There was a time when triathlons were reserved for only the most elite athletes. Nowadays, it’s a popular challenge that many people embrace each year.
It’s easy to see why, as the endurance event offers more variety than a marathon or boat race, yet also sets the bar at a height that even the most sporadic of gym-goer can aspire to.
A typical sprint triathlon distance is made up of a 750-meter (0.47-mile) swim, a 20-kilometer (12-mile) bike, and finally a 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) run.
While this is no easy feat, it is manageable enough that over a million people attempt one each year. According to USA Triathlon, 37% of those competitors are women.
Once you complete one, you may find that the incredible impact on your physique and feeling of great accomplishment has you standing up at the starting line again soon.
However, knowing how to approach your sprint triathlon training is crucial to make sure make it to the finish line.
7 Tips for A Successful Sprint Triathlon Training Plan
A sprint triathlon will push you unlike any other type of competition. Being prepared to take on all aspects of this unique athletic event will give you the best chance of achieving that sense of fulfillment at the end.
Here are seven tips to get you moving in the right direction.
- Suit Up
This will help streamline the changes during the event, especially when you’re wet and in a rush.
- Plan Short, High-Impact Workouts
It’s not easy to prepare, particularly if you have a job, friends and family to consider. With some clever planning, you can get quality workouts to fit into your life, without making huge sacrifices or losing a lot of time each day. Consider the race ahead and what you need to achieve. Set your goals and stick to a solid spring triathlon training plan.
- Remain Flexible with Your Sprint Triathlon Training
Having three aspects to train for may seem daunting, but it actually provides options. If it’s hot outside, you can skip the running to have a swim. Consider cross-training to build your strength if you’re too short on time for a full-length weights routine.
Just remember to train all areas, even those you don’t like to do so much. Strength in one area will not compensate for weakness in a different area.
- Master Your Swim Start
Starting the swim portion can terrify some new triathletes. When you’re in the water with hundreds of competitors, it’s easy to panic. Learn how to control your nerves, whether it’s through some well-drilled strokes or a mental routine. This will prevent you from being overcome by nerves or adrenaline during the race.
- Practice Brick Training
In triathlon training, a brick is when you do two disciplines consecutively. The most important brick to practice is the bike following by the run. The changeover in muscle use here is a tough one to master. In training, do the full-length cycle, then run a mile right after.
- Hydrate Properly
When you consider the sprint triathlon distance, there’s always the fear of hitting the wall. If you want to hit it sooner, don’t drink water. If you’d prefer not to crash and burn, stay hydrated. Drinking energy supplements that have electrolytes and vital nutrients will help give you an energy boost to keep going.
- Fuel Your Workouts with Good Food
Pushing your body to its limits will sap your energy, and so you must feed your body with the vital fuels it needs. Throughout your sprint triathlon training, maintain a healthy diet with lots of high-protein sources like chicken breasts as well as high energy snacks like almonds and bananas. This will feed your muscles and give you the energy you need to compete.
Learn to Beat Your Own Mind
The biggest opponent you’ll face is the one in the mirror. When the going gets tough and you feel your body begin to tire, your mind can be your own worst enemy, urging you to throw the towel in.
Developing mental fortitude is a crucial part of your training, and so it can help to find ways of tackling any mental blocks or doubts that happen when you feel like quitting.
Visualization practices like imagining your family cheering as you cross the finish line can help you combat any negative thoughts.
In the end, completing a sprint triathlon will give you an incredible sense of achievement, and do wonders for your health, physical shape and your confidence.
If you train smart, you can cross the finish line at sprint triathlons around the world for years to come.