In the most recent issue of Women's Health magazine, there's an article about triathlons--mainly how you can become a triathlete (not to mention get a smokin' hot body) by following their 12-week training plan of running, cycling, and swimming.
Hmpf. Sounds easy enough.
Well, even for me--who considers herself a 'fitness buff' and in relatively good shape--the whole notion of training for a triathlon is a little daunting. Okay, maybe a lot daunting.
But what's great about the training plan outlined in WH is that it starts off slow and becomes increasingly more challenging as the weeks pass--logical, right?--insofar that it becomes available for (pretty much) anyone to tackle. Okay, maybe make a few adjustments if you've never swum before or fall off your bike going uphill.
So, do I want to train for a triathlon? Yes and no. While I do want to train as if I were competing in a triathlon, I have no intention of actually entering a race (at least not today, but definitely some day).
All throughout high school, I swam competitively, and it was hands-down the best shape I have ever been in. Plus, for just $10, I can get a pass to my university gym for an entire year, where I can use the pool as much as I want--so why not start swimming again? As the temperatures continue to warm, I'm also spending more time outside running--ahem, even better: it's free. Thus, training as if I were a triathlete is more a challenge for me, a way to (re)introduce new elements of structure to my current fitness regime. Some of you might remember me saying that I was going to start training for a half-marathon sometime this summer. This is still very much the plan, but that won't be happening until at the earliest August, long after I've completed this 12-week 'challenge'.
Every 3-4 weeks, I'll post the next month's training plan. Here is the first month:
Since I am merely treating this training plan as a challenge for myself and not to actually train for a competition, there will be some minor tweaks made--but all in keeping with the intensity and endurance-building stressed within the plan. For instance, the only bike I own is an old road bike from the 70's, which is in major need of an oil--and paint--job, so any cycling I'll be doing will most likely be in the form of a spin class. Also, don't forget my love of boxing--where in heavens will I find time to box with all this running, cycling, and swimming?! I'll still be boxing a couple of times a week, but maybe in place of a spin class prescribed by the training program.
Remember, this training plan isn't for everyone--whether you want to train for a triathlon or not. If you do feel up for the challenge, start the workouts, but then find that they're too challenging or even too easy, adjust them to what you know you're capable of--after all, only you can judge what's the best for your body.
Also important, always exercise safely (this is hopefully common sense to you). If you're unsure of something--you don't know how to use a spin bike or you're weary of a potential injury--ask someone and/or seek help immediately. The worst thing that could happen is that you injure yourself.
And finally, have fun with it! Personally, I love to challenge myself and am always looking for new ways to improve myself. However, it can be difficult to take on something of this nature (and of this size!) alone, so ask a buddy to go along for the ride. If you miss a workout, don't beat yourself up for it. Just get back on track the next day.
Oh, and of course: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. When you're sweating as much as you will be when you're following this training plan, you'll need to.
So, what do you think? You in? The first official start day will be next Monday (for me, at least). Starting then, I'll include a daily update of how my training is going. So, join in the fun and we can work this one out together!
Countdown to Day 1 starting now: 6 days to tri-training.
For the full article on triathlon training from Women's Health, click here.
images via google and women's health mag