The triathlons races are one of the fastest growing sports in the world and if you haven’t heard of it until now, you are surely missing a lot. If you are in search of some exciting sports activities that challenge you, the triathlons might just be the perfect option for you. This race consists of biking, swimming and running, everything in one single race. More than 3 million people participate in this race worldwide. The game might sound a bit intimidating with so many people participating in it, but is in fact rather supportive especially towards the beginners. You would find each and everyone cheering for you till the finish line.
"Triathlon- It's not about finding limits. It's about finding out what lies beyond them."
Most of these triathlons races are about accomplishing personal goals than taking it up as a competition. And, the great thing about these races is the fact that if you are already fit and exercise on a regular basis, it is only going to take you about six weeks to train yourselves for the race but only if you do so dedicatedly.
Table of Content
- What is Triathlon
- Core Principles of Triathlon Races
- How can You Become a Triathlete in Only Six Weeks
- Select and Register for the Race
- Choose a Plan for Yourself
- Manage Everything Appropriately
- Get in Touch with Other Athletes
- Determining Your Race Recovery Time
- Smart Strategies for Your TriJourney
- Ironman Triathlon
What is Triathlon
A Triathlon is a competition comprising of several stages wherein the participant has to complete all of them. Several variations do exist but the most popular form consists of swimming, cycling and running. All of the three things have to be done in an immediate succession of each other over the course of mentioned distances.
The triathletes have to compete with each other for the fastest completion time for the overall course. This would also include the timed transitions between each of the sports activity. For the athletes to change gear for the different segments of the race, a transition area is set up.
This is the exact area where the athletes switch from swimming to cycling and from cycling to running. This is also the area where the athletes can find their performance apparel, bicycles and all the other accessories that might be required for the next stage.
The size of the transition area would vary from place to place depending on the number of athletes who would participate.
Let's find out about the transition-
The first transition that you make from swimming to biking is known as T1 while the one between biking and running is known as T2. The overall time of the athlete for the triathlon race distances would be calculated by including the time that has been spent in T1 and T2.
Isn’t this exciting?
If you are planning to participate in triathlon races anytime soon, you must be well prepared with each and every aspect of the race.
Core Principles of Triathlon Races
The rules and principles for the race would vary depending on the venue and the governing body.
However, there are certain rules that are universal.
In this race, you, of course, are running with a number of athletes but it is an individual sport and you would be judged based on your best time.
Take a note:
Athletes cannot in any situation take help from someone who isn’t participating in the race. Only the volunteers who have been authorized by the organizing body can help you and offer you with water and food.
The results are mostly posted on the official website and it would tell the athletes regarding the total time they took to complete each stage.
How Can You Become a Triathlete in Only Six Weeks
This is probably the most asked question by the people who are planning to participate in such races. Well, the nature of the triathlon sport stresses on persistent training in each of the three sports activities.
This has to be followed with a combination of general strength conditioning exercises and workouts.
Listed below are a few ways that would help you in becoming a triathlete in just six weeks.
How to Prep for Triathlon Race
We have a good news to share!
If you already exercise on a regular basis and are good at swimming, you are actually ready to be trained for a triathlon. But, if you know absolutely nothing, it is going to take a few months to be able to build your fitness with practicing three days a week by swimming, running and cycling.
But fret not! We'll show you how!
If you feel that you aren’t as good a swimmer as you must be for a triathlon race, take lessons. Once you feel you are good enough, you can begin your six-week training.
Here is the big news:
What you must understand is the fact that the most grueling part or stage of the triathlon race belt is swimming and therefore you should only go for it if you feel that you are a strong swimmer.
Comprehend your Training Workouts
The training plan that you choose, must have all the basic workouts that would help you in building your strength and endurance. Some of the plans also have specialized workouts that help the body to get prepared for the actual day.
1. Brick Workout
The name of the workout is so because of the feeling that one experiences in their legs after cycling or running for a long distance.
This is the kind of workout that includes the combination of back-to-back two kinds of training – swimming/biking or biking/running.
Want to know what’s the toughest part in the triathlon race?
For most athletes, the most difficult or rather challenging part of the training is when they have to switch from biking to running. In most of such workouts, the run is usually short while the distance for biking varies. This workout focuses on preparing the athlete’s mind as well as body.
2. Fitness Building Rides and Runs
The main aim of this training is to eventually boost your fitness level while also encouraging you to believe in your abilities. This workout makes up for most of your training and has been curated in such a way in order to ensure that you are capable of each stage of your triathlon races.
3. Open Water Swimming
Most of the triathlon races in Texas include swimming in a lake, river, ocean or a bay rather than in a pool.
Of course, you are swimming a pool to practice but to succeed; you would need to practice out of the pool and in the open waters.
You could begin by swimming for 15-20 minutes in your nearby pond. Also, make sure that you have someone to accompany you at all times when you are swimming in open water. Never go alone to practice swimming in open waters.
Select and Register for the Race
Selecting and registering for the race is rather important.
Most people often ask as to how to pick a race?
What you can do is search online and find websites that let you know about the triathlon race being conducted in your area. Once you get the adequate information, visit the website of the organization conducting the race and get detailed information about it.
Beginners check this:
If this is your first time, avoid opting for those that include swimming in the oceans or biking in steep mountain passes. Also, make sure to check the maximum time that the race gives an athlete so as to complete the triathlon race.
What is the duration of the triathlon races?
The ideal time limit for finishing off such a race is mostly 2.5 hours to 3 hours.
As beginners, you may not be able to win the race for the first few times but if you train regularly, you would definitely be able to finish well within the time limit. With persistent effort and practice, you would soon be able to win the race too.
The next thing that you need to look into is the date that you are choosing. If you are currently practicing few days a week or have started to go to the gym, you may sign up for the race that is about seven to eight weeks away.
If you find the right one, make sure to pay the race fees. This way you won’t be able to put off your training or laze around any longer.
Choose a Plan for Yourself
If you feel that you are moderately fit, your next step would be to pick a plan that suits you perfectly.
If you have not yet started going to the gym, the easiest way would be to begin your training with a few cardiovascular exercises for about 3 times a week for four weeks.
Check the plan for beginners:
As a beginner who is just about to start their training, the best routine that you can follow would be to go for swimming two times a week for 30 to 40 minutes, biking two times a week for 40 to 60 minutes and running two times a week for 20-25 minutes. The one day that you get, give your body rest and indulge only in low-intensity exercises.
Working out for six days weeks would allow your body to get ready for the triathlon race. Of course, there are going to be days when you had to miss your workout because of some other obligations, but, you can always try and make up that missed workout on the next day.
If not, take it easy and forget that you missed a day. On the triathlon training week before the race, swim and run for a lesser time as compared to the rest of the week.
However, go for biking just as you did. You might also include two workouts in a day with both of them being for lesser time than usual.
On the day before the actual race, take a day off and let your body recover and prepare itself.
Manage Everything Appropriately
Managing and organizing everything appropriately is essential when it comes to these types of races.
This is because you are going to be training your mind and body for three different types of sports and therefore there is no time that you can waste at this point. Listed below are a few things that can help to motivate yourself and keep going.
1. Follow a Balanced Diet
When you begin training for the triathlon race, it is essential that you eat enough to keep your body going. After each workout, refuel your body with a quick snack of energy bars or something healthy. You could even drink a glass of chocolate milk which would give your body all the energy that it needs and help it to recover from the exercise. Also, you should know what foods to eat before your run.
2. Ask Friends or Family Members to Join You
When you have someone to join you in your workouts, your workout would seem more fun and exciting. You could go for an evening ride or run. When someone joins you, you would feel it much harder to skip your workouts.
3. Purchase a Good Hair Conditioner
You are going to be swimming almost daily and taking more showers than usual. All this can take a toll on your hairs and make them weak, unmanageable and frizzy. This is why you should invest in a good leave-in conditioner.
4. Prepare Meals on the Day You aren’t Working Out
You could consider preparing meals on days that you aren’t working out. Cook as much as you can and store all of them in different containers and freeze it. You could take some inspiration from famous bloggers and plan out your healthy meals accordingly.
5. Have Fun
Whatever you do, remember to have fun.
If you keep on constantly moaning about having to work out every single day then eventually you would end up getting bored and the results wouldn’t be evident!
However, if you do feel that you aren’t having fun, then most probably this sport isn’t meant for you.
Get in Touch with Other Athletes
The triathletes love to know other athletes and socialize with them. Most of the athletes also train with their friends as it keeps them motivated. Milind Soman is a big inspiration in India for challenging Triathlon races. However, if none of your friends are ready to accompany you, there are other options that you can choose from.
1. Join a Swimming Club or Program
There are certain clubs and programs for adults that allow people to get to know other athletes and also perfect their techniques. Here, you can also get to learn from other people and also share your best strokes and techniques with others. This would help you in becoming perfect.
2. Get in touch with a Cycling Group
Search online and find a cycling group that allows beginners to be a part of it. You could also ask your colleagues or friends if they a good cycling group. There are in fact certain groups wherein it is made sure that there is someone with the slowest rider so that you do not get left out.
3. Join a Running Club
These are probably one of the easiest groups to find and join. The best way to find one would be by searching online. This way you would be able to find the location where the group generally meets. As is with most of the groups, these groups are also friendly with the beginners and allow you to socialize and get to know more athletes.
4. Determining Your Race Recovery Time
Another thing that people often wonder is how much time it would take for their body to recover from the race. The recovery time for a triathlon race varies from person to person.
Some people like to use the miles that they covered in the race as a key to measuring their recovery time while some like to use the time that they took.
Recovering from the race completely means that your body is now capable of performing at another race with absolutely no effects remaining from the last race.
On an average, it takes about three to five days to recover for each hour of racing.
But, as mentioned above, it differs amongst people. However, to get an estimate of your recovery time, you also need to consider several other factors that can have an effect on the race recovery.
These factors could be anything from before, during or after the race. Age, athletic experience, the level of conditioning, nutritional level, the distance of the event, life stress and the number of workouts done before and after the event are a few determining factors that you need to consider.
For instance, an athlete who is absolutely fit and is somewhere between their 20’s to 40’s, and has taken part in a two-hour triathlon race, would most likely recover in approximately 6 to 7 days.
However, if the person is above the age of 60 and isn’t quite as fit, the recovery time would take up to 10-12 days. As an athlete, it is your responsibility to ensure that you consider all of the factors before heading out for the race.
When you have a control over all of these factors, you would notice that you recover quickly.
Smart Strategies for Your Triathlon Races
The triathlon race isn’t just like any other races that you might have participated in till now. You need to train your body sufficiently especially if you are a beginner. Initially, it might seem too difficult but with time, you would be able to do it. You just need to make sure that you exercising on a regular basis and are following a proper routine.
This is a quite obvious one. To be able to remain physically fit, you definitely need to eat healthy. Include lots of fresh fruits and veggies in your diet. You might also include fresh fruit smoothies for your breakfast or as a post-workout drink. Make sure that your diet has enough proteins and vitamins so that it has the energy to perform well.
Get Enough Sleep
The importance of sleep cannot be neglected. It is as important for your body as any other thing. Make sure that you are sleeping for6 to 7 hours daily. AAs you are exercising daily and your body gets tired, it needs to rest so as to be able to practice the next day.
Want to know which triathlon race is the boss of all the races?
Well, it is the Ironman Triathlon race!
It is one of the most difficult and long-distance races that is organized by World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) and consists of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride, and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run.
The race is performed in the same order without taking a break.
The time limit that the athletes are provided with is 17 hours. Usually, the athletes get a cut off of 2 hours 20 minutes for the 2.4-mile swim, about 8 hours 10 minutes for the bike race and 6 hours 30 minutes for the marathon.
Why is it called Ironman race?
The race needs the strength of an Ironman and it's a no joke! The race usually begins at 7:00 a.m. and continues until the midnight. Any participant who is able to finish off the race within the designated time is referred to as an Ironman.
This championship is held in Hawaii and has been conducted there since the year 1978. There are more than thirty-six Ironman Triathlon races conducted all over the world which serve as a qualifying round for the Ironman World Championships.
The professional athletes make it through the race and qualify for the championship with a point ranking system.
The points here are earned based on the athlete’s final placement in the Ironman 70.3 and the Ironman events. The top 35 female athletes and top 50 male athletes qualify for the championship.
The amateur athletes, on the other hand, qualify for the triathlon race by getting slots that are allocated in a qualifying event to each of the age group’s athletes who finish the race and make it to the top.
Triathlon Races in India
The Hyderabad Triathlon is conducted so as to test the stamina, strength and endurance of an athlete.
It is conducted so that the athletes can push themselves beyond their limit and finish the race. The Hyderabad Triathlon for the year 2017 has been scheduled to be held on October 08th, 2017 wherein it has been speculated that there would be over 1500 participants.
The main idea behind conducting this Triathlon is to create awareness among the people regarding mental and physical fitness and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
New Delhi Triathlon Championship 2017
The New Delhi Triathlon Championship 2017 would be conducted by the East Delhi Ryderz, a group that wants all the sports enthusiasts to take part in and tests their skills in several sports activities. The championship has been scheduled to be conducted on the 5th of November, 2017.
Goa Sprint & Super Sprint Triathlon
The Goa Sprint & Super Sprint Triathlon has been scheduled to be organized on 12th November 2017. The Sprint Triathlon would include swimming for 750m, Cycling for m20km and running for 5km. The Super Sprint Triathlon, on the other hand, would consist of 400m of swimming, 10km of cycling and running for 2.5km.
This is a non-profit event that has been scheduled to be conducted on 16th December 2017.
With this event, the organizing group aims to promote an active lifestyle among people. The race would include swimming for 400m in open waters, cycling for 500m and running for 10 kilometers on a dirt track.
Have you ever participated in a triathlon before? If yes, how was your experience? Do you have some tips which the beginners could follow? Do feel free to share them with us below comments.