HEALTH & FITNESS
TRI! BY AMY GREENBURG Need a new challenge? Try a triathlon, which involves swimming, biking and running all in one race. Here are some expert tips to get you started. As one of the fastest growing sports worldwide, triathlons attract people of all ages and fitness levels – and for good reason. It’s a great way to get in shape, improve your strength and feel that rewarding sense of accomplishment. While participating in a triathlonmight seem intimidating, it’s a great opportunity to do something for you, explains BEN FARNSWORTH, head coach of UFIT’s just-launched UFIT Triathlon Squad – a dedicated training programme and community that provides a fun, supportive and inclusive environment for endurance athletes of all levels. So, just sign up for a race (“you’re much more likely to stop procrastinating and get around to training if you’re already signed up!”) and follow these helpful training tips. #1 Get a training partner “Signing up for a race with a friend will not only be more fun, but it will also keep you accountable as you train.” #2 Stay consistent “Most people don’t have the time to do 20 hours of training per week, but the same principles apply no matter how much time you have. You want to do the most you can sustainably do week-in-week-out, while remaining consistent. That means that six hours a week every week for six months is far better than 10 hours one week and two the next.”
#3 Stick with it “In order to improve, you need to complete your training sessions. When you’re tired from work or looking after the kids, it’s easy to skip a session; but, you’ll always feel 100 times better on days when you have forced yourself out the door. So, try not to pull out of any sessions.” #4 Follow a training plan “Plan on training at least eight weeks for your race, and work in some days for speed, intervals, technique, strength and flexibility. Work your weak discipline more than your stronger one, and make sure to plan some ‘brick’ workouts – for example, a full swim followed by a full run.” #5 Bring a cheering squad “Get friends and family involved in your training. They don’t have to be up for joining you in a 5km run; they can cycle alongside you or meet you at the end with a refreshing drink. And, of course, invite friends and family to your race with noisemakers and signs. Plot out good places for them to watch ahead of time, so you’ll know where to expect them. Their cheers are a great motivator when you’re starting to drag.” #6 Practice swimming in open water “Open water swimming is very different to swimming in a pool; the water can be murky, there are no walls to push off and you need to work on sighting so you don’t swim off course. Get into a lake beforehand to work on swimming. Also, work on your outdoor swimming at the same time of day that your race will be, so you can see what the sun glare might be like at that time.”
To learn more, visit ufit.com.sg/endurance.
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