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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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Doing various lifestyle changes can be difficult especially when you attempt to initiate huge modifications that merely remain unfulfilled over time. Experts assert that planning small changes is more practical and achievable in real life.

Drink more water

The regular intake of water provides a multitude of benefits. Water helps reduce the frequency of migraines; it helps slow down aging; it aids in digestion; it assists in weight loss, among others. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water each day provides you with more energy, enabling you to manage the daily grind.

Go for daily walks

We all know that exercise helps keep us healthy, as well. However, not everyone has the time—or inclination—to start a rigorous and time-consuming exercise routine. Nonetheless, you can still keep yourself healthy by taking daily walks. You can start by taking a walk after you get up from bed each day and then do another round when you get home from work in the afternoon. If you are working from home, take several breaks and walk in your front yard or garden for a few minutes each time.

Begin writing a gratitude journal

Stress gets accumulated due to the many upheavals of daily life. There is a lot to complain about and work can become too stressful at times. You should know, though, that stress and worry can be debilitating to your health. Starting a gratitude diary allows you to destress yourself, realize how blessed you are, and allow catharsis to unfold.

Do a few minutes of reflection and meditation

Because you tend to be so busy each day, you forget to find time to reassess all the things that you are already blessed with. Worries are everyday facts of living. However, you do not have to dwell on them all the time. Find a few minutes to reflect upon the good things in life. Stay still and silent for a bit. Listen to the birds and smell some flowers if you can.

Ask for help when you need it

The funny thing about most people is that it is considered a crime to ask help from others. Most people think that admitting the need for help is tantamount to admitting weakness—a terrible blunder for one’s dignity. However, it is essential to remember that no one’s perfect and that a lot of us need assistance from time to time. Learning to lower yourself and admit the need for aid ultimately lightens your soul—and even helps you learn the virtue of humility.

In essence

It is necessary to plan some changes in your life. These changes can help lighten your everyday burden and eventually welcome more positivity in the different aspects of your existence. However, you should start with doing small modifications. Keeping them small allows you to easily fulfill them because big goals tend to be too difficult especially when you’re too busy trying to keep up with the daily hustle and bustle. Also, laugh a little. Accept your frailty and be at peace with the world.    

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Yoga: The Ultimate Solution to Chronic Pain

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A recent study found that patients with chronic disease and depression found a sort of release upon trying a mindful-based stress reduction course. The study proved that there was a considerable improvement in the participants’ mood, functional capacity, and perceptions of pain upon participating in the activity. According to the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, it was found that 89% of the study’s respondents claimed that the program helped them in various ways. Despite having 11% of the participants remaining neutral, most of them agreed that the activity allowed them to better cope with the pain. Chronic pain may be common, but this ailment is considered one of the most severe medical conditions out there. The medical condition is believed to have affected over 100 million people in the United States and correlates to an annual cost of $635 billion.

The Effects of Chronic Pain

A small-scale study was conducted in a semi-rural population in Oregon, wherein issues about affordability, addiction, and access to care are abundant. During eight weeks, the participants were instructed to try a mindfulness meditation followed by a mindful hatha yoga exercise. According to Cynthia Marske, an osteopathic physician, and director of graduate medical education at the Community Health Clinics of Benton and Linn Counties, she claims that numerous people have lost hope because of the possibility of chronic not being fully resolved. However, she believes that mindful yoga and meditation can help the body’s structure and function and cater to the healing process. 

The Difference Between Healing and Curing

According to Dr. Marske, he claims that healing is becoming whole again, while curing is the point of eliminating the disease. He believes that yoga and meditation can help make things manageable during the chronic pain healing process. A study conducted found that mindful meditation and yoga led to notable improvements in a person’s perspective on pain, disability, and depression. In the Patient Health Questionnaire, also known as PHQ-9, it was found that the scores of the standard measure of depression dropped by 3.7 points on a 27-point scale. Dr. Marske concluded that some patients often experience a similar drop from the use of anti-depressants. 

Depression and Chronic Pain

Dr. Marske claims that depression and chronic pain go hand in hand. However, he believes that mindfulness-based meditation and yoga can, indeed, restore a patient’s physical and mental health. He believes that both of these combined are effective alone or infused with other medication and therapy treatments. Participants also received instructions from MBSR, a systematic educational program that trains people to raise awareness of the self in the present time and a nonjudgmental manner. The results support other claims on how MBSR can help treat chronic pain while healing from perceived depression. Dr. Marske says that the bottom line is that patients are looking for new ways to endure chronic pain and effective non-pharmaceutical remedies available. However, he firmly believes that yoga and meditation are the go-to plans for patients searching for relief from chronic pain.

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Lady Gaga, Ray Dalio, and Oprah Swear That TM, a Meditation and Yoga Derivative. Works for Them

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Mental health is a major aspect of our well-being. It affects everything else, from decision-making to stress management. Meditation and yoga are key techniques in maintaining excellent mental health. However, there’s a trending derivative that’s currently making the rounds among celebrities—Transcendental Meditation (TM).

Personalities at Twitter, including Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Beyonce swear that this new technique works as it helps them improve creativity, control stress, and boost energy levels.

During Oprah Winfrey’s “2020 Vision Your Life in Focus Tour” conducted at Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, Winfrey and Stefani Germanotta aka Lady Gaga discussed their love for TM and its corresponding benefits in their lives. These celebrities, including Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio, share that they learned TM from their teacher, Bob Roth, CEO of The David Lynch Foundation.

What is Transcendental Meditation?

Transcendental Meditation or TM is an exclusive practice. Its followers—or would-be followers—are taught by certified instructors through a 4-day course that’s made available for $380 to $960, depending on the student’s level of advancement.

According to Roth, TM is a simple meditation technique that requires you to sit for 20 minutes twice a day while uttering a repeated mantra. In his 2014 YouTube video, Roth adds that TM differs from other meditation techniques because it “allows the active thinking mind to just, all of it to just settle down, and experience quieter levels of thought” as compared to other techniques that prompt you to focus on your breathing or observe your thoughts.

More Important Than Work

Winfrey, in her 2018 Super Soul Conversations interview with Amy Schumer, asserts that TM is “one of the most life-enhancing things [she] ever did”. After the said TM experience, Winfrey shared in her 2011 interview with “The Dr. Oz Show” that she hired a TM coach to teach her Harpos Studios production crew how to meditate.

She says that her staff would, then, take a couple of breaks each day as the practice of meditation is “more important than the work you are doing. [TM] brings a kind of energy and an intensity of energy, an intention that we have never had before.”

Reason for Success

In his 2018 Facebook post, Dalio attests that TM is possibly “the single most important reason for whatever success [he’s] had.” Dalio, 70, shares that he first came across TM during his early 20s. In his book entitled “Principles”, he says that TM “has enhanced my open-mindedness, higher-level perspective, equanimity and creativity. It helps slow things down so that I can act calmly, even in the face of chaos, just like a ninja in a street fight.”

Dalio asserts recommends those who are curious about the positive effects of transcendental meditation to get a copy of Roth’s 2018 meditation book, “Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation.”

End Thoughts

Meditation and yoga have long been used to correct certain mental health issues. Recent studies report that transcendental meditation, a newer derivative of these techniques, poses possible health benefits. In a 2009 research, experts discovered that young individuals who practiced TM for 3 months displayed lower levels of anxiety, anger, depression, hostility, and even blood pressure.

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