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The Beginner Triathlete's Guidebook

The Beginner Triathlete's Guidebook

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The Beginner Triathlete's Guidebook

150 pagine
2 ore
Sep 13, 2013


This book contains everything you need to know to finish a triathlon:

  • Swim with confidence
  • Build your body for endurance
  • Be mentally self-assured
  • Fuel your body right
  • Stay healthy
  • Race like a veteran
  • Gear up affordably
Sep 13, 2013

Informazioni sull'autore

Triathlete magazine, the world's #1 triathlon magazine, brings together coaches, athletes, nutritionists and doctors to inform and inspire athletes of all levels to enjoy the active lifestyle through triathlon.

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The Beginner Triathlete's Guidebook - Editors of Triathlete magazine

The Beginner Triathlete’s Guidebook

Copyright © 2013 by the editors of Triathlete magazine

All rights reserved. Published in the United States of America by

VeloPress, a division of Competitor Group, Inc.

3002 Sterling Circle, Suite 100

Boulder, Colorado 80301-2338 USA

303 440 0601 - Fax 303 444 6788

Distributed in the United States and Canada

by Ingram Publisher Services

ISBN 978-0-9858201-3-8

For information of purchasing VeloPress books, please call

(800) 811-4210 ext 2138 or visit

Cover and interior design by Lisa Williams and Oliver Baker

Cover photo by Paul Phillips/Competive Image

Text set in Arial



Gear Up

Swim Training

Bike Training

Run Training

Strength Training

Brain Training


Injury Prevention and Recovery


Training Plan


Triathlon can be intimidating. The gear, the learning curve of three separate disciplines, the requisite trial and error—all combined, it can present one daunting challenge. But then isn’t the challenge what makes it so worthwhile?

Even the top pros were newbies at one point, dipping their toes into the multisport waters and gleaning new knowledge from every training session and race experience. One of my favorite getting started anecdotes comes courtesy of four-time Ironman world champ Chrissie Wellington. In 2006, Wellington had just returned to her native U.K. from Nepal, where she had been doing humanitarian work. She decided to enter a triathlon and borrowed a wetsuit since she didn’t own one at the time. On race morning, as she dipped into the icy water for the swim start, her ill-fitting wetsuit began to take on water. The gun went off, recalls Wellington, and my wetsuit flooded. I couldn’t get my arms out of the water, let alone swim, and had to be rescued by a kayaker! Not the most auspicious start to an age-group—let alone decorated pro—triathlon career, but a good reminder that we all had to start somewhere.

In fact, early challenges can present golden opportunities for growth as a triathlete. While as a newbie you’ll gather important first-hand knowledge from trial-and-error experience, The Beginner Triathlete’s Guidebook, a compilation of the best beginner content from Triathlete magazine, will help navigate you through the basics so you’ll arrive at the start line healthy, confident and excited to take on your next multisport challenge.

Happy training,

Julia Beeson Polloreno


Triathlete magazine



By Sarah Wassner Flynn

Top triathletes, coaches and experts offer advice that will help conquer your fears and kick-start your training today. You can get to the finish line quicker than you may think.

The Worry: I’m not insanely fit.

The Answer: Triathlon embraces people of every shape and size—just look at the popularity of the Clydesdale (men heavier than 200 pounds) and Athena (women 150-plus pounds) divisions. So don’t let the numbers on the scale scare you away. One of my athletes hadn’t competed in any sport since high school and went from walking two miles to completing a triathlon, says Cami Stock, a former pro triathlete who now heads Wild Blue Racing in Colorado Springs, Colo. As she progressed, I watched the weight melt off of her as her confidence soared.

The Approach: Sure, you’re excited to get going. But don’t be too overzealous at first. Usually people start with a little too much enthusiasm in the first week or so and then are either injured or burned out and leave the goal of completing the triathlon by the wayside, says Tucson, Ariz.-based elite coach Cliff English. So ease into a training plan (such as the one at the back of this book), commit to it, and from there, reap the rewards. You will get fit, lose weight, feel healthy and probably be happier and more productive than you’ve ever been, says English.

Try This: Structure your diet to support your training and racing goals. Check out the nutrition chapter or tips on improving your diet.

The Worry: I don’t have time to train.

The Answer: You work long hours. You have a couple of kids, a spouse and a dog. You hardly have time to brush your teeth on some days, let alone head out for that planned two-hour ride. How to deal? Pro triathlete Becky Lavelle, who continues to train and race full-time after becoming a stay-at-home mom to her daughter, Caitlin, says it’s all about mastering the art of time management. I don’t have a nanny or a babysitter, so my time is limited. I have to focus more on quality versus quantity to make the most of each workout, says Lavelle. I try not to get hung up on what can’t be done and just try to focus on what I can do.

The Approach: Commit to a training schedule based on what you can realistically get done. Don’t schedule a swim at 6 a.m. on Wednesday when you have a Tuesday night deadline. And on the days when it’s just impossible to squeeze in a full workout? Shorten your workout and make it more intense, or try to make up for it later in the week, suggests Lavelle.

Try This: Convince a training partner or athletic friend to register for a race with you, then schedule a regular meet-up to swim, bike or run. Holding yourself accountable to someone else means you’re more likely to make the time to train.

The Worry: I won’t be able to run that far (or fast) after swimming and biking.

The Answer: Even the most seasoned runners fall victim to that familiar dead legs feeling after dismounting the bike, but there are ways to power through. As triathletes, we never run fresh, says pro triathlete Tim O’Donnell. So we need to learn how to run fast when tired.

The Approach: How can you stay strong throughout the run? O’Donnell’s transformation to a triathlete entailed completing all of his runs off of the bike or out of the water. For long runs, I would spin for 45 to 60 minutes before the run to adapt, he says. I would also do my easy runs on the treadmill after hard swim sessions.

Try This: A basic brick can prepare your legs for the swim-bikerun transitions. Stock has her beginner athletes do 3x(5 min bike/2 min run), increasing speed for each set.

The Worry: I’m not a good swimmer.

The Answer: While you may not enjoy the thought of donning a wetsuit and slipping into a body of water with a group of strangers, swimming is actually the easiest part of a triathlon to improve upon. Just ask pro Beth Shutt, of Natrona Heights, Pa. Until she started triathlons in 2006, her idea of swimming was playing Marco Polo in her parents’ pool. In one of her first races, she was last out of the water. Today she’s among the faster swimmers on course. It definitely took a lot of effort, but I was determined not to let my swim be a glaring weakness, says Shutt. To become a better swimmer, it’s a matter of putting in the work.

The Approach: Start where you are, says Stock. If you have little swim experience, enlist the help of a swim instructor to get the basics down. Many Masters groups cater to triathletes and offer technique tips as well as challenging workouts in a group environment, she says. Google one in your area, many pools and gyms host Masters workouts. Remind yourself that swimming is the shortest part of any triathlon. So if your strokes are sluggish, at least you won’t be doing it for long.

Try This: After joining a Masters club, enter yourself in a swim meet. Being competitive in the pool really helped me learn to enjoy swimming, Shutt says.

The Worry: I don’t have enough money.

The Answer: Yes, triathlon is a pricey sport. But there are ways to get by without zeroing out your savings account. Meaning, as slick as those race wheels and TT bike look, you don’t need top-of-the-line gear right out the gate. I did my first triathlon with a borrowed bike from my friend’s garage, says Stock. Triathlon can be a single-event accomplishment or a lifestyle, and the reason it’s so fun is because there is always room to improve, always opportunity for upgrade, and none of it can or should be done overnight.

The Approach: Invest in the important stuff: properly fitting running shoes, goggles that don’t leak, a decent-fitting tri kit and a good helmet. Borrow or rent the rest until you’re completely committed to the sport. Bonus: This way, you’ll get to test plenty of gear before you plunk down the cash.

Try This: Go local. A large portion of triathlon costs are tied to travel, so save on flights and hotels (and the dreaded airline bike fees) by finding a race you can drive to. And seek out races with lower entry fees—with so many

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