast as you can for a minute, followed by a slower pace for two minutes.

You’ll also note that from now onwards, there will be the occasional two-day rest. These are crucial to ensure that your body can recover properly as the training gets tougher.

* shortened bike rides

Week 5

  • Monday: Run 4 km
  • Tuesday: Swim 450 m
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Run 25 min
  • Friday: Swim 20 min
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Bike 60 min

Week 6

  • Monday: Swim 500 m
  • Tuesday: Run 4.5 km
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Swim 20 min
  • Friday: Run 25 min
  • Saturday: Swim 500 m
  • Sunday: Bike 60 min

Week 7

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Run 4.5 km
  • Thursday: Swim 500 m
  • Friday: Run 30 min
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Bike 30 min *

Week 8

  • Monday: Swim 20 min
  • Tuesday: Run 30 min
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Run 4.5 km
  • Friday: Swim 550 m
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Bike 30 min *

Weeks 9 to 12:

Weeks 9 to 11 will undoubtedly be the toughest weeks of the training program. But as you’ll discover, the body is remarkably adaptable. Keep up the intensity, try not to miss any days, and make sure to recover on your days off. If you feel up to it, you might consider replacing one of your bike/run days with a 40k or 50k bike workout—this will help you get a feel for how much sustained endurance you have.

During this time you’ll also see a combination of biking and running on Sundays. This is known as a brick workout. The purpose of the brick workout is to get your body accustomed to running after cycling. This will be the most challenging portion of the triathlon, so it’s a good idea to adapt your body to this activity beforehand.

Week 12 is competition week. You’ll notice that the intensity drops just before the event. This is to keep your muscles ready for the triathlon, without exhausting them beforehand.

Week 9

  • Monday: Swim 600 m
  • Tuesday: Run 30 min
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Run 5 km
  • Friday: Swim 600 m
  • Saturday: Swim 20 min
  • Sunday: Bike / Run 40 min

Week 10

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Swim 700 m
  • Thursday: Run 5 km
  • Friday: Run 35 min
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Bike / Run 50 min

Week 11

  • Monday: Run 6 km
  • Tuesday: Swim 750 m
  • Wednesday: Swim 25 min
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Run 40 min
  • Sunday: Bike Run 60 min

Week 12

  • Monday: Swim 500 m
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Run 3 km
  • Thursday: Swim 20 min
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Race Day or Rest
  • Sunday: Race Day or Rest

Nutrition

Knowing how to train for a triathlon is about more than just exercising. Before we can complete our training discussion, it’s essential that we touch upon nutrition. You simply cannot exercise properly if you’re not eating well. Moreover, the last thing you need is to get sick halfway through your training program, as a result of your diet.

One could talk at great lengths about the importance of nutrition, especially as it pertains to competing in a triathlon. But we will be concise and to the point so that you can familiarize yourself with the essentials.

Let’s split this up into two short sections: Training Nutrition and Race Day Nutrition.

 

Training Nutrition

A healthy balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins is essential. They’re all important; you should not be prioritizing one macronutrient over another.

Following the Zone Diet provides this balance. For a triathlete, we recommend a zone block prescription of your lean muscle mass (lbs) x .8 / 7 (grams of protein/block). For someone with 120lbs of lean muscle mass = 14 blocks or:

  • 14 blocks * 7 = 98g of protein
  • 14 blocks * 9 = 126g of carbohydrates
  • 14 blocks * 3 = 42g of fat

For many athletes, it’s simpler to break down daily intake into grams rather than blocks.  Weighing and measuring food for exact macronutrient content is the most exact method of counting these macro nutrients.

This prescription, according to the zone diet, is slightly caloric restricted and should be a starting point for beginning athletes. If you feel depleted, tweak your grams of fat carbohydrate and protein to support performance. Increasing good fats and protein rather than piling on extra carbs, for many athletes has been a way to maintain performance levels without gaining excess weight. You are your own laboratory and this will give you a starting point to tweak as you go through this process.

  • Best carbohydrates: whole grain breads and pastas, quinoa, oatmeal, all fruits and vegetables
  • Best proteins: lean meats, eggs, dairy (Greek yogurt is particularly beneficial)
  • Best fats: nuts, peanut butter, avocados

 

Guidelines

Never train on a full stomach. Test yourself with different pre-workout meal sizes, so you will know the best amount to eat before you run on race day.

Eat vegetables to your heart’s content, and supplement them with some fruits.

Before exercising, using a pre-workout supplement such as Progenex’s Force will help increase your stamina and strength. Force also has 3:1 potassium-sodium ratio, which is important for maintaining proper electrolyte levels.

Post-workout supplements can help the body regain essential nutrients to help insure fast recovery. Progenex’s Recovery addresses force loss, and enables muscle to quickly repair themselves for future use by supplying readily available di- and tri- peptide amino acids. Endurance athletes often lose significant amounts of muscle in their training. Having readily available aminos post-workout can help maintain muscle tissue from being broken down. Build is another post-workout supplement that should be taken with post-workout protein to facilitate the glycogen component of recovery. Additionally, Build can be taken before exercising, as a carb loading tool.

 

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Nutrition doesn’t end once you get into bed. The hours you spend sleeping are crucial to your body’s protein synthesis and muscle repair procedures. Progenex’s Cocoon is a sleep-aid supplement that uses slow digesting proteins and a steady release of amino acids to help stimulate protein synthesis, fight against muscle loss, and improve immune system efficiency. Additionally, it also promotes deep, restful sleep, making it the perfect answer to workout-soreness.

Maintain proper hydration by monitoring urine color for dehydration. Light to clear urine is the target and a bright yellow if vitamin supplements are taken. If urine is dark in color consume water until not thirsty.  In terms of water consumption, drink when your body tells you your thirsty.

The better you eat, the harder you can train, leading to better endurance and performance.

Race Day Nutrition

Race day nutrition starts the week of the competition—not just the day before. Here’s what you should do during week 12:

Guidelines

A healthy balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins is essential. They’re all important; you should not be prioritizing one macronutrient over another.

  • Focus more on carbohydrates over fats in your diet, but don’t forget about protein
  • Eat adequate amounts of fiber throughout the week to ease digestion
  • Eat your pasta the day before the race, but not too much. You must be light on your feet the next day
  • Maintain proper hydration as mentioned above.

 

Before Your Race

This being your first triathlon, you’ll probably have some trouble getting a full seven to eight hours of sleep the night before the event, but that doesn’t mean that you should try to sleep in later to make up for it. Wake up early the day of the event, and have a light, but satisfying breakfast. You should have tested out different breakfast options during your training, so that you know exactly what kind of meal will serve you best during the race. Alternatively, you could rely on some of the workout supplements mentioned earlier, with a Recovery/Build upon waking, and maybe another 30–45 minutes prior to the race, then following the race with Recovery, and then a Cocoon before going to sleep that night.

If you find yourself feeling hungry right before the race, eat something small and nutritious, such as a piece of fruit. Drink some water as well, as it will not only help to keep you hydrated, but it will also help curb your appetite.

Additionally, Matt Fisher shares some of his tips regarding race day nutrition:

Eat your carbs during the 24 hours prior to your race (oats and whole wheats are great, but casual athletes need to be careful of too much oats and whole wheats. All foods and portions should be tested prior to race day.

Drink a sports drink during the hours before your race (stop drinking 45 minutes to an hour before). [We recommend Force be taken 15 minutes pre-race and during.]

(Credit to triathletesdiary)

Lastly, many triathletes make the mistake of eating too much the day before the event. Just eat normally. If you get your carbs in throughout the week, your muscles will be full of glycogen by the time your start the triathlon. A healthy breakfast the morning of is a fine finishing touch before your race.

Now that we’ve concluded training and nutrition, you’re ready for your first triathlon. All that remains is your execution.

Janice’s First Triathlon Experience

Janice, founder of Womenstriathlon.com, shares insight from her first triathlon experience:

How did you train?

For the swimming, I joined a Master’s Swim Team, and swam in the beginner lane twice a week for a few months. For the cycling, I went to a spinning class on Saturday mornings, and occasionally rode my neighbor’s bike on her indoor trainer. I didn’t have my own bike to train on. For the running, I ran on my lunch times at work. It’s almost 10 years later, and I still don’t own a bike, and train through spinning classes and running on my lunches.

How did you feel on race day?

Scared. Nervous and lost. I lined up for body marking first, but hadn’t picked up my race kit yet, so once it was my turn to be marked, they sent me to the race kit line. I then had to line up again for my body marking. I also had no idea how to rack the really old used bike I had managed to find through a classified ad I put up on the Subaru Triathlon Series website. I had to ask the girl in the transition area beside me to rack my bike for me.

How did you feel after the race?

Exhilarated! I was surprised at how well I swam and ran during the race. I had so much fun, and the 90 min it took to finish didn’t feel that long, not like a half-marathon feels long. I really enjoyed transitioning from one event to the next. I felt powerful and proud and told EVERYONE who would listen that I was a triathlete!

What advice do you have for anyone considering doing their first triathlon?

Don’t be scared and don’t worry about your equipment. I have now done two triathlons, and a duathlon without even owning a bike. You can train by going to spinning classes, and if you ask around, someone will lend you a bike to race on.

 

Did You Know?

We thought that you might like to hear some interesting facts about the triathlon. To read more from the full report, click here.

  • The first triathlon was informally held in San Diego, CA
  • The first Ironman event, which took place in 1978, had 12 people crossing the finish line
  • In 2000, the triathlon finally debuted in the Olympic Games
  • Most triathlons take place in the spring, with the peak season being in July
  • 70% of triathletes are between the ages of 30 to 49
  • Over 500,000 people participate in triathlon events each year

Will you be joining the thousands of people participating in a triathlon this year?

The First Step

“If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just finish the race; it’s up to you.”

Dave Scott, Six-Time Ironman World Champion

 

By this point, you have learned about what it takes to not only prepare for your first sprint triathlon, but also successfully complete it. What will you do with this knowledge?

An opportunity to change your outlook on life forever has presented itself to you. It’s an experience that you know is worth taking. More importantly, you know it’s something you’ll never forget.

The rest is up to you.

 

“The pain is temporary, the memories will last the rest of your life.”

John Collins, The Founder of the Ironman

 

Competition Ironman Olympic PRGNX Science Sprint Triathlon

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