Sprint triathlon training
Image credit: Shutterstock.com
Sprint triathlons are short distance triathlons, and are usually preferred by beginners who have not accumulated enough experience to attempt longer distances. Such races consist of a 750-metre swim, 18-kilometre bicycle ride, and five kilometre run. Despite the shorter distances compared to other triathlon forms, sprint triathlons nevertheless require a considerable amount of stamina and strength to complete.
Swim regular distances that increase per week, in regular intervals. Do not be too ambitious when starting out. Begin by putting in ten laps per session, twice a week. Increase your number of laps in a consistent fashion each week, and progress to open water when you get closer to the race date. Ensure that at least one session per week is done in open water when you are one month away from the race.
As with swimming, you should also schedule two sessions a week for cycling training. Begin with a stationary bike at the gym, especially if you have not touched an actual bicycle in a long time. This will help you to get used to the cycling motion, so you don’t fall over or cause collisions when you get on a real one. For the first week of training, work on the stationary bike, starting with half an hour session. Move on to a regular bicycle for subsequent sessions, and increase your duration with each week. Make sure to cycle across a variety of terrain in order to get used to different surfaces that you might encounter during your race.
As the running portion is usually the concluding segment of each race, it is important for triathlon athletes to strengthen their muscles, so that they aren’t too exhausted to complete the run after swimming and cycling. Improving muscle capabilities will also add speed and power to your gait. Pencil two running sessions into your weekly workout routine, and work on interval training. This will help to build up your muscle strength and increase the power of your sprint. For about 20 minutes, sprint two-minute lengths and pause to catch your breath in between. Increase your total duration and distance of your sprints each week.
Other drills to work on before starting each training session
Swimming: Work on your strokes and save your lower limb energy for the cycling and running segments. In order to perfect this, do relaxed freestyle swims, but make sure not to move your stationary arm till your other one completes the stroke.
Cycling: Speed progressive cycling can certainly help to build those leg muscles. Start by spinning the pedals gently, and increase your speed gradually. Do this for around half an hour. You can also follow this drill with a one-legged exercise, that is, pedalling with just one foot. Pedal for ten minutes, before switching over and repeating the process with your other foot. Work on this for forty minutes - two full sets.
Running: Practise lunging over a distance for about ten minutes. Lower your body by bending your legs at the knees with each step. Switch legs for each subsequent step by pushing off from your front foot and straightening it. For the next ten minutes, work on backward kicks - kick your feet behind you and up towards your buttocks, bending at the knees with each step. Next, switch this drill to the front, and perform knee raises while running for another ten minutes. Do so by lifting your knees to your chest with each step.
To receive the latest updates on the happenings in the Singapore sports scene, or to find out more about some of the latest programmes on offer at ActiveSG, like our Facebook page here.