Train for local triathlons

A sprint triathlon is a great race to start training for if you have never competed or trained for a triathlon before.

This type of local triathlons includes: 0.5 mile swim, 12.4 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. It’s a great goal for any fitness level and you can reasonably prepare for your first sprint triathlon in only 3 months by following a 12 week training program, maintaining a healthy lifestyle/diet, and ensuring you have appropriate equipment. 
The first step to prepare for your first triathlon is to get the right equipment. A racing swimsuit, goggles, and swim cap if you have long hair are essential. It is not necessary to invest in a time trial or special triathlon bike for a sprint triathlon but if you have access to one that is great! What you will need is a bicycle that fits your frame and is in good working order. Road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrids are all great options to start your journey as a triathlete. You will also need a well-fitting pair of cycling shorts, and helmet. For running it’s wise to invest in a good pair of running shoes to avoid injury. If you go to a specialty store they can analyze the way you run to help you select the best pair of running shoes for your feet/stride.   
 
Once you have all the essential gear take some time to develop a 12 week training program that fits into your schedule. If you have a traditional 9-5 job you can set aside 30-45 min a day to train midweek, and use the weekend for longer endurance based work outs. Most triathletes will make sure they swim 2-3 times a week, run 2-3 times a week, and bike 1-2 times a week when training for a sprint triathlon. There are many sources on the internet available if you need help building your triathlete training schedule that can be found with a simple google search. However, the basic idea is to: base (weeks 1-3), build (weeks 4-9), race prep (weeks 10-11), taper (week 12). Your base training focuses on conditioning and building up the strength and endurance you need to complete the race. This is not only an essential aspect of triathlete training but also key for avoiding injury. In the build portion you’ve developed the skills and endurance necessary to complete a triathlon and the focus is shifted to progressively improve your speed and endurance. The build is considered the “meat” of your training plan. The build portion does include recover weeks.

The idea during the build period is to stress the body to a point of adaptation and growth; and use the recovery and replenishment. The recovery period allows the body to repair and get stronger so while it can be tempting to skip, it is an important aspect of training. Also, recovery periods would be a great time to focus on external factors like breath work which can help to further improve your endurance and allow you to breathe easier during strenuous cardiovascular activity. The Expand-A-Lung can be a great tool to use for breath work as it is easy to use, and very effective. The other advantage to using the Expand-A-Lung is that it can be used virtually anywhere, including on your drive to and from work. How about that for efficiency? As every triathlete knows, the body’s demand for oxygen substantially increases during any form of sustained

The other advantage to using the Expand-A-Lung is that it can be used virtually anywhere, including on your drive to and from work. How about that for efficiency? As every triathlete knows, the body’s demand for oxygen substantially increases during any form of sustained high intensity exercise. VO2 Max defines the climax of muscle oxygen delivery before CO2 levels rise. At this point, muscle performance decreases and shortness of breath increases. This is what the Expand-A-Lung targets and improves. Breath work with the Expand-A-Lung can be used in all phases of your triathlete training. In the race prep phase you will incorporate your VO2 max and threshold training emphasis in addition to maintaining the strength and endurance you developed in your base training. You can use your long endurance based workouts as trial runs to see how your time is improving in the final weeks leading up to the big day. Finally, the taper portion of your training is a controlled tapering of your training that is necessary to allow your body to recover prior to race day. The general rule of thumb for tapering is to take your weekly volume and taper down by 20-25% for each week you plan to taper. For shorter races like a sprint triathlon a few days up to a week is more than enough time for the taper period. However, the longer the race the longer you should plan to taper. So keep this in mind if you decide to become an avid triathlete and take the jump into longer race formats.

The other advantage to using the Expand-A-Lung is that it can be used virtually anywhere, including on your drive to and from work. How about that for efficiency? As every triathlete knows, the body’s demand for oxygen substantially increases during any form of sustained high intensity exercise. VO2 Max defines the climax of muscle oxygen delivery before CO2 levels rise. At this point, muscle performance decreases and shortness of breath increases. This is what the Expand-A-Lung targets and improves. Breath work with the Expand-A-Lung can be used in all phases of your triathlete training. In the race prep phase you will incorporate your VO2 max and threshold training emphasis in addition to maintaining the strength and endurance you developed in your base training. You can use your long endurance based workouts as trial runs to see how your time is improving in the final weeks leading up to the big day. Finally, the taper portion of your training is a controlled tapering of your training that is necessary to allow your body to recover prior to race day. The general rule of thumb for tapering is to take your weekly volume and taper down by 20-25% for each week you plan to taper. For shorter races like a sprint triathlon a few days up to a week is more than enough time for the taper period. However, the longer the race the longer you should plan to taper. So keep this in mind if you decide to become an avid triathlete and take the jump into longer race formats.

This is what the Expand-A-Lung targets and improves. Breath work with the Expand-A-Lung can be used in all phases of your triathlete training. In the race prep phase you will incorporate your VO2 max and threshold training emphasis in addition to maintaining the strength and endurance you developed in your base training. You can use your long endurance based workouts as trial runs to see how your time is improving in the final weeks leading up to the big day. Finally, the taper portion of your training is a controlled tapering of your training that is necessary to allow your body to recover prior to race day. The general rule of thumb for tapering is to take your weekly volume and taper down by 20-25% for each week you plan to taper. For shorter races like a sprint triathlon a few days up to a week is more than enough time for the taper period. However, the longer the race the longer you should plan to taper. So keep this in mind if you decide to become an avid triathlete and take the jump into longer race formats.
 
In addition to all your training maintaining a healthy lifestyle during this time can play a key role in your success as a triathlete. While some people feel you should avoid alcohol all together; I’ve always been a strong believer in moderation. It’s Ok to unwind with a glass of wine on the weekend but try to avoid binge drinking; and avoid alcohol completely the two weeks leading up to race day. If you’re a smoker becoming a triathlete is the perfect motivation to quit. It’s overall bad for your health and will directly impact your endurance. Of course there is a big focus on everybody’s favorite buzz word: diet. Start keeping a food log to get a realistic idea of what you’re actually putting inside your body. When training for a race you may need more carbs than usual but this should be balanced with a large intake of fruits and veggies. You should be eating 2-3

Start keeping a food log to get a realistic idea of what you’re actually putting inside your body. When training for a race you may need more carbs than usual but this should be balanced with a large intake of fruits and veggies. You should be eating 2-3 fruits, and 4-6 veggies daily for optimum nutrition. Avoid foods high in saturated fats. On race day try to have a healthy breakfast 2 hours before your race. Oatmeal with fresh fruit is a great option as it is slow to digest but high in carbs which should give you ample energy to complete your triathlon.
 
Deciding to train for your first triathlon will not only give you a great sense of accomplishment but it could set a path to a long term healthier lifestyle.
 
Whatever your motivation is you will not regret becoming a triathlete.

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