TRIATHLON 101

Triathlons are a perennial bucket list favourite and for great reason. They are accessible to anyone who can swim, ride a bike and run but also offer serious cyclists a multi-disciplined experience.  They give you a chance to move in different ways and test your body across land, road and sea.  Smart training beforehand will not only make you feel better about the effort you are about to put your body through but help you achieve a better result.
 
Going into a race underprepared will hold you back even after the nerves have faded as you pass the first buoy. The good news is, a training plan will get you through any distance and a few tweaks to that can even get you racing well.

On the day

There's no feeling quite like walking your bike into transition before the dawn breaks over the water, surveying the name tags in your age-group, and setting your gear up. Whether it’s your first or your hundredth triathlon - the ritualisitic thrill of lining up for the portaloo, finding your goggles and writing or sticking your number on never fades.  

It's a very zen time as you plan your race and try to stay calm on the beach before it is your turn to take the plunge into water that is often sending your self-preservation radar into overdrive at the thought of not only swimming in there, but racing!  I always look for the little pink coats of my two girls, playing in the sand, looking for mummy in a sea of fluoro caps and I know I’m good to go.

If you’ve always wanted to have a go at a tri, you’ll need to be able to swim at least 250+ metres in open water.  This is different to a pool as conditions are not guaranteed.  I’ve been in the same stretch of water for races where one day it has felt like smooth glass and others, it has been similar to a choppy surf beach!  The good news is that you can wear a wetsuit, which helps with buoyancy.

Once you're out of the swim it’s time for the bike leg.  For your first few races or first season, don’t invest in too much expensive equipment at this point, a road bike will work fine - you can even put some aero bars on if you want.  You see this a lot in the sprint distance tris, as a sprint distance tri involves a 20km cycle  where you want to concentrate on training to improve your cadence and aerobic threshold to make you go as fast as possible and also conserve energy for the run.
 
How indoor cycling can help

45 minute or 1 hour sessions at Cycle Collective are specifically designed to improve your capacity in the working zones (Zone 4). We have outcome-driven programming which suits triathlon training perfectly.

Indoor Cycling translates to a faster bike time for you and even carry over to your run fitness.  I can attest to this myself as I'm often limited to 4am dark mornings in the off season to run, which means I don't do as much as I should.  But as an instructor who is on the indoor bike up to fifteen sessions per week, plus four one hour heavy weights sessions (as well as running around after my kids) plus little kids, the indoor bike sessions mean I end up with an easy 15-20km up my sleeve of run fitness.

Indoor Cycling helps you produce more power.  When you're riding on the road, you need to stop for lights or traffic.  This is fine when your ride is leisurely, but if you want to take your endurance up a notch into racing territory, a good training plan at Cycle Collective should include:

  • 2 YELLOW per week
  • 1-2x GREEN classes per week
  • 1-2 RED (strength - on bike) or BLACK (strength - off bike) classes per week (strength classes can be done on the same day)

It's also important to ensure you have enough time in the week to train in race-like outside conditions.

Be prepared

Pick a date for your first triathlon and a distance (mini or sprint recommended)

The Sole Motive ActiveTRI Series is a fun and great way to begin your tri journey

Make sure you have the right equipment

  • Goggles
  • Wetsuit
  • Helmet
  • Bike
  • Bottles
  • Gels
  • Trisuit or bathers with bike shorts over the top (2XU Trisuits and Orca Trisuits are great options)
  • Running shoes
  • Towel
  • Sunglasses

Have a chat to us about your goals

Make this the year to give it a go!  We're here to help and support you through to race day!