So you want to be a triathlete? Coach Ani de Leon-Brown gives pointers to the wannabes:
Make time for training, she said. For people working Monday to Friday, devote, for instance, one to two hours of exercise before or after work. Do the longer training on Saturday and Sunday (three to four hours). Complete rest on Monday—do nothing that’s even remotely stressful. Friday is easy day—a slow run, bike or swim—in preparation for the heavy load on Saturday and Sunday.
For short-distance triathlon, training should be eight to 10 hours a week, with long rides and runs on weekends. For a 70.3, or half-Ironman, train at least 10-12 hours a week. Brown said logging in a mere eight to 10 hours of training a week for a half-triathlon will put you in a bare minimum survival mode. In three months, with proper training, you can join short-distance triathlons, and in one year your first half-triathlon.
Always give the body time to absorb the training—a recovery run, swim or bike—so it can flush out the lactic acid accumulated during intense training or racing the previous day. Brown said this will also help you feel less sore.
If possible, Brown advises having access to a coach. The coach can assess the hours you can devote to training in a week, and must be able to give you a couple of weeks to prepare for the training—what they call training to train.
There is no short cut, she said. Give yourself time to become stronger.
“Triathlon is an endurance sport. You will want longevity. Can you handle the miles without getting bored and injured?” Brown said. Anne A. Jambora