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How to Train for a Sprint Triathlon

Mar 27, 2010

A sprint triathlon is not quite as difficult to complete as a regular triathlon. Because the distances that you need to swim, bike and run are remarkably shorter than the distances involved with a regular triathlon, you do not need to train quite as hard to complete one. Rather, you just need to be sure that your body is in good enough shape to get it done. That doesn't mean you don't need to put in the time and work to get your body prepared for a sprint triathlon, though. You still need to follow some steps to be sure that you're ready for the big race.

Start Slow

If you don't swim, bike and run regularly, start off slowly just to give your body an opportunity to catch up and get acquainted to what it takes to complete a sprint triathlon. This means working out about five times per week. Try hitting each leg of the race about twice a week and try to keep the legs in order so that your body has enough time to work on transitioning from one exercise to the next. A typical triathlon starts with a leg of swimming before moving into biking and then finishing with a run. Start the first week by just running one day, just swimming another and just biking on the last. But then start pairing them up on week two to include a day where you swim and then bike. During the next session, bike and then run. And make sure that you spend some sessions just running. This will likely help you get into the best possible shape.

Increase Your Times

In order to get your body into shape for a sprint triathlon, you need to make sure you can swim, bike and run for long distances. By the end of an eight-week training session, you should be able to run for about an hour, swim for at least 30 minutes and bike for about 45 minutes. So you should start slowly and then build your stamina up until you can do all three of those activities in those time frames. Obviously, when it comes time to participate in the sprint triathlon, you'll need to do them on the same day during one session. Therefore, it's a good idea to continue to do two activities in a day to get your body accustomed to the activities. Don't overdo it, but push yourself to work harder.

Wind Down Your Workouts

As you come closer to the race day, start to pull back and give your body more time to rest and get ready for the race. Don't burn out before the race actually takes place. This means that your last week of sprint triathlon training should include shorter distances in all three legs. Work on transitioning and getting your body to the point that a triathlon seems comfortable for you. And most of all, eat right and get plenty of rest before the race.

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