#RoadTo: Triathlon – The Beginning

Maybe you know that feeling, this one athletic challenge, this one goal that has been haunting you for a long time and that you really want to accomplish once in your life? It’s been almost 9 years since I first thought of competing in a triathlon, the supreme discipline of endurance sports. Although this idea has been on ice for many years, I have never completely forgotten it and in march of this year, I made the decision: Now the time has come, I want to complete a triathlon!

A big challenge, considering that for some years I have not been actively practicing endurance sports (not to mention swimming). Also, I do not want to restrict myself for strength training. Therefore, it is important to create a workout schedule where I can train hard and recover well, but still have enough time for endurance training, because one thing is clear: training for a triathlon is very time-consuming.

My preparation began with a sports medicine examination at the Austrian Institute for Sports Medicine. Apart from the fact that it has been of interest to me for a long time, to get an in-depth look into my current state, I was able to combine this with a performance test, in the course of which a lactate measurement was carried out. I can use the values ​​evaluated here to plan my training in order to optimally prepare myself for the upcoming athletic challenge.

After a regular sports medical examination where blood pressure and lung volume and body fat was measured, a resting ECG was taken and a lot of other values have been evaluated, the performance test followed, which  I completed on the treadmill. Starting at 6km/h the speed was increased by 2km/h every 3 minutes, while some blood was taken from my earlobe periodically. The test ended, when I could no longer maintain the current speed and aborted.

The result: My lactate curve and consequently my training ranges from A1 (basic stamina) to A4 (anaerobic performance). These are represented on the one hand as intervals of km/h (based on my running speed), on the other hand by a corresponding pulse range, so that I can use these as planning basis for other sports as well.

This was followed by a consultation with a sports physician, in which the test results were discussed and possible approaches for the structure of my upcoming training were discussed extensively. The insights I received here were definitely interesting and helpful for my preparation.

And how does it continue? Swimming as the biggest challenge (especially from a technical point of view) will be a regular part of my training. In the areas of running and cycling, I will have to train a lot in the basic endurance area to successfully complete a triathlon. I will also have to invest a lot of time in brick training, to work on the transition between the individual disciplines.

As a first goal, I want to participate in a sprint-distance triathlon (500m swimming, 20km cycling, 5km running) soon, to get a first feel for this athletic challenge. Then I will work towards the olympic-distance (1km swimming, 40km cycling, 10km running) and furthermore towards a triathlon in the middle-distance (2km Schimmen, 90km cycling, 21km running). Whether I will participate in the king of triathlons, an Ironman, is still not clear at the moment.

Also interested in challenging a triathlon? Let me know in the comments!
You can read the next blogpost of this series, that covers the first discipline of the triathlon, here: #RoadTo: Triathlon – Swimming.
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