Triathlon 101: Let’s Try to Tri


So you’re thinking about a triathlon

Are you a runner? Cyclist? Swimmer? Or my least favorite term, a couch potato? Active or not, YOU CAN DO THIS!!

Let’s say you sign up for a local triathlon? Great…which distance? Super Sprint? Sprint?? International? Relay??? So many questions?

A great way to begin anything is with a plan. This is a plan long before your training plan. I suspect, the reason you are reading this is you are at the start of this “pre” planning stage. Maybe you have been thinking about triathlon for awhile even?!

I surveyed some triathlete friends and asked them what they found most important when they got started; or advice for some others wanting to get out there. A popular answer was, find a buddy. Whether to try a relay, or simply have a friend to train and maybe race with. Build your support team; who will be out there on race day to cheer you on, or even on a day to day basis. If you’re not quite ready, volunteer. This is a great option to see what actually happens on race day!

Now maybe you have a buddy (though not mandatory) you picked your race and distance, now lets talk about your training approach.

Multisport Performance:
Endurance, Force, & Speed

Whether you are a beginner, experienced, or even an elite competitor; these three primary elements need to be included into your training.

As we advance, our abilities grow. Included are muscular endurance, anaerobic endurance and power.

Your training should progress from general to specific in all ability areas. Not just focus on your strengths. Hey, I am a great swimmer, so I will focus on that, and get by on the bike and run. Nope! It simply does not work that way. Your areas of strength in multisport, may not be the areas that need to grow, or where you make the most gains.

Basic Abilities

Endurance: defined in sport as the ability to delay fatigue and reduce the effects.

Force: ability to overcome resistance. This relates to how well you manage your race. Environment, weather, etc.

Speed: the ability to move more effectively while swimming, running or biking. This is not about how fast you’re moving.

These elements combined with a few other details are what will make you a more efficient athlete, help you achieve your goals, AND get you across the finish line!

Advanced Abilities

Muscular endurance: the ability of the muscles to maintain a high load for an extended period of time.

Anaerobic endurance: the ability to resist fatigue at very high efforts. This is most important in short course racing.

Power: the ability to apply maximum force quickly.

What Next?

Signed up for a race. I have my gear. I know what to do while training. Now what? We are here to help.

Join us for for a Tri 101: Get Ready to Tri (Am I Ready) Zoom clinic May 2, 4:30pm CT The event will have a Facebook invite and updates on our social media (make sure you’re following!) Links will be posted and sent prior to the event. Any questions about this or coaching please contact Terri

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Terri was not an athlete growing up. Maybe a bit “athletic” and definitely awkward. Now she is not only a runner and triathlete, but a Coach as well! She has been a part of the Chicago “sport” community for 25 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist and Movement Specialist. She has her own business, Urban Wellness Chicago, in the city, works with the Northwestern University Athletic Department. As a Coach with Chicago Athlete Coaching and the Chicago Manager for Running Tours USA, she does now consider herself an athlete, and regularly competes in races of multiple distances. Oh and yes, still a bit awkward!


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