Whether you're a beginner looking to run your first triathlon or a seasoned veteran of many races, low-intensity training should be a central part of your workout routine. These workouts, performed at or below race pace, form the basis of any triathlon workout for good reason. First-timers and experienced racers alike benefit from low-intensity training because it helps prevent injury while efficiently increasing aerobic fitness.
Overuse injuries are common among athletes training for endurance races. These are caused when a racer increases his or her activity level too fast, putting more stress on the bones and joints than they can handle. If the athlete doesn't ease into training, or take enough time to rest, injuries like shin splints, swimmer's shoulder, biker's knee, tennis elbow and stress fractures of the leg or foot can occur. Unfortunately, little can be done to remedy these injuries except for rest, which can take a triathlete off his or her feet for six or more weeks and derail the training schedule and subsequent race. Low-intensity training is critically important for preventing such injuries. With this type of workout, beginners are less likely to hurt themselves as their bodies adjust to an increased level of activity. Advanced triathletes can train longer without injury by incorporating a significant amount low-intensity training into their higher-intensity workouts.
Injury prevention isn't the only benefit of low-intensity training. This method is also the most effective way to build your aerobic fitness level because it allows you to exercise longer than if you just trained hard all the time. Such long, moderate workouts increase the body's ability to use fuel efficiently and continue working even when it begins to feel tired.
With enough low-intensity triathlon training -- and maybe a little high-intensity exercise -- you'll be out of the pool, off the bike and running across the finish line in no time.