Triathlons On The Up

The popularity of triathlon participation has ballooned recently. It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the United Kingdom and Ireland with a 120% increase in participation in the last 5 years. On average, 1,000 new participants are joining the Triathlon evolution annually. The main motivation behind this is increased interest in sports and fitness along with the diversity of disciplines triathlon participation offers (running, swimming and cycling).

The shortest distance triathlon is the “Sprint Distance Triathlon” which incorporates a 750 metre swim, a 20km cycle and 5km run.

What’s the best way to get involved?

As it’s a fast growing sport, getting involved is pretty straightforward. On this small island of ours (Ireland) there are currently 83 triathlon clubs nationwide. Some of the larger ones have 200+ members while the smaller ones average around 30 or 40 members each. All are well organised and promote a sense of community, so getting involved launches you into this challenge with a welcoming community – so it’s well worth it for anyone who has the motivation to give it a go.

What do you need to do to be ready to partake in a sprint distance triathlon?

Give yourself a 10 week period to get ready for your event with a programme that starts off gently, increases in intensity as the programme pushes on and then finally tapers down in the last week.

Week 1: 3 light jogs, 2 half hour pool swims

Week 2: 3 relatively light jogs, 3 pool swims (12 lengths straight in second session, 14 lengths straight in third session) 1 cycle for 1 and a quarter hours

Week 3: 3 light jogs, 2 pool swims (13 lengths straight in first session, 16 lengths straight in second session), 1 cycle for 1 and a quarter hours

Week 4: 3 jogs thirty-forty minutes in duration, 3 pool swims (14 lengths straight in first session, 16 lengths straight in second session, 20 lengths straight in third session). 1 cycle for 1 hour and 30 minutes

Week 5: 3 runs thirty-forty minutes in duration, 1 mixed session (1km run,5km bike, 1 km run), 2 pool swims (20 lengths straight in first session, 22 lengths straight in second session), 1 cycle for 1 and a quarter hours

Week 6: 3 runs thirty-forty minutes in duration, 1 mixed session (1km run,5km bike, 1 km run), 2 pool swims (24 lengths straight in first session, 16 lengths straight in second session), 1 cycle for 1 and a half hours

Week 7: 3 runs thirty-forty minutes in duration, 2 mixed sessions (1km run,5km bike, 1 km run), 2 swims (20 lengths straight in first session, 26 lengths straight in the second session), 1 cycle for 1 hour 45 minutes

Week 8: 2 runs (one three mile time trial and another light run for 45 minutes), 2 pool swims (24 lengths straight in first session, 30 lengths straight in second session) 1 cycle for 1 hour 55 minutes.

Week 9: 3 runs (one at high tempo for 30 minutes), 2 pool swims (32 lengths straight in both sessions), 1 hour cycle

Week 10: 2 light half hour runs, 2 half hour light pool sessions

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With 10 weeks in the bag, which admittedly takes some time management and dedication, from a personal perspective you should be ready to complete a sprint distance triathlon. As the saying goes, “nothing worth doing in life comes easy,” so completing a triathlon is a challenge worth tackling for anyone.

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