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Free Triathlon Training

There are four levels to triathlons, and free triathlon training describes these levels as Sprint, Olympic, half-Ironman and Ironman. Triathlon training should be based on your level of fitness and your commitment to a training program.

Of the four levels in triathlons, each higher level is approximately double the level before.

  • Sprint is the shortest triathlon. To complete the average Sprint, you must be able to swim .5 mile, bike 13 miles and run 3.2 miles.

  • The second level, Olympic, requires that you be able to swim .93 miles, bike 24.8 miles, and run 6.2 miles.

  • The Half-Ironman competition averages a 1.2 miles swim, biking for 56 miles and running 13.1 miles.

  • A full Ironman competition averages a swim for 2.4 miles, biking for 112 miles and running 26.2 miles.

When training for a triathlon, you need to determine

  • What level you want to compete

  • Where you're starting from

  • How much time you can commit

Many free triathlon training programs help you to determine the level at which you're starting. If you are a "couch potato", you need to follow a program that attempts to minimize your chances of injury and gives you a longer, slower training period. A good program will emphasize building slowly towards your goal, minimizing injuries, stretching, rest days, nutrition and weight training.


One of the free triathlon training websites has an 8-month program for those who are overweight. It discusses the need to lose weight prior to completing a Sprint level triathlon. It also points out that research indicates that most knee injuries are not caused by the actual running itself, but by having too much weight on the joint and running.

Available programs discuss training if you are already active. For one Sprint training program, the description indicates to use this version of the program only if you currently and consistently running and swimming for 30 minutes and biking for 40 minutes. The same free triathlon training recommends their beginner half-ironman program only if you are consistently swimming for 40 minutes, running for 60 minutes and biking for 90 minutes. Each higher level has a starting performance level that you need to be at BEFORE you start the training program.

If you have any medical conditions or have never done any physical training, it is always recommended that you see your doctor and get clearance before starting any exercise program. If you are starting from "ground zero", work slowly to tone your body and prepare it for triathlon training.

Many of the websites on free triathlon training only allow free to access portions of the website. They may have some basic information available free, but other things, such as program logs or nutrition charts require you to pay a fee. Other websites are free, but require registration in order to get to all of the site's information.

As with all Internet websites, be careful with supplying information on the free triathlon training sites. If you elect a fee-based program, make sure the site has appropriate security for handling financial transactions or purchase a one-time use credit card to pay the fee


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