Triathlon training is a long, difficult process that often lets you know whether or not you are up to the challenge. There are many types of triathlon training to suit each athlete's needs.
Humans have been swimming in lakes and oceans far longer than they've been swimming in pools, and there remains a certain primal attraction to open water swimming. A far cry from clean, orderly time trials -- open water swimming is a messy free-for-all of kicking feet and splashing arms.
Cyclists are only as good as their pedaling, so what's the best pedaling technique for both power and speed? And does the type of pedal you use really make that much difference?
In preparing for triathlons, people often go to great lengths to give themselves a competitive edge. While many tend to overlook aspects such as core body strength and flexibility, the smart triathlete will utilize Pilates to build a powerful core and balance the body.
If you're struggling to improve your running performance, you might want to think a little more about surfaces. Although it's easier to go fast on hard surfaces like concrete, soft surfaces actually give you a more vigorous workout.
With all of the swimming, biking and running triathletes do in preparation for the big race, you'd think that that might be enough to get you to the finish line. But strength training is an important part of a triathlete's schedule, especially when endurance is such a big factor.
If the thought of taking a few extra minutes before and after your workout to help prevent injuries sounds like a stretch -- you're right. Though the experts don't agree on how much stretching really helps, there are some benefits.
As swimming grows in popularity as a sport, so do the number of swim training programs. But how do you know which program to choose for your particular needs?
Freestyle swimming is not only good fun, it's also great exercise. But getting the breathing down can be tricky. Here's a how-to for all you budding Michael Phelpses out there.
A bad dive off the blocks during a swimming race can cost you valuable seconds. It may even cost you the race. But do you know the best way to dive into a shallow river or lake while running a triathlon?
If you're training for the swimming portion of a triathlon in an indoor pool, it could seem unnecessary to perform a flip turn. But even though you might not use them during a triathlon, flip turns can actually help triathletes during training.
The swimming section of the triathlon is most people's weakest spot -- that's why it comes first in the big race, before cycling and running. How can you get a good start and surge ahead of the pack?
You've probably seen them on the road -- packs of cyclists speeding past as you sit in traffic. They're astonishingly close together, they're dressed in tight-fitting regalia, and they're usually accompanied by choruses of ringing bells.
While we're not all genetically predisposed for greatness on hill climbs, they are a fact of life for cyclists everywhere. So how can you improve your hill climbing skills? Do you need strength, agility or both?
Slow and steady might win the race, but speed and endurance are the perfect teammates in the world of competitive cycling. By learning to pedal more efficiently, you'll get the most out of each rotation.
Huge, rippling muscles may look good at a bodybuilding competition, but they usually make for a poor endurance athlete. You can be strong, you can be fast -- but if you're lugging around just a few more pounds, it could make the difference between success and failure.
There are a number of ways to improve your swim stroke, but the best way is through stroke drills and practice. Even world-class swimmers continue to improve their swim strokes using these simple methods.
Practiced swimmers seem magically better than the rest of us at gliding through the water. Olympian swimmers seem almost to defy physics. What do great swimmers do differently from the rest of us?
Swimmers hold pull buoys between their legs while training to stop themselves from kicking. This strengthens the muscles in their upper bodies. But how do you get used to training with a pull buoy?
Kickboards aren't only for beginning swimmers -- they're for anyone in the water at any skill level. Even competitive athletes use them. In fact, a kickboard can be a valuable part of your water workout.
So you've decided to train for a triathlon. Sure, the swimming, cycling and running will be grueling, but are you set for the really hard part? The part that could end with you lost and searching for your stuff amid piles of gear?
Misery loves company. No, wait, that's not how it goes. Strength in numbers -- that's it! Triathlon training groups are as varied as the athletes themselves, and finding one that's right could be the first step in helping you stick with the sport.
Whether you're a seasoned triathlon veteran or just someone considering testing your swimming, cycling and running skills for the first time, the help of a coach can help improve your performance. But finding the right mentor takes more effort than randomly selecting someone from the phone book.
Just as different types of cars have different fuel needs, triathletes have different nutritional requirements from the rest of the population. How many protein bars, energy gels and calorie-heavy meals do triathletes need to pack into their training program?
Most triathletes, before getting obsessed with the competition, start out as runners. But from the sprint distance triathlon to the ultimate Ironman, there are several different ways to train for the running section.
Think you have what it takes to compete in a triathlon? Chances are you do, but before signing up for the next available race, you'll want to be adequately prepared for the challenge ahead.
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