Sprint: Great for beginners, Sprints consist of a 0.24- to 0.62-mile swim, a 5- to 15.5-mile bike ride and a 1- to 3-mile run.
Olympic: This length consists of a 0.93-mile swim, a 24.8-mile bike ride and a 6.2-mile run.
Half Ironman: This features a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run—exactly half of a full Ironman.
Do interval training. Include several short bursts of harder intensity effort in your normal workout, with recovery periods in between. This increases your body's ability to perform at a faster pace. Do no more than 1 set of running or cycling interval sessions per week as these workouts put extra stress on your body.
Run on dirt or gravel trails as they are softer underfoot than streets and sidewalks. Trails are not only less jarring, but the uneven surfaces allow more muscles in your feet and ankles to get a workout, preventing overuse that might occur when running on a totally flat, hard surface.
Stay hydrated to keep your body in good working order. Dehydration is a common energy zapper that is easy to overlook. Drink before you feel thirsty and be sure to get extra fluids before and after you work out. Take water or energy drinks with you on any workouts longer than a half hour.
Eat a small snack about 2 hours before your workout to give you energy to perform your best. And, of course, strive to eat a healthy, balanced diet during your training period (and beyond).
Get adequate sleep and schedule in rest days to allow your body to recover from your workouts. Rest days are also vital for preventing injuries and burnout from overtraining.
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Congratulations on giving a "tri" a try, and best of luck to you in your training.
By Yitka Winn
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Last updated: 10/22/2013
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