Are you planning on doing a sprint triathlon this year but are new to the sport? Have you done one in the past and want to improve on your time, or your place? Sprint triathlon training can be a little confusing at first, but there are a few things that can get you off to the right start, making sure you are doing all the right things. Here are 5 tips to training for a sprint triathlon to get you on the right track:
1. List out on a piece of paper all the reasons you are setting out to train for this race. I know this tip is a little out there, but if you have your reasons on paper, your motivation will remain high. And without motivation, your training will fall off and you will be in the back of the pack, and/or in pain at your race.
2. Start with a plan. Map out your training. You may miss a workout here or there, but putting everything down on to some kind of schedule will keep you on track for the most part. With this plan, make sure to put the days and times you will be training for each discipline, as well as your goals overall.
3. Get the RIGHT gear (but keep it minimal). With triathlon, it’s tempting to go out and get a lot of really cool gear when you get started. But this is foolish for a few reasons. First, you don’t know how long you will be in the sport. Why waste the money? Second, since you’re not sure what exactly you need yet, you may buy things you don’t need. You will learn as you go. Third, top gear won’t do much for you if you’re in the early stages of racing. Stick with the basics- swim suit, googles, tri-bike, helmet, short and running shoes. You may want a watch to keep track of your time, but let’s save getting fancy for later!
4. Make sure to warm up for each workout you do, and for your race. One huge mistake people make is that they think they’re in good enough shape to just blast out a workout or race, and they end up getting injured. We all need a good warm up. Make sure you don’t fall into “groupthink” here if everyone else seems to be jumping full on into their workouts without warming up.
5. Become very familiar with your bike. Get a bike fit as soon as possible, and make sure it’s the right size for you. Take a clinic on bikes if you’re not familiar with them. It’s a great idea to learn how to change a tire, and how to do minimal repairs and adjustments that you may need to know as you go out on your training rides.
Sprint triathlon training can be fun, and rewarding. By following the tips above, you should be able to cruise to a nice finish in your first race- or beat your best time this coming year.