How to train for your first triathlon

I did it. I’m an accomplished triathlete. Ok, maybe not accomplished, but a triathlete nonetheless. I mean, I really do think I was the fattest male in my age out there. But, that didn’t matter — I’m also the fattest male in my age that I know did it.

So after burning over 25,000 calories across 10 weeks, what have I learned?

  • Training is key. While I never did a full 3 hours of exercise, I did do several 60 min and a couple of 90 minute ones. Doing these longer sessions several times a week really gets you ready.
  • Increase intensity no more more than 10% week. And every 4 weeks have an easy week (30% decrease) to let your body and mind heal. Start back at previous level the next week.
  • Track and monitor. It is so fulfilling, and motivating, to see yourself progress over time. Check out mapmyrun.
  • Find a motivated work-out buddy, but don’t make your workout dependent on them. On days you really don’t want to work out, they will hold you accountable.
  • Treat yourself after a workout. Have daily, weekly, and monthly goals. Even if you don’t achieve them all, give yourself a reward — you deserve it.
  • Listen to your body. If it is tired, try a lighter training such as swimming, or slow it down. The point is to put in the time so you get into the rhythm not to hurt yourself.

Whatever you do, stay with it. I can’t fully explain the feeling of completing a triathlon (even a small one), but it is something you will talk about for a lifetime.

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