If you are training for a sprint triathlon then you probably have some cardio endurance sport experience. Perhaps this will be your first triathlon or perhaps you have done several of them. In either case it makes good sense to follow a proper program when you are training for a sprint triathlon. The distances for the sprint race are .47 miles for the swim, 12.4 miles for the bike ride and 3.1 miles for the run. With proper training these distances are very manageable for most fitness athletes. While the sprint triathlon distances provide outstanding workouts some new comers to the sport feel the need to quickly progress to the much longer distances such as the half and full ironman distances. The longer distances races may be your long term goal but do not be in a hurry to get to those longer races. Enjoy your experience with the sprint triathlons and get yourself used to this event.
A general understanding of exercise and training is important to maximize your fitness level. Remember that your body does not actually improve from exercise but it improves form recovering and adapting to the stress of exercise. In the case of triathlon training this means increased endurance and speed in the three events – swimming, biking and running. From a practical standpoint what this means is that your easy training days and your days off are vital as they will help your body rest, recover and increase your endurance fitness level. Also it is important to listen you your body’s energy level and to be aware of the potential development of injuries. Joint and tendon overuse injuries are common with endurance athletes.
Having a structured triathlon workout program is important when you are training for a sprint triathlon. Having a specific plan to follow and keeping a written record of your workouts will provide motivation, give you a great feeling of accomplishment and also help with your future training efforts. Since there are three disciplines in the event it makes sense to focus extra effort on the one event you are less proficient at. Most triathletes can easily tell what they are strongest at and what they are weakest at. Since the event consists of performing the swim, bike and run, one right after the other, some of your training should include back to back workout sessions. Many experienced triathletes will tell you that the first part of the run, right after the bike, is certainly the most difficult. Your legs are simply are spent from the bike and now must get used to doing another leg endurance activity. Your legs will feel a bit like rubber! A great training tip is when you finish a bike workout you should go very quickly into running. Even if you are not doing a full running workout at that time, just jog a mile after the bike workout. This will prepare you physically and mentally for this very difficult part of the race. Another important tip for dealing with the transitions during the race are to be very well prepared, down to every detail for the logistics of transition from swim to bike and from bike to run. Knowing exactly what to do can save you lots of time.
With all the physical work you perform when training for a sprint triathlon you should also get your mind ready for the event. Mental practice can be extremely helpful. While in a relaxed state, mentally visualize all aspects of the event, including the transitions. After you have run through the entire event in your mind several times you will be better prepared when it comes time to perform physically. Your body will be ready, your mind will be ready, now all you need is nice weather! Train well, be safe and have fun!
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