Whether you’re a regular athletic competitor or just want to scratch it off your bucket list, a triathlon can have different meanings for everyone. It allows athletes of all walks of life to come together and do something they may have once thought was impossible.
According to USA Triathlon, at the end of 1999 their membership numbers (annual and one- day members combined) were at nearly 128,000. Those numbers have only continued to increase and their one-day membership alone now stands at over 477,000.
The most popular form of a triathlon still involves the three following endurance disciplines: swimming, biking and running. However, the distance of the events can vary. In order to be successful at completing a triathlon, one needs to focus on increasing endurance and ability in each discipline.
Most of us are not perfect in all three disciplines, therefore hiring a coach to help you work on your weaknesses or imbalances can be greatly beneficial. A coach can analyze your technique and make suggestions that can help improve your times. He or she can also create a training program that can help prevent you from overtraining.
However, if working with a coach or trainer is not feasible, join a health club that has a lap pool. Take some cycling classes too and follow with some laps in the pool. You also may want to consider joining a running club.
Another thing an athlete can do is by participating in a triathlon by joining a team. As previously mentioned, if you are not that strong in one of the three events, find a team that can allow you to take advantage of everyone’s strengths.
Lastly, remember not to neglect your core. The body parts that we don’t see are usually the areas that need the most work. Your body is extended while swimming and upright while cycling and running. A strong core is essential to support you during the event. Again, if a coach or trainer is not an option, find some books or do some research on the Internet. A Google search should be able locate some information on how to train your core.
Have fun, be safe, and just “tri” it.
Interested in kick starting next year with your first ever triathlon? Start putting these training tips in motion now and register for Ochsner’s Ironman 70.3 taking place in New Orleans on April 17, 2016. For details and to register, click here.