How to Get Started?

Before we answer this question, let's get inside your head a little bit.

Ask yourself these questions:
1. What are your goals?
2. How much time do you have per week to train?
3. Right now, do you have a base in running, biking and/or swimming?

What are your goals?
What is your initial first year goal?
Do you want to do one sprint triathlon this summer?
Do you want to do two distances in one season?

Sprint > Olympic > 1/2 Ironman > Full Ironman

  Sprint Olympic 1/2 Ironman Full Ironman
Swim .5 mile .93 mile 1.2 miles 2.4 miles
Bike 13 miles 24.8 miles 56 miles 112 miles
Run 3.2 miles 6.2 miles 13.1 miles 26.2 miles

Race distances can vary from the table above, but most races will fit pretty close with the above distances.

Goals: We all need goals, but they need to be realistic. If you set your goals beyond your capabilities, you will be inviting injury, burnout and probably failure. It is safe to say that you should only cover two consecutive distances per season. The last thing you want is to get too excited and go from the couch to a ½ ironman in one year.

How much time do you have per week to train?
Think about this for awhile and write down the number of hours you have to commit. Think about your family, work and other obligations.
I have _________days per week to train.
I have _________hours per day to train Monday through Friday.
I have _________hours on Saturday and/or Sunday.
I have on average _________hours per week

Based on your answers above, circle the options that are available for you depending on your goals and your available training time.

  Sprint Olympic 1/2 Ironman Full Ironman
Days/Week 4-6 4-6 5-7 5-7
Min hours per week 2 3 4 5
Max hours per week 7 12 14 18

Talk to your family and friends about your goals and having their support will significantly help your training and overall family life. You need your family to understand your goals and be able to support you since your training will be taking time away from them, especially for long bike rides. It’s a balancing act that you must work hard to maintain to stay in tune with your family so that they can be supportive. Believe me, you are setting a good example and hopefully they understand that you are doing something good for yourself.

Right now, do you have a base in running, biking and/or swimming?
Single sport background or multi sport experience

Depending on what your training distance and volume is right now, you have established a fitness base and may be able to jump into the Olympic distance right off the bat. Remember, most training plans average each sport 3 times per week, usually no more than 4 and no less than 2. So if you are a single sport athlete now, you will have to cut back to add time for the new sports.

#1 Question: To answer the first question: How to get started?
Our answer: Enter a triathlon. Fill out the registration form and mail it in.
That’s step #1. I have always felt the hardest part of any adventure is making the decision to do it, not training for it or actually doing it.

Give it a tri !

Deb Ernst