Runners have different reasons for making the decision to do a triathlon. Some may choose to do it because they want a new adventure on top of their running, but for others, it may be due to the fact that they are getting bored of simply running all the time.
Whatever your reason, here are some tips on how to balance out your training – without the risk of suffering from burnout. These tips will apply regardless of the distance of your first triathlon, that is, whether you are taking part in a Sprint or a Standard Distance triathlon – or even an Ironman, if you are feeling adventurous and daring enough.
1. Do Smart Training
Unlike running, which you might be able to get away with squeezing in all of your training during the weekends, it might be quite difficult to do so for triathlon training, because of the different nature of the three activities involved.
So instead of training for long sessions only twice a day on the weekends, try and get a little bit of training done each day. After all, maintaining good consistency and regularly in training, will definitely benefit you in the long run, compared to training sessions that are simply done for the sake of it. You may cover the same mileage, but the quality of the training will be so much better.
2. Have Short, Hard Sessions
Doing short, hard sessions will definitely benefit you when it comes to training for a triathlon. For example, an intensive 30-40 minute session where you work up a heavy sweat, will be much more worth it in the long run, compared to an easy 2-hour session, where the time is mainly spent chatting to your friend whilst doing an easy bike ride.
3. Make Training a Part Of Your Daily Routine
Instead of treating training like an additional part of your day, try and incorporate it into your everyday routine and you will love it a lot better. For example, try and do a short run during lunch hour at work perhaps to “earn” your lunch or do a short swim or bike ride after a tough day at work to help you cool off and let off some steam at the same time. This will certainly help you in the long run.
4. Do Brick Sessions
This is the most important thing when it comes to triathlon training because you will need to get used to the feeling of doing more than one sport during a single workout session.
For example, if there is no beach/swimming pool at your apartment block or house, you can do a brick session by running to the beach/swimming pool (if there is one nearby), do your swim and then run back. Also, you could incorporate a short 10-minute run after your long bike session just to get used to the feel of it.
Out of the various brick sessions that you can do, I would strongly urge you to do bike + run sessions because when you get straight off the bike and run, your legs will feel like jelly and you will probably not do well if you are experiencing this for the first time during the triathlon race itself. Practise this type of brick session first, so that you know what to expect on race day.