Keys to Training for Your First Triathlon

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Deciding to train for your first triathlon is a big decision. This event takes significant time and effort to be properly prepared. Once you have made this decision, set yourself up for a successful training program prior to the event. Use the following tips to make those most of your first triathlon training experience.

Understand your abilities and limitations – Have you been running all your life? Are you comfortable swimming laps for an hour? Does riding a bike in a group make you nervous? Acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to put together a training plan specific to your needs.

Have a strategy – Swimming, cycling, and running every day is a recipe for overtraining. Plan a schedule of how you will train for each piece of the triathlon. Having a balanced plan including endurance, strength, core, and mobility training will best prepare you for all three disciplines. Consider consulting a YMCA fitness professional on how to specifically create your personalized training plan.

Expect setbacks – No matter how great the training plan, there are bound to be setbacks. Days of low-motivation, injuries, illness, and “life” are all inevitable variables to your plan. Understanding that there will be “bad days” will ease the stress of the setback and allow you to get back on track as quickly as possible. During times of difficulty, don’t forget to celebrate your progress.

Enjoy the process – Going through the motions may get you across the finish line, but for what purpose if you do not have fun? Take time to appreciate your effort along the way. Celebrate your great workouts and share your accomplishments with family and friends. The more fun you have throughout the process, the better the feeling when you finish the journey.

Assess – Take time to reflect on your first triathlon experience. Ask yourself in what ways were you successful? What would you change if you did this all again? Going through this evaluation process will help you appreciate everything you have done and prepare you for an even more successful second triathlon.

If you are considering training for your first triathlon, use these tips and contact your YMCA fitness professional for more training strategies and ideas.

View the YMCA Indoor Triathlon Series 2016 page for additional information on the March 13, 2016 event in Green Bay. Has the 2016 event passed? Find our YMCA Indoor Triathlon Series under our Events link each Spring!

2016 Indoor Triathlon WEBE


Nick Rozek Greater Green Bay YMCA
Workplace Wellness Coordinator & Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist