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Triathlons Have Become Popular: Here's What You Need To Know

October 05, 2017

Have you ever looked at your running buddies and thought, "Why are they suddenly trading in their trusty running shoes for a sleek road bike and a pair of swim goggles?" Well, my friend, you're not alone! It seems like there's an upswing in the number of people transitioning from their basic running routines to preparing for triathlons. You might wonder, "Running is good for us, but what's the deal with adding cycling and swimming to the mix? How great are triathlons, and what exactly are we missing out on?" Buckle up, because we're about to dive deep into the world of triathlons.

The Triathlon Trinity: Swim, Bike, Run

The more we read and the more we know, the more intrigued we become. Triathlons, with their combination of swimming, cycling, and running, seem to offer the ultimate fitness experience. It's like a buffet for your body, offering a variety of exercises to keep things interesting. By balancing your fitness training with these three diverse disciplines, you can prepare yourself for almost anything life throws your way. From chasing down the ice cream truck on a hot summer day to outswimming a shark on your next trip to the beach, triathlon training has got you covered!

Now, you might be thinking, "Alright, I'm sold! But how do I get started?"

1. Choose Your Distance

Triathlons come in various distances, catering to everyone from beginners to seasoned athletes. Here's a quick rundown of the most common triathlon distances:

- Sprint: 0.5-mile swim, 12.4-mile bike ride, 3.1-mile run
- Olympic: 0.93-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike ride, 6.2-mile run
- ITU Long: 1.86-mile swim, 49.6-mile bike ride, 12.4-mile run
- Half: 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride, 13.1-mile run
- Full: 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, 26.2-mile run

Choose a distance that suits your current fitness level and goals. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can work your way up to longer distances and brag to your friends about your epic feats of endurance.

2. Prepare for a Different Type of Workout Schedule

Once you've picked your distance, it's time to embrace a new workout schedule that incorporates swimming, cycling, and running. Triathlon training isn't just about running around the same block every day. Get ready to explore new routes, meet fellow triathletes, and discover muscles you never knew you had. You might even develop a love-hate relationship with your swim cap, but hey, it's all part of the experience!

To get you started, here's a simple 12-week triathlon training schedule for beginners. Feel free to adjust it based on your fitness level and available time:

Week 1-4: Focus on building your endurance in each discipline. Swim twice a week, cycle twice a week, and run three times a week, gradually increasing the time and distance.

Week 5-8: Begin to incorporate brick workouts, which involve combining two disciplines back-to-back. For example, swim followed by a bike ride or a run. This mimics the transitions you'll face in a triathlon.

Week 9-12: Fine-tune your race strategy, work on your pacing, and prepare mentally. Don't forget to throw in some open-water swim sessions if your race includes an open-water swim. The open water can be a bit like swimming in a washing machine, but it's all part of the fun!

3. Pick a Race

Now, before you rush to sign up for a triathlon, we have a word of advice: train for at least six weeks and evaluate your progress before making the commitment. Triathlons are not for the faint of heart, but they're definitely doable with dedication and perseverance. So, while we encourage you to bookmark a few race pages for motivation, hold off on that registration button until you're confident in your abilities.

4. Train Well, Eat Well, and Perform Well

Triathlon training isn't just about physical preparation; it's also about taking care of your body. Fueling your workouts with the right nutrition is essential. You'll quickly learn that swimming, cycling, and running burn calories like a furnace, so make sure to refuel with a balanced diet. Remember, it's not just about eating pasta the night before a race; it's about consistently making healthy choices throughout your training journey.

Additionally, don't underestimate the importance of recovery. Triathlon training can leave you feeling sore in places you didn't even know existed. Invest in a foam roller, enjoy some relaxing massages, and make sleep a priority. Your body will thank you.

5. Race!

The moment of truth has arrived! Race day is a mix of excitement, nerves, and adrenaline. Remember to arrive early, set up your transition area, and stay calm. The swim, bike, run sequence will test your endurance, but it's also an incredible adventure filled with cheering spectators and camaraderie with fellow triathletes.

And Let Us Know How It Went!

We're dying to hear your triathlon tales, complete with the funny moments and the times when you questioned your life choices. Did you conquer the open water with style or have a bike mishap that made you the star of a blooper reel? Share your experiences, and who knows, you might inspire someone else to take the plunge into triathlon training.

In the world of fitness, triathlons offer a unique and exciting challenge. Combining swimming, cycling, and running not only improves your overall fitness but also injects a dose of adventure into your routine. So, whether you're aiming for the sprint distance or dreaming of completing a full Ironman, triathlons are a fantastic way to push your limits, embrace variety, and discover muscles you never knew you had—all while having a laugh along the way. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the world of triathlons and unleash your inner triathlete!

Thanks for reading. Stay safe, be seen, and Own The Night!

Dan Hopkins
Knuckle Lights


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