After I finished my first triathlon I got a lot of questions from those of you out there that are considering doing a triathlon. Like most of us who are just starting out with triathlons, many of you wanted to know what to use in terms of beginner triathlon training resources.
Mostly the questions were about training and what training program I’ve been using so I figured I would write a bit about that today. It should also help me out because I’m planning to continue doing triathlons and plan on purchasing/using some new triathlon training resources.
When I started researching the possibility of doing a triathlon I was quickly overwhelmed by all the information out there.
Since I’m a person who likes to do a lot of research before I do anything I went into overdrive and learned a lot of stuff that was probably not necessary for my first triathlon. But in the midst of all that research I came across a few great resources that might help you while planning your first triathlon.
Triathlon Training Resources: Books
Since I’m a huge reader/book person, this the first place I looked for triathlon training information. There are quite a few books written by amazing triathletes and coaches. If you are planning to start doing triathlons I highly recommend you add the following books to your library.
Triathlon Training Guidebooks
For a complete newbie I highly recommend picking up one (if not all) of these books. They will give you a solid foundation on the essential parts of completing a triathlon and will have you feeling way more prepared before your first race.
The Triathlete’s Training Bible – Best selling and most comprehensive training book.
These made me realize I could do triathlons despite not being a size zero or hardcore athlete… highly recommend them to get you inspired and fired up about doing your first triathlon.
Triathlon Training Resources: ALL IN ONE SITES
My most utilized resource was a training program from Tri Newbies. After looking at a few beginner programs I chose to go with their training programs. I chose to go with their 10 Week Beginner Sprint Distanct Program. I downloaded the PDF, printed it out, and then read through it countless times. I liked the program because I felt it would get me ready for the mini-sprint for sure and I could then build on to do a full sprint as well (maybe in September? or this summer? in the USA?!?). It eased you into the training with shorter, easier workouts in the beginning and built up your endurance if you followed the program. It is a great option for a true beginner.
Tri Newbies has a few other training programs including an 18 week beginner sprint program, 10 & 18 week olympic training programs, and an 18 week half-ironman distance. I completely recommend these programs if you want to train and don’t have the money to invest in a coach or detailed program. They also have a ton of articles about triathlons and getting started that are useful.
There is one other site that I fully recommend: Beginner Triathlete. I started utilizing this site later in my training. They have a mix of free and paid training programs and have much more variety than Tri Newbies. I like that they have certain plans that are tailored to strengthen the aspect you are weakest in. Since I need to work on my running I plan to go with a free training plan from Beginner Triathlete in my next round of training starting this week.
Another great aspect that I’ve used is the forums on Beginner Triathlete. Before my triathlon whenever I would get nervous I would hop on the forums and read posts from others who had been there and done that. There are tons of experienced triathletes there and they even have mentoring groups for beginners. The forums have a ton of great advice in there and I learned a whole lot once I found them.
Triathlon Training Resources: Twitter
My best piece of advice is to talk to other people who have completed a triathlon or two (or 20). That’s one reason I hang out on the Beginner Triathlete forums and another reason why I love Twitter. There are a ton of very awesome and very helpful triathletes on Twitter. They are almost all willing to give advice and tips when they can. Plus there are lots of conversations going on via the #tri and #triathlon hashtags. Follow me on Twitter and give me a shout so I can point you in the direction of super helpful tri friends.
Triathlon Training Resources: Blogs & Blog Posts
Before my tri I tried to find every possible triathlon post I could find from other healthy living bloggers. I looked around and discovered a lot of people I “know” online had completed triathlons and written about them giving me a wealth of information about what to expect.
- Katy Widrick – If you are planning to do a triathlon you need to connect with Katy. She has a passion for triathlons and for sharing information about them. My favorite post from her is very, very helpful: Triathlon Training: Why Anyone Can Tri and Succeed (I totally believe this too!). Katy is just awesome. I love this quote from her blog “Triathlon changed my life. It made me confident in my body (I’m fit, healthy and curvy — and proud of all three) and helped me craft a new identity.”
- Michelle completed a mini-tri in Australia. She also wrote a post about lessons she learned from the triathlon.
- Holly did a mini triathlon too (the shortest I’ve seen) and wrote a post A Mini Triathlon is Still a Triathlon.
- Tara did a triathlon and offered me great calming advice via twitter. Best advice? Breathe and move.
- Healthy Ashley’s Half-Ironman recap was super inspiring. Her ultra triathlon (aka ironman distance) recap was even more inspiring.
- Caitlin’s Olympic triathlon recap was probably my favorite post I read before the tri because it reminded me that mistakes are okay and no matter what finishing is what matters. She made it through the swim despite it being a huge phobia and even fell off her bike at the turn around point. But she finished and that was inspiring.
- Angela did a try-a-tri in Canada in similar conditions to my first tri: rain, wind, etc. Reading part 1 and part 2 of her recap was good prep for me when it turned out the weather was bad for my tri.
Those were some of the blog posts I read and re-read before my first tri for inspiration and a calming affect. It helped a lot to know that normal people I interact with online had done a tri.
Triathlon Training Resources: Other
There are a ton of other places to find triathlon training tips, advice, and inspiration.
You can also do yourself a huge favor by joining a local triathlon club/team or even just finding a running group. Getting to talk to people that do the same sport as you will give you a ton of information and help you out a lot when you are first starting out.
I guess now I can also add my own triathlon recap and lessons learned to the list for reading for newbies (or me for next time!)! So now there are recaps of all shapes and sizes out there… there is no reason why you can’t do a tri too. ;)
If you are planning on training for a triathlon or know someone who is please bookmark this page and share it. Triathlons are awesome and totally possible. I hope these resources help!
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