How to Train for Your First Triathlon: Top Tips for Beginner Triathletes

Competing in your first triathlon can be fun and exciting, but it can also be challenging if you’re not prepared. Beginner triathletes will perform better by following a training plan weeks ahead of the tri. Remember that training for and participating in fitness activities such as a triathlon will test your physical and mental limits. Be sure to check with your doctor before embarking in these activities.

In this guide, we’ll go through some beginner tips, as well as a daily training program to get in shape before the big day.

Where to Begin: Practice the Right Movements

In a triathlon, you use your entire body for the swim, the bike, and the run. There’s nothing better than actually training those exact movements and getting used to your swim gear, bike, and running gear.

Here are a few tips to get ready before your first tri:

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A Training Plan for Beginner Triathletes

Establish a workout schedule 6-10 weeks before the race. Some experienced triathletes like to alternate between running and swimming-biking. Consider adding strength training once or twice a week as well.

Here is an example training plan for a 5K run.

Day one:

  1. Light jog/walk intervals for 15-20 minutes
  2. Arm circles and a light swim

Day two:

  1. Light bike ride for 15-20 minutes
  2. Stretch

Day three:

  1. Rest

Day four:

  1. Bodyweight training for strengthening
  2. 2×10 squats
  3. 2×10 push-ups
  4. 2×10 sit-ups
  5. 10 shoulder circles in prone position for swimming

Day five:

  1. Rest

Day six:

  1. Mini, ride & run
  2. Bike for 5-10 miles
  3. run for 1-3 miles

Day seven:

  1. Rest

My Checklist of Triathlon Essentials

Here’s my personal list of essentials I like to bring to the tri.

In terms of what to eat before the race, I keep my breakfast light, with an easy to consume protein source and carbs. An Herbalife24 Formula 1 Sport protein shake and a banana could be a good option.

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Once you’re all set for the big day, remember to have fun! A triathlon, such as the upcoming Herbalife24 triathlon in Los Angeles, is a great opportunity to challenge yourself while being part of an amazing community, inviting people of all ages and fitness levels.

Denise Cervantes Herbalife

Denise CervantesCertified Personal Trainer, Specialist, Sports Performance & Fitness Education

Denise is a Certified Personal Trainer through ACE and NASM and is a Certified Group Exercise Instructor with AFFA. She also coaches as a Certified USA Weightlifting L1 and is certified as a Functional Movement Specialist with FMS L1.