Pace your iron­man ride per­fectly ON THE COVER

There’s more than one way to train for your first tri

Triathlon Plus - - Contents -

Coach Garth Fox gives you the best strate­gies for rid­ing right

The term ‘triathlon’ in­cor­po­rates so many dif­fer­ent kinds of races that it’s hard to cre­ate a one-size-fits-all ap­proach to train­ing for your first one. And that’s be­fore you take into ac­count the huge va­ri­ety of back­grounds from which people come into the sport in the first place.

For this guide, in an at­tempt to sim­plify mat­ters, we’ve just come up with three six-week train­ing plans to get you ready for a su­per-sprint or sprint triathlon. So you’ll be swim­ming a max­i­mum of 750m, cy­cling a max­i­mum of 25km, and run­ning a max­i­mum of 5km in your race. You may have al­ready cho­sen and en­tered your first triathlon race, in which case your train­ing will be dic­tated to some ex­tent by when and what that race is. If not, it’s bet­ter to con­sider your start­ing point and work out how much train­ing you can do be­fore com­mit­ting to any­thing. Here’s how to find out which of our three plans you should be fol­low­ing.

Plan A: Zero to hero

This plan does what it says on the tin: takes you from no triathlon ex­pe­ri­ence at all to rac­ing a triathlon in six weeks time. That’s not ac­tu­ally too long to train for tri from scratch, so we’ve aimed this plan at a shorter su­per-sprint dis­tance (usu­ally 400m swim/10-15km bike/2.5-5km swim), with a pool swim.

This plan is for you if:

- You have lit­tle or no ex­pe­ri­ence in triathlon - You don’t con­sider yourself very fit at the mo­ment - You have less than five hours each week to de­vote to train­ing - You’re happy to aim for a su­per-sprint and build up later

Plan B: Ex­tra time

Like our first plan, this is aimed at to­tal beginners in triathlon. The only dif­fer­ence here, as the name sug­gests, is that you have a bit more time you can give over to triathlon train­ing. The beauty of tri is that you can train a bit more than in sin­gle-sport rac­ing with­out risk­ing in­jury, by work­ing on low-im­pact ac­tiv­i­ties like swim­ming and cy­cling and us­ing some of your time to im­prove your tech­nique.

This plan is for you if

- You have lit­tle or no ex­pe­ri­ence in triathlon - You don’t con­sider yourself very fit at the mo­ment

- You are weak in one or more of the tri dis­ci­plines, and want to im­prove - You’re pre­pared to com­mit five hours a week to train­ing - You’re happy to aim for a sprint triathlon in six weeks’ time

Plan C: Sharpen up

Try this plan if you’re com­ing to triathlon with a rea­son­able de­gree of fit­ness: you might al­ready be a swim­mer, cy­clist or run­ner (even if that means just com­mut­ing to work by bike). We’re go­ing to build on that foun­da­tion to sharpen up your skills and speed in all three dis­ci­plines so you can race a sprint-dis­tance or – if you’ve got a few years fit­ness train­ing be­hind you – an Olympic-dis­tance race in six weeks time.

This plan is for you if:

- You can al­ready ex­er­cise at a mod­er­ate level for half an hour - You have some ex­pe­ri­ence in swim­ming, cy­cling or run­ning (you don’t need any tri ex­pe­ri­ence) - You don’t have much time to train - You know your lim­its and are pre­pared to push them - You’d like to aim for a time in a sprint race, with the op­tion to go up to Olympic dis­tance if you feel com­fort­able, in six weeks’ time

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