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8 Weeks to Your First Mini Triathlon: Beginner Plan

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Cross-Training Tips

For the Swim

  • Train with all the strokes you like -- freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, even sidestroke if you feel like you need a break. And make sure you can swim at least slightly farther than the race distance; it'll make the actual race seem shorter.
  • If possible, do a practice open-water swim. If the water is cooler than 78 degrees, borrow a wetsuit, which will keep you warm. (Note: The snug fit can take some getting used to.)

For the Bike

  • Make sure yours (road, mountain, or hybrid) is in good condition. "Get a basic tune-up [approximately $40 at most shops, plus any needed parts] to avoid glitches, and adjust the seat and handlebars to fit your body," advises Schneider.
  • Know your terrain. Take a look at the course map ahead of time. If it's hilly, make sure all your training isn't just on flat ground. On the stationary bike, train at a moderately high resistance.

For the Run

  • Do some combos. A short bike ride followed immediately by a brief run is aptly known as a "brick" in tri parlance, because the transition can make your legs feel heavy and sluggish. Prepare yourself for the sensation with at least a couple of them before the race itself.
  • Run/walk if you need to. If you're a beginner, it's a smart way to get to the finish line. Start by running for two or three minutes, then walking for the same amount of time. As you get fitter, increase your runs and shorten your walks.

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saraherdlen1 wrote:

Scheduling Mondays and Fridays as rest days is probably the smartest feature I've ever seen in a training plan. Those are the two days I'm most likely to blow off anyway, so why not change "blow off" into "rest"? So do-able!

10/17/2011 04:50:41 PM Report Abuse

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