Bare Bones Basics
The standard triathlon consists of one mile swim, 25 miles bike, 10 k run. There are also
races of half that distance, some for only women, for example the Danskin series, and there
are races 2 or 4 times the standard distance: http://www.ironmantri.com/. You can find a
calendar of races at http://www.insidetri.com/ as well as a state by state list at
The time it takes to complete a standard triathlon distance is under 2 hours for the
professionals on a reasonably easy course to almost 4 hours for the oldest racers on a
mountainous course. Three hours is respectable for many triathletes on most terrains.
The essential equipment you will need is a swimsuit and goggles, the bicycle you already
have, an approved helmet, a water bottle, and running shoes. If you normally wear glasses,
your may want to consider getting contact lenses to get you through the swim.
Advice on the many extras you will enjoy accumulating can be found by asking on the newsgroup
Rec.Sport.Triathlon. The more specific your question, the more advice you can expect.
The least amount of training will consist of 2 - preferably 3 - sessions per discipline each
week. One session of each activity should consist of straight over-distance. If you are training
to swim one mile (1500 meters) then swim 2000 meters; the same is true for the bike and run.
Once per week, break the distance into smaller parts performed faster than race pace. Once
per week, do hills on the bike and run, and concentrate on technique in the swim. Books by
Dave Scott and Friel among others have extensive advice for all your training.
Before you enter a triathlon volunteer as a body-marker for a race near you. Your duty will be
over when the athletes are in the water and you can spend the rest of the time watching
transistions procedures and short-cuts taken by the faster participants.
Check out the newsgroups: In addition to rec.sport triathlon, there are several
devoted to bicycling, rec.sport.swimming, and rec.running. Most of these have a FAQ which
you will be directed to for your basic questions.
Fifty Swim Workouts
Swimming Basics for triathletes
Zero to 1650 yards in 6 weeks
The Adult Learner
Minimal Training for a Sprint Triathlon
surviving the swim leg of the triathlon
(New - A Facebook discussion group has been put up
by a swimmer doing the swim-one-mile plan. If you would
like to join or begin a discussion please go to FB 0-1650 talk)