*This question was sent to us by a novice triathlete taking part in their first sprint triathlon later on in the year. They are planning to follow a 12 Week Training Plan but wanted to know what training to do in advance of starting the training plan.*
1. Build up to two sessions a week in each discipline. Start off with one session a week in each discipline, focus on the volume or duration that you can manage at this point in time and build up gradually, adding 3-5 mins each week onto a run and 5-10 mins onto a bike or a swim session.
2. Gradually build up to 20 – 30 mins each run session, 45 – 60 mins out on your bike and swimming 500-750m in the pool (not all in one go!).
3. Your focus should be on developing your skill and your endurance. All your training at this stage should be done at an effort that allows you to hold a conversation with a pal running alongside you.
Why waste time – assess your skills and take action now:
1. To improve your swimming skill, there is nothing better than having your stroked videoed and assessed by a professional coach. As adults, we respond much better to seeing the areas that need improvement for ourselves rather than just being told. Search for “stroke analysis” or “endless pool” in your area – or you can book in for a Swim Stroke Analysis Session with thetrilife.com if you are reasonably local to us in Kent! Your stroke can be corrected using skill development drills. Drill, drill, drill – you get fit while you are drilling. If you are not sure of what drills you should be doing or how to do them you can download our Stroke Builder Swim App or you may just need to get to the local pool for a couple of refresher lessons.
2. Improving your cycling skills includes developing your pedalling efficiency. When you pedal you should maintain a force on the pedal throughout the pedal stroke – think up, over, down and back rather than just down! If you are new to cycling one of the first things to master will be your gears and really the best way to do this is to ride your bike over a number of different routes, flat, rolling and hilly so that you can get used to knowing when and how your should change gear.
3. Most of us just put our trainers on and run out of the door but if we want to run efficiently and reduce the chances of injury then we should consider how we are running. Efficient running means landing on your mid foot (not your toes or your heel) and with your landing foot directly under your centre of mass rather than stretched out in front of you.
1. Take stock of what kit you have and what you need now for training. Although triathlon can be expensive, it does not have to be. Essentials would be a good pair of running shoes that are right for your running style, a decent pair of cycling shorts, a wetsuit (outdoor triathlon) and a pair of goggles. Now would also be a good time to get your bike serviced.
2. Find your local open water venues, timetables and any ability requirements.
3. Get into the habit! Training (or doing anything actually) becomes easier once it has become a habit – so use the time that you have before your program starts to form those habits.