A number of our runners have had a go at the triathlon so I thought it would be beneficial to look into this event. The Olympic distance triathlon is a 1500m swim followed by a 40km bike ride and a 10km run. There are many variations on these distances but for the purpose of this article we will look at the standard Olympic distances. The event is run either using a swimming pool or in open water. Following the swim competitors have to go straight to their bike – no time for shower & change! Many events are won or lost on the speed of transition from one event to the next. The total time taken for an athlete is the moment they enter the water until they cross the finish line of the 10km run.
What draws people to the triathlon? What are the benefits of triathlon over just running as a healthy option? Many turn to the triathlon after sustaining running injuries. Cycling and swimming are two incredibly effective ways of maintaining or increasing cardiovascular fitness. Therefore, if unable to run these two activities may well be an attractive way of keeping fit. The move into a triathlon competition would then become a realistic option. We talk about ‘cross training’ – nothing to get angry about. Cross training is a way of improving running without the repetitive pounding on the hard tarmac. For instance on ‘rest’ days runners can use the bike or pool. This becomes a way of avoiding injury.
The triathlon uses more muscles than purely running thus giving the tri-athlete a more balanced whole-body muscular development. It gives variety to your training programme and potentially more fun. However, being good at swimming, cycling and running alone is not enough for success. Combination workouts and general strength conditioning is also required. If you are serious about triathlon training be warned it can take over your life!
www.bratclub.co.uk is one of our local triathlon clubs.