How to Train for a Triathlon

September 16, 2022

Written by Nikki Kilian, Fitness Coordinator

You may have heard that LaHaye Campus Recreation is hosting a Triathlon Sprint this fall, and you may be interested in participating. This race will be a mostly indoor triathlon Sprint, meaning it is shorter than a traditional triathlon. In a triathlon sprint, the total distance run is 16 miles and it is broken up into the following categories:

  • Swim: 750 meters (approximately 0.50 miles)
  • Bike: 20 kilometers (12.40 miles)
  • Run: 5 kilometers (3.10 miles)

Define your Why

 A strong reason behind your training will help you follow through. Training for any race is hard work physically and mentally. Not to mention, it is often a large time commitment. Define why you are training, and remind yourself of it when things get challenging.

Make a Plan

 Creating a training plan and sticking to it will also help you with consistency. When creating a training plan, it is beneficial to be realistic. If your schedule does not allow you to train every day, then prioritize 2-3 days a week for training. Another way to be realistic is by not doing too much too fast. If you have never run before, start with a goal of 0.5-1 miles and add 0.5-1 miles every week until race day. Also, understand that each time you set aside to train you are not aiming to complete the entire triathlon or even all 3 events. You can separate your workouts into one day of running, one day of swimming, and one day of cycling. You can even attend group exercise cycling classes to count for your cycling day. Do what is realistic for you and what you enjoy! You may consider doing a couple of long training days where you do complete all of the events either in their full distance or in a shortened distance.

If your goal is simply to finish, do not worry about a specific time for completing the triathlon, just set out to conquer the distances. If you want to increase speed for any of the categories, add a day of intervals each week to your training plan. The internet is also a great resource for viewing sample training plans!

Put in the Work!

 When you put your plan into action, start with something you either enjoy or are your strength. For example, if your strength is swimming start your training there! It will help you gain momentum and allow you to feel successful. If you enjoy running more than swimming, start there! You do not need to overcomplicate things, just set out to conquer your goals in bite-sized pieces, then put those pieces together for race day. You can accomplish anything that you put in the work for.