The triathlon began in 1974 with the San Diego Track Club. At the time, people did not realize how well the sport would be accepted. Today, it is one of the most participated athletic events with local athletes, professional athletes and even Olympic-level athletes taking part.
The triathlon starts with a 2.4 mile swim. The next part consists of a 112 mile biking event immediately followed by a 26.2 mile marathon. There are other triathlon distances. For instance the Olympic distance event consists of 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike and a 10 km run. The Sprint triathlon has the athletes swimming 500 meters, biking for 20 km and running for 5 km.
How to Train for a Triathlon
If you want to participate in a triathlon, good for you and congratulations! There are some words of caution. Keep in mind that training for such a vigorous event requires dedication and time. This training is a process. First, you need to establish a base level of fitness. Always consult your physician before beginning a new training program. A normal training program for a triathlon should take around 16 weeks.
When training, use a heart rate monitor to make sure that your heart rate hits the target zone and is kept in the correct range. Use the glycogen and fluid-replacement strategies that you are planning to use in the race during your training so you know what you can rely on. Focus on the transitions. Practice and plan them out. This can shave off seconds or even minutes of time.
As with any training, make sure that you are eating right and above all, maintain hydrated during training. Also, make sure that you are sleeping right. Remember to properly and regularly stretch out to avoid injuries. Joining a club or consulting a coach can help get you ready mentally.
Training for Biking Tips
Evaluate your bicycle to make sure that it is the best possible fit for you. This is extremely important to minimize discomfort while preventing injuries. It will also assure that you perform to the best of your ability. Generally speaking, you need to look at the seat tube and the top tube. You need to have proper posture. Remember to stretch out properly before and after the workout on your bike, especially the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutei and calf muscles.
Training for Running Tips
For novice runners, don’t run one or two days before the event. A rest will help you. For more experienced runners, a light run of one or two miles is advised. Warming up can consist of light jogging or track field drills. In other words, concentrated, controlled, slow movements.
Training for Swimming Tips
The most common injuries associated with swimming are tendonitis and the compression of tendons within the shoulder joint. Swimmers need to use exercise techniques that work the rotator cuff, scapular stabilizers, back, abdominal muscles and core body strengthening.
Summarizing: The answer to the question “What is a triathlon?” is that it is an endurance sport consisting of three events: swimming, biking and running.