Dating a non triathlete
In an open water event, you’ll need to ‘sight’ – eg make sure you’re swimming in the right direction.
So practice this by aiming at buoys in a lake or stretch of sea.
With Age Group races (eg more competitive events) now permitting drafting there is an even greater similarity as the bike leg looks much like a criterium race. Whilst the British Triathlon Federation (BTF) Age Group structure – in which amateurs compete to go to National, European and World Championships – can provide a clear structure and motivation for competitive triathletes, a huge number of competitors enjoy taking part purely to race themselves.
Triathlon training is varied, and often completed in groups – taking part provides motivation for those looking to gain fitness and confidence through racing.
However, some key considerations exist across all distances… You can have the best fitness in the world, and be much slower than someone who hardly trains but has impeccable form.
If you’re new to swimming, it’s advisable that you attend some coached sessions – either at a local swimming or triathlon club or 1-on-1 at a leisure centre. In this case, tumble turns are not allowed – touch turns only.
If you’re not confident, you’re better of just getting on the bike in the normal manner as 20 seconds saved isn’t worth the risk of crashing.
Competitive triathletes get on to their bike using a ‘flying mount’ and get off with a ‘flying dismount’ – this looks a lot like a cyclocross mount/dismount – except the athlete is soaking wet when mounting and the shoes are readily attached to the pedals allowing for a quick get away.
You’ll also want to tailor your training to your strengths and weaknesses – for example, if you’re strong on the bike and a weak runner, then the toughest sessions should be run intervals and you can use the bike for recovery.
However, if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, or a very loose idea of a training schedule, this is an example week for an Age Group triathlete in their 20s/30s, training for an Olympic distance triathlon.
You’ll need to display your number throughout the bike and run.
If you’re putting on layers in transition, this can go on your vest or jersey.
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