Is this the year you compete in a sprint triathlon? The following is are few simple triathlon program and training schedule steps to assist triathlete beginners in preparing for their first sprint triathlon 2012 event.
Step One: Determine Your Goal
It is important to ensure that you set SMART goals. This means that the goals you set for yourself should be specific, measurable, accurate, realistic and timely. If you are in the process of training for a particular triathlon such as a local sprint triathlon competition, then we can say that you already have a realistic and specific goal. What you need to work on next is developing the goal in to something measurable accurate and timely. An illustration of a great goal is “to participate and achieve a time of 1 hour or less in the sprint triathlon 2012.” Knowing where you are and where you are headed is the first step towards achieving your goal.
Step Two: Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Many novice triathletes miss out on the important phase of developing their triathlon program due to their excitement, and end up rushing to jump into training. So what is the importance of determining our strengths and weakness? Well imagine you are at an unknown location, but have a map and are trying to get to the triathlon starting point. There is no way you can make it to the starting point if you don’t know where you currently are.
Assessing your strengths and weakness can be a tricky affair especially if you are doing it on your own. Keeping a record of fitness, health and skill tests you undergo in your sprint triathlon 2012 training program can be a great help when it comes to pinpointing problem areas that require special attention and improvement.
Step Three: Set Your Volume
This step requires you to have a rough template of your weekly schedule or calendar, and pen. The term “volume” refers to the amount of training in terms of hours or distance you are going to complete each week. In order to be productive, set an effective training volume for your upcoming sprint triathlon 2012 competition. The following factors need to be taken in to consideration:
- Amount of available time you have to train
- Amount of time you wish to dedicate towards training
- Triathlon training goals (most triathlete beginners generally set three to five hours a week aside for training whereas more experienced or seasoned athletes train for 10 to 15 hours a week or more).
Step Four: Decide on Intensity
This step is generally thought of by most triathletes and triathlete trainers as the money maker. Intensity here refers to how hard you train. There are basically two types of training sessions when it comes to the discussion of training intensity – these are speed and endurance. Though one of your goals may be to beat a particular overall triathlon time record it is important to keep in mind that overdoing things by training too hard can lead to injury and negative results, like burnout.
Step Five: Continuous Improvement
The final step involves you continuously assessing yourself by reviewing training session achievements or lack of achievements and adjusting your sprint triathlon 2012 training program to meet your needs.
There are a few things that are vital to understand when you are preparing for a sprint triathlon (or any endurance event). These are interrelated and can apply to any workout routine: intensity, volume, frequency, and rest. Frequency is the number of times you train within a given time period (i.e. one week). When deciding how often to train, you need to consider several things before setting out: What kind of shape are you in now? What part of your season are you in (early, mid, or late)? What are you wanting to accomplish? And finally, how much rest you will need. It’s crucial to take your rest to allow for recovery! This will determine how often you can train. You need a good balance between these four aspects in order to put together a successful training schedule for a sprint triathlon.
As you move up the intensity in your workouts, you will need to move down the frequency, as your body will need more rest in order to properly recover. To train more often, you can alternate between easier and harder workout days, and varying your workouts throughout the week. Also, it’s important to consider your occupation when determining your training schedule. Do you have a physically demanding job? Or are you sitting at a desk most days? Either can benefit or hinder your workouts, but you will have to know this going in to your training.
For endurance sports like triathlon, volume is determined by distance. Two things will affect your body here: physiological stress and total amount of energy you will need to complete this distance. Pay special attention to both of these, as it can be all too easy in this sport to overtrain and end up exhausted! When you are going to be doing longer workouts, make sure to factor in adequate rest to be sure you are fully recovered before your next workout.
When planning your training schedule, incorporate each category of workout: frequency, volume, intensity, and rest. Avoid doing consecutive long workouts or even high intensity workouts. Get plenty of rest to allow for maximum recovery, this way your body has time to heal and become a more efficient (and even faster) athlete.
Listen to your body. I know, you’ve probably heard this before, but it’s definitely something to keep in mine. If you’re not feeling ready or up for a workout on your schedule- skip it! Or, you can do a light, easy workout instead. By trying to push through and do a workout that you’re not prepared for, you will actually be doing yourself damage- and may even get injured.
Mix things up in your workouts. Pay attention to what your body needs. Take a break when you need one, and most importantly, keep in mind the fun factor- workout sessions should be fun as well as a challenge.
Enjoy your training!