The Sprint Triathlon training is the perfect training distance for getting started in the sport.
If you are planning your first sprint triathlon it’s a great opportunity to learn about the triathlon transition from the swim to bike and bike to run. It’s the ideal mini-triathlon for getting started.
The beginner triathletes of today have the opportunity to ease themselves into the sport of triathlon. That’s a big plus and something that was not an option in the early days of the sport.
In those formative years there were basically no shorter triathlons to practice or learn on and it was the Ironman or nothing for many people who were “Ironstruck” in those early years.
Now however it’s a far different story and there are many options available and there is sure to be one that will fit your level of ability.
SOME OF YOUR RACE CHOICES
For the very beginner who is still not able to swim, it’s always possible to be part of a relay team in some triathlons. Find two friends who can take care of the swimming and biking and perhaps you can do the run portion.
This is a great way to ease into the sport and find out how it all works.
The TRY A TRI is usually very, very short and is almost always a pool swim so beginners feel more comfortable.
The “Sprint Triathlon” is next in line is normally about a 700-800 meter swim, a 20k bike and a 5k run, or basically half the distance of the “Olympic Triathlon” that’s a 1500 meter swim, a 40k bike and a 10k run.
From there you graduate into the longer distances. The “Half Ironman” is a 1.2 miles swim, a 66 mile bike and a half marathon, or exactly half the distance of the full “Ironman Triathlon” that’s a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and a full marathon.
PREPARING FOR YOUR SPRINT TRIATHLON
If you are just learning how to swim and feel quite comfortable in the water and can easily manage a 500 meter swim then chances are you will do just fine in your first short triathlon.
Even if the swim is a bit longer than 500 meters, you should manage fine adding a few more laps onto your swim.
Very few sprint tri swims are in the open water and that’s mainly so people can ease into the swimming before doing longer events that involve open water swims.
As far as the biking goes, you can do most of your preparation on a stationary bike or preferably on a WIND-TRAINER so you will be able to get used to the bike you will be using on race day.
Be sure to get outside on several rides as the race gets nearer so you can work on your balance, cornering and hills.
For most people the bike is quite manageable and the key is to just take your time and enjoy yourself out on the triathlon course.
In the sprint you will most likely be running 5k and that’s a very manageable distance.
If you are quite new to running, then train by combining running and walking during your sessions. As you become fitter you can add more running to your workouts.
As far as the sprint triathlon run course, you can do the very same thing. Once you get off the bike, walk a little at a fairly fast pace and stretch your legs out. They will be stiff from the biking.
Once your legs feel like they are stretched out than begin the same running and walking technique that you practiced in your race preparation.
If you are an experienced runner, then perhaps you can run the whole thing. That’s great. The important thing is to manage your sprint triathlon well within your capabilities.
A BIT ABOUT TRIATHLON NUTRITION
The sprint triathlon is quite a short race but it’s still important to get used to what foods and drinks agree with you when you are stressing yourself physically. The best place to do this is during your training.
Try these drinks and foods out during your sprint triathlon. The shorter races are a great testing ground if plan on graduating to longer distances as your triathlon career progresses.
If you find a special food, replacement drink, or energy bar that works for you in training, then try it out in your sprint. Also it’s important to understand the BENEFITS OF DRINKING WATER and getting used to drinking at regular intervals during your sprint triathlon.
The good habits you form in the shorter races will be very valuable should you decide to graduate to the much longer distances of the half ironman or ironman triathlon one day.
ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE
The key and your goal by taking part in a sprint triathlon should be to learn about the sport of triathlon and what it involves and to have a good time and meet some great people along the way.
One of the biggest benefits of triathlon–regardless of the distance of the race–is that there will always be other people who are at your same level of experience.
It’s very motivating to be in a triathlon of any distance and have volunteers, friends, and other participants cheering you on.
Looking for a longer race? Visit Ironman.com for information on upcoming Ironman events.