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Training for your First Triathlon isn’t as Hard as it Sounds

Endurance racing is quickly becoming a trendy sporting activity and triathlons are growing in popularity. Many people would never think about trying a race that pushes you so physically and mentally, but some people are contemplating it. For those adventurous types looking for another way to push their limits, triathlons could be perfect.

 

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Endurance racing is quickly becoming a trendy sporting activity and triathlons are growing in popularity. Many people would never think about trying a race that pushes you so physically and mentally, but some people are contemplating it. For those adventurous types looking for another way to push their limits, triathlons could be perfect.

Mixing swimming, cycling and running, triathlons are as extreme of a workout as you will find. Marathons are often longer but participants don’t have to master three separate disciplines. For years triathlons have seemed unreachable for many athletes and novices alike, but nowadays, they seem more attainable than ever.   Gyms are offering triathlon classes and there are teams in training that specifically gear you up for your first race.

Here is a helpful guide on how to go from spectator to full participant in no time flat. Get off that couch and let’s train for a triathlon, with these easy to follow steps.

 

Choose a race

First of all, you have to choose a race. Signing up for a race is the best motivator, because you now have a date and something to work towards. Use this as inspiration to set achievable goals and work hard to reach these goals. The final goal should be compete in the triathlon.

First, not all triathlons are equal, as many are shorter distances and generally are easier. When you think of triathlon, you imagine the Iron-Man in Hawaii, where competitors swim for 2.4 miles, take a 112-mile bike ride and finish it up with a 26.2-mile run, sounds impossible? You are in luck; many triathlons offer “sprints,” which are shorter, condensed triathlons.

I would choose a sprint as your first race and see how you like it. These are generally shorter and the distances are a half-mile swim, 12-mile bike and three-mile run, now that seems doable. You can also try an Olympic course, which is a one-mile swim, 24-mile bike ride and a 6six-mile jog.

 

Get Your Equipment

Ok, so you signed up for a race, now you have to get your gear together. Here is a beginner’s list of things you may need to compete.

Swim stuff

You will need your swim gear like goggles, a swim cap and obviously a swimsuit. Depending on where your race is, you may want to purchase a wetsuit, if the water will be below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bike Stuff

No need for a fancy, expensive bike, just get yourself a quality road bike and a crash rated helmet. You can get yourself some cycling gear as well, like an aerodynamic cycle suit or bicycle shorts. The added padding t=in the shorts will make your bottom happier for sure. Some people like cycling shoes that click into the pedal, but this is a personal preference thing.

Running stuff

Get yourself some awesome running shoes; these are crucial to your success and health. Make sure you have good socks because you don’t want blisters, they will make you bow out for sure.

 

Training

Training is the most important aspect to gearing up for a huge race. Since you will be performing three completely different sports, you will need to practice all three, a lot. You can do all your training in a 12-week period by just training for 6 hours a week. The standard rule for training goes like this: 50% on the bike, 30% swimming and 20% running.

 

Bike: 2-3 times a week

You’ll want to spend your energy increasing your stamina so take long rides for a while as you build up your endurance, then work on speed drills.

 

Swim: 2 times a week

Get in the water twice a week and work on long strokes and steady kicks. Take some classes at your local pool so your strokes are as efficient as possible. After being comfortable in the pool, try an open water swim to get yourself ready.

 

Run: once a week

If you are doing a sprint, it’s only 3 miles of running, so if you have run before, chances are you’ve run three miles. You should already be prepared for this. Try and increase each run’s distance by 5%, doing this will prepare you.

  

Weights: Once per week

Hit the gym and do some weight training, this will help you get stronger mentally and physically.

 

Health and Healing

Make sure you properly recover after these workouts by resting and soaking your sore muscles. Take a hot tub a few times a week and consider seeing a massage therapist to work on any sore spots.

 

That’s it, gang, not too difficult. I think if you train for 12-weeks anyone can do a triathlon; you just need some motivation and intestinal fortitude.

 

Photos courtesy of panda, pinterest, YMCA

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A Guide to Better Scalp Care

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It is frequently easy to disregard the things that we cannot see. With scalp care, for instance, most people simply adopt the habit of shampooing their hair regularly. Some wash their scalps—and hair—daily while others prefer to do so every other day. Depending on your preference, you might even do the washing only once a week.

Nevertheless, beauty experts assert that it is essential to have a better scalp care routine. The scalp is a literal extension of your face and disregarding its condition can easily lead to several conditions including itching, dryness, and irritation—and dandruff. A dirty, uncared-for scalp can potentially become a breeding ground for unwanted parasites like lice, or even cause unnecessary hair loss.

But what does the scalp do for us and why do we need to take better care of it?

The scalp is not different from the skin in the body. Although it grows thicker and longer hair than all the other parts of the body, it is anatomically the same as all the other areas in the human body. The scalp, however, has more oil glands, 100,000 hair follicles, and five levels—or layers—of tissue.

The scalp’s sebaceous glands produce sebum or oil which, then, helps determine the condition of the hair and the scalp’s skin. The specific production of sebum is different from individual to individual. The scalp does not simply provide us with hair. It also protects our skull from infection and trauma. Regular scalp care, then, is important as this promotes both the healthy hair growth and scalp protection.

When questioned about the best scalp care routine, Michelle Henry, a dermatologist, says that a healthy scalp must not have any problems. “We shouldn’t see redness, we shouldn’t see irritation, and we shouldn’t see a lot of scales or buildup. It should not feel tender and it should not have an odor,” she shares. Henry adds that it is always best to consult a dermatologist if you experience any of these scalp conditions.

Scalp care is similar to the overall skin care regimen. The scalp must always be clean, replete of dirt, debris, and oil. Nonetheless, it is also essential to let it stay hydrated. Like with skin hydration, hydrating your scalp must be dependent on the type of scalp you have. For instance, if you have dry scalp, it is recommended that you avoid over-stripping it with scrubbing.

Shampoos and hair conditioners are dependent on the type of scalp you have. If you have an oily scalp, you can use sulfate-free shampoos. You can even purchase a shampoo that exfoliates your scalp. One with sea salt can work wonders. Those with dry scalps, however, must use a scalp toner which helps moisturize the scalp. A moisturizing shampoo and conditioner can also help.

Scalp care is as important as overall skin care. Longer and thicker hair can be achieved when the scalp is allowed to remain healthy, clean, and moisturized. Depending on the type of scalp you have, however, you should only choose products that are entirely right for you.

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Sedentary Lifestyle Can Abruptly Damage Your Health

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Having a sedentary lifestyle can quickly damage your health as it can lead to serious issues like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Massive and prolonged lockdown protocols in the US have forced many to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. The need to limit COVID-19 transmission led a lot of citizens to spend more time sitting at home and forego daily commutes. According to experts, most Americans are now spending a daily average of six (6) hours sitting as compared to the daily average of four (4) hours prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Most citizens, even the typically active ones, are now adhering to a more sedentary lifestyle with physical activity dropping to almost one-third of pre-pandemic times. Those who used to be sedentary became even more sedentary, as well, asserts a recent research published in the Psychiatry journal.

These alarming trends stipulate, then, that the average American has a more sedentary lifestyle at present as compared to any other period in history. “We have definitely seen instances of increased sedentary behavior, especially with more people at home during lockdowns, and more unemployment,” mentions Dr Richard Yoon, orthopedics chief at Jersey City Medical Center. “Not only the physical effects but also the mental challenges posed by the pandemic have taken their toll. And I have seen that some of my patients are less active and visiting the fridge more often because of the loss of their old routines,” Yoon adds.

An increased sedentary lifestyle leads to several health issues including heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, and even death. The prevalent trends of work-from-home (WFH) arrangements and distance learning schemes further exacerbate the problem.

“It definitely takes less time for an unhealthy lifestyle to take hold than an active, healthy one. Once you get into a routine of not doing much, you can start feeling the effects right away,” Yoon points out. “Muscle breakdown can start in as little as 24 hours, and aches and pains start to creep in,” he stresses.

Furthermore, sitting all day can even lead to an increased experience of back pain which, then, encourages people to perpetuate a more sedentary lifestyle. People who do not feel well tend to decrease their physical activities and the tempting idea of staying immobile takes hold.

“Sedentary behavior and lifestyle have a very strong link to the development of back pain,” asserts Dr Medhat Mikhael, a pain management specialist at the Spine Center of the MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center. “Weight gain that puts a load on the spine and weakened abdominal and back muscles together with weakened ligaments would lead to further load on the spine,” he continues. “All of these effects and changes would create a vicious circle of back pain and further physiological and mechanical deterioration of the spine.”

The vicious cycle that results from adopting a sedentary lifestyle gets further supported by the gradual appearance of different health issues as more and more Americans follow the lockdown protocols mandated to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, there is a need to exert some effort, even when remaining at home, so that this sedentary lifestyle does not take hold—and encourage the onset of several physical and mental issues.

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Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle During the Holidays

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It is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This becomes particularly difficult during the Christmas holidays when food becomes overflowing and simultaneous celebrations sway you toward overindulging your palate.

Experts stress that it is important to focus on having a healthy lifestyle during the upcoming holiday season. Harvard’s Medical School fellow, Dr Beth Frates, provides us with several tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the year-end celebrations.

Dr Frates mentions the necessity of maintaining your workout routine. She points out that people tend to forget their exercise routines during stressful situations. To halt such drastic decisions, however, she recommends integrating a new activity. People get easily stimulated when they are presented with new activities. She adds that it is also helpful to request for exercise-related gifts or even opt for holiday celebrations that allow you active participation.  Playing a simple game with the family, for example, can provide you with the opportunity to physically exert yourself.

It helps to maintain your habits, as well. Dr Frates stresses the need to track your routine. A healthy lifestyle cannot be easily attainable without the conscious effort to control what you do. Hence, recording what you eat and drink during every meal is beneficial. Keeping a record of your daily exercise routine is essential, as well. She says that your logbook permits you to measure your efforts and also allows you to approximate the level of indulgence you can appropriate for yourself during the holidays.

Dr Frates also shares that it is crucial to have a proper mindset. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle cannot be done without changing your point of view. A positive outlook in life is essential. Thus, it is best to throw away all the negative thoughts and pursue only the good vibes that typically accompany the holiday celebrations. Spending time with your family and loved ones can provide you with this, as well.

Food, she says, is an integral part of the upcoming celebrations. However, we should not forget that Christmas and New Year are both centered on new beginnings, as well. Hence, focusing on beneficial modifications and resolutions should be looked into. Banishing undesirable habits, addictions, and even people can greatly help shape—and maintain—a healthy lifestyle. Infusing yourself with good thoughts and plans can further contribute, as well. Allow yourself to discover new things, as well. Find loved ones to do outdoor activities with.

Finally, Dr Frates points out that overindulging yourself during this holiday season can still be a possibility. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to your maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. Allow yourself to enjoy. The Christmas season is a time of celebration which specifically allows you to relax and be with your loved ones. It is the moment when you get to let your hair down and simply be yourself. She stresses that slipping up on your exercise routine, for instance, shouldn’t be a cause for worry. You can always start again, she adds.

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