Triathlons can be gruelling, testing events even for the fittest of athletes. If you are at the beginning of your triathlon journey, it can be quite daunting trying to work out a proper training plan, or how much training you need to be doing. But we are here to help!

First of all, if you already perform regular exercise, or consider yourself to be reasonably fit and healthy, then you’re probably already ready to begin your triathlon training program! If you are starting from ‘couch potato’ or don’t think you are physically fit enough to complete one of these events, then you will need to spend a couple months building your physical fitness – 3 days a week of either swimming, cycling, or running should do the trick just fine, as long as you push yourself! The swim is often the most challenging and dangerous part of a triathlon, especially those featuring open-water swims, so if you aren’t 100% confident in your swimming strength then consider taking some lessons in a pool until you are confident enough to hit the ocean. NOTE FOR FIRST-TIMERS: Try your best to avoid open-water swims, bikes routes involving steep mountain passes, or run courses across the sand for your first triathlon. These can make a big difference for beginners.

Now that you have a appropriate level of fitness, we can begin a 6-week training course. Anyone should be able to train properly for a triathlon within 6 weeks, but if you’re worried, you can always train for longer, this is just a guideline. The event you are taking part in needs to be at LEAST 6-8 week away so you have time to train. Jennifer Rulon, a San Antonio-based coach and Ironman athlete, has created this handy and easy to use program aimed at sprint/Olympic distance triathlons, which calls for 5/6 days of training per week, either swimming, cycling, or running, sometimes multiple. Remember that you don’t HAVE to follow this exact program, you could come up with your own if you find something that works better for you!

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