Want to improve? Triathlon training is all about focus and working out the right way, rather than just jumping in for a bit of cycling, a swim once a week and a jog round the block! Look at our exercises and fitness guides.
The Bike :
You can do a triathlon on any type of bike, it does not need to be expensive, but it should be both road worthy and reliable. Another expense will be a Snell or ANSI approved cycle helmet (NO HELMET - NO RACE). For nearly all triathlete's the cycle section is where the most time is spent during the race, so if you are a weak cyclists concentrate your training efforts on improving both your cycling speed and endurance.
As with the swimming section of this program, there is a weight training guide to help improve the muscles used whilst cycling. Aim to perform this weight training program once per week, if you are also doing the weight training program for swimmers, alternate the weight training sessions each week, remember not to train sore muscles, as this leads to injury and poor performance.
The bike section of a triathlon is a good time to take in energy and fluid supplies in the form of a suitable energy drink. Whilst training make use of a water bottle, and test suitable drinks prior to your race, do not use a energy drink that you have not tested, as it may not be favorable with your body, and you may have to pull out of the event with stomach cramps.
It is also wise to carry a puncture repair kit and know how to change a tire, you don't want to train for your big day, to be defeated due to mechanical problems.
Putting in the miles :
Cycling like running is best performed with fellow athletes, as it is more fun and motivational. The distance you ride will greatly depend on both your fitness levels and also your race distance. You should aim to go out on your bike 2 - 3 times per week, varying your distances and route. Aim for a long steady cycle on the weekend, taking in a few hills to help develop muscle strength, cycle the approximate distance of your race twice per week, with at least one of these sessions followed by a suitable distance run (Half the distance of your race).
Group cycling sessions (Spinning / Cycle Reebok) and turbo training are good, especially during the cold wet winter months, however nothing beats cycling on the road, it is here that you are forced to work against the wind, bumpy roads and learn the gears that best suit you for cycling.
If you can find a suitable triathlon or cycling club in your area, most members are keen to offer help and advice, especially to novices in the sport. Unlike other sports, the triathlon and cycling community is a friendly place.
Finally the run - the final discipline and in lots of ways by far the hardest :