Training Tips For Beginner Triathletes

Posted on: February 19th, 2013 by Thamar Houliston

A good four weeks into the TriFit programme at Sport Science Institute, WH’s Michelle von Schlicht has learnt a lot about triathlon, training and herself. If you’re a beginner triathlete take note of these tips…





Spend Time in the Pool
Give your body time to adjust and to get your fitness levels up so that you can work on technique and speed. Swimming requires every muscle in your body to work as a team to keep your body afloat.

Get Your Technique Right
Breathing is the most important thing to master in swimming. Keep your breathing steady to help keep a good rhythm and your stroke in tune. Rotate your shoulders torso and hips to glide through the water. The movement in your arms and hands will pull you through the water. Kick sparingly and let your legs only move about 15cm up and down.

Practice in Open Water
Expose yourself to various conditions to get comfortable and ready for to race. Get used to the temperature of the outdoor water and practice sighting (identify various landmarks/spot) in order to stay on course.







Get Out
Spinning is good for strength and endurance but training outdoors is best to get used to obstacles and conditions.

Know Your Gears
Use different gears on incline and downhill. Do not fall in love with one gear. Learn how to shift gears before you hit the ups or downs to keep momentum.

Pull and Push the Pedals
Pedal evenly to help keep your form on the bike and keep your upper body relaxed. Use your core strength in the process.

Changing Tyres
In case of a flat on race day you need to know how to check for punctures and change a flat tyre relatively quickly.



Run Intervals
Run shorter distances at high intensity to build up muscle endurance to finish strong in the last leg of the race.

Run in a relaxed way, keep your arms in a 90-degree angle, shoulders down and shorten your strides.



Keep a balanced diet of carbohydrates, lean protein-rich unsaturated fats. Have a meal three hours before a training session and a light snack an hour or hour and a half before. If you are training for more than 90 minutes at high intensity consume carbohydrates during the session. Have healthy snacks in your gym bag to nibble on straight after a session to refuel your tank.

Want to start training? Download this Women’s Health 12-week training plan here!

Share your #Trifit tips with us on Twitter: @michellevonsch @WomensHealthSA @SportScience_sa
For more information call (021) 659 5600 or email

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