Triathlon Training Tips for Kids
A (triathlon) involves three separate events: swimming, biking, and running. If you like to be active outdoors, you might do all three of these things regularly. Participating in a triathlon involves competing against other young athletes in a swimming race, a biking race, and a running race. Lots of adults enjoy participating in triathlons, and kids might find them fun, too. Before getting out there to do a triathlon, you need to start a training program to get into shape. As you work to prepare, be very careful about how much exercise you get every day. It’s important not to over-train your body because this is when injuries might occur.
Triathlon Training Tips
Participating in a triathlon is all about endurance. You will need strength and energy to get through each of the three events.
Successful triathletes understand an important concept called pacing. Pacing involves starting a race and making sure that you can finish strong without having to stop because you are too tired. This means that you don’t want to expend all of your energy at the beginning: Hold back a bit so you have enough energy for the end of the race.
Triathlon training also gives you practice switching between the different events. A training exercise might involve running for five minutes and then biking for five minutes, switching back and forth several times.
Don’t over-train, because this can keep you from your fitness goals. Some training days should be easier, and some should be harder. Take at least one day off each week to give your body a chance to recover.
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- The Triathlon Parent’s Training Manual (PDF)
- Top 10 Triathlon Tips for Youth and Parents (PDF)
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- Youth Triathlon Training Plan: Junior Age Group (PDF)
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- Iron Girl Training Guide (PDF)
- 12 Weeks to Your First Triathlon (PDF)
- The Importance of Recovery in Triathlon Training (PDF)
- Super-Sprint Beginner Triathlon Training Plan (PDF)
- How to Train for a Sprint Triathlon (PDF)
General Fitness Tips
Everyone needs to exercise for good health. In fact, the minimum recommendation for kids’ fitness is 60 minutes of exercise every day. But as you train for a triathlon, you have a special goal in mind. Make sure to stretch your muscles to warm up before you begin to exercise to help prepare your body and prevent injury. When you finish training for the day, cool down to help your muscles recover.
Have fun while you train. Your workout sessions should be enjoyable as you work to perform at your best.
- Raising Fit and Active Kids
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- Exercise: Movement Matters (PDF)
- Make Physical Activity and Exercise Fun for the Family (PDF)
- Encouraging Healthy Habits in Your School-Aged Child (PDF)
- Making Physical Activity a Part of a Child’s Life
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
- Spring Into Shape! Fitness Tips for Adults and Children
Healthy eating will help make sure that you have the energy you need to train. You will need plenty of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and fresh fruits and vegetables to give your body the nutrients and energy it needs.
Complex carbohydrates give your body energy for training. Choose whole grains whenever possible because they are healthier. Fresh fruits and vegetables will give you energy, too. They also have vitamins and minerals that your body needs to be strong and healthy. Stay away from foods that are high in fat and sugar; these foods usually don’t have a lot of nutrients.
Protein helps make your muscles strong. Choose proteins such as skinless poultry, fish, and other lean cuts of meat. Nuts, seeds, and beans are also good sources of protein.
As you train, make sure to drink plenty of water. Your body needs fluids to work well, so you need to avoid getting dehydrated.
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Anyone training for a triathlon needs to pay special attention to their overall health and fitness. Getting enough sleep is one important thing you need to do. Kids between the ages of 6 and 13 need between nine and 11 hours of sleep every night, and kids age 14 and older need between eight and ten hours of sleep.
As you prepare for a race, make sure you are having fun and enjoying the entire process. Mental preparation will help you stay positive and enthusiastic about participating in a triathlon.