Looking for your next cycling challenge. How about tackling a Triathlon?
Updated: Mar 2
We’re always looking for a fresh challenge, a target for our training and thought you might feel the same? So we’ve teamed up with our friends at TriBourne to look into how a cyclist might take their first steps towards adding a swim and run to their ride and look to take part in one of the fastest growing sports in the country…Triathlon!
So TriBourne over to you…
“Hi and thanks for having us. We hope to help an curious cyclists to take the leap into their first triathlon. So if you're a cycling enthusiast looking to take your fitness to the next level, transitioning to triathlons is a great way to challenge yourself and discover a new community of supportive athletes. While it can be intimidating to add two new sports to your fitness routine, the good news is that you already have the most expensive part of triathlon gear - the bike! All you'll need to add are some basic running shoes, goggles, and a swimsuit (you can rent a wetsuit if needed) to get started.
Triathlon events come in a range of distances, from "super sprints" (400m swim, 10k bike & 2.5km run) all the way to an IronMan (3.8km swim, 112km bike & 42.2km run) and beyond! While biking is the largest portion of the event, the time it takes to complete can vary based on the course, terrain, and your ability. As you start training for your first triathlon, be sure to choose a distance that is realistic yet challenging, but not overwhelming.
One of the biggest challenges for cycling-to-triathlon transitions is the open water swim. The cold water, lack of visibility, and the need to pace your breaths can all be disconcerting, but the key to building confidence in the water is simply getting used to it. Consider joining a local masters swim group, where you'll have the safety of numbers and some light instruction as you get used to swimming with choppy water and other swimmers around you. Don't get too focused on perfecting your stroke or trying out all the YouTube drills that promise to make you fast. While technique is important, building basic confidence in the water with other people around is the most important thing in the early stages of your triathlon journey.
In addition to swimming, it's also important to be mindful of your running when transitioning to triathlon. The cardiovascular fitness gained through cycling can lead you to run faster and longer than your body is ready for, resulting in injury. To avoid this, start slowly and build up your running gradually, focusing on proper form and technique. This might mean starting with shorter runs and gradually increasing your distance, or incorporating walk breaks into your runs until your body is ready for longer distances. Be patient with yourself and listen to your body - it will take time for your muscles and tendons to catch up to your heart and lungs.
Proper nutrition (daily diet and fuelling your exercise) and hydration are also key to success in triathlons. Ensuring you're keeping on top of giving your body what it needs on a daily basis through diet and supplementation (we use VitxCycle obviously!) along with fuelling your body properly before and during the race can make a big difference in your performance and recovery. Experiment with different fuelling strategies during your training to find out what works best for you. This might include sports drinks, gels, bars, or real food options like bananas or sandwiches. It's also important to stay hydrated throughout the race, especially on hot days. Practice your nutrition strategy during training so you know what works for you on race day.
As you start training for your first triathlon, it's important to remember that it's a journey, not a destination. There will be ups and downs, and it's okay to have days where you don't feel like you're making progress. It's important to be consistent with your training and to stay positive, even on the tough days. Surround yourself with a supportive community, whether that's a group of friends or a local triathlon club, and don't be afraid to ask for help or advice.
It's a challenge but a FUN one!
Finally, don't forget to have fun! Triathlons can be challenging, but they're also a lot of fun and a great way to push yourself and discover new strengths. As you cross the finish line of your first triathlon, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment and pride that only comes from setting and achieving a big goal. So don't be intimidated by the prospect of transitioning from cycling to triathlon - with some hard work and dedication it is very much achievable.
Matt & Dale - Tribourne”
Thanks for that guys you make it sound so easy!!! So, if this has whetted your appetite for giving a triathlon a shot then do checkout the excellent events TriBourne run down on the South Coast as they are the perfect entry point for adding that swim and run to your ride!
Wherever your bike takes you, happy cycling.