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Training tips for new triathletes

May 16, 2014

If you’ve been struck by spring fever and the renewed sense of energy and motivation that comes along with it, you might be interested in finding a new fitness goal to strive toward. Anyone who loves biking, running and swimming can combine all three sports and complete a triathlon. You might be thinking to yourself, “I love pounding the belt of commercial treadmills, but can I really start training for a triathlon?” The short answer is: Yes, you can.  And it won’t be as hard as you think. Of course, it will be a challenge, but it will also help get you in even better shape (so you can rock that swimsuit this summer at the beach!) and give you a great finish line to run, swim and bike toward. There are a variety of triathlons, but a full race consists of swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running a marathon at 26.2 miles. CNN offered some great tips for new triathletes ready to train for their first race: Start where you’re comfortable It may seem like a daunting task to undertake triathlon training for the first time, but if you start in your comfort zone, it won’t seem as scary. The results will certainly be worth it when you have improved your fitness levels, which only comes from consistent work. Begin your training in a safe zone – you’ll have more fun with it. If you’re primarily a biker, spend more time in the beginning on commercial exercise bikes, then slowly incorporate swimming and running workouts. For the first few months, April Gellatly, head coach for CNN’s Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge program and owner of AG Multisport Consulting, had trainees focus on fitness rather than specifics of a triathlon. Just be sure to incorporate the three forms of cardio, so you’re strong in all aspects of the race. Follow the program and track your goals As you move forward with triathlon-specific workouts, you’ll want to develop a program that gets you ready for the race. Setting goals each week will help you stay on track and it will be great motivation to achieve them on your way to the ultimate finish line. Programs can include various cardio and strength exercises throughout the week, and you can set goals like running a certain distance, swimming at faster speeds or improving endurance. Give yourself a training time frame – maybe six months – so you know when you need to have certain milestones completed. Then, at the end of the six months, you’ll be ready to tackle your first triathlon!