Getting To The Start Line Of Your First Tri

  • By
  • Published Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated Dec 26, 2014 at 11:30 AM UTC
Photo: John Segesta

We could fill every inch of a year’s worth of Triathlete issues with training advice—there’s that much information and that many approaches to triathlon training. But you don’t need an encyclopedic knowledge of the sport to get a successful start. We compiled some of the most common training questions we hear and had veteran coach and successful former pro Jimmy Riccitello ( weigh in with his expert opinion.

How many months/weeks of training will I need? “If you’re a reasonably fit person who can swim a bit, you could do a sprint triathlon tomorrow,” says Riccitello. Recommended? No. But doable? Yes. “If you break it down into individual parts—a half-mile swim, 12-mile bike ride and a 3-mile run—it’s not such a daunting event,” he says, “unless you don’t know how to swim.” The swim is typically the biggest hurdle for newbies, says Riccitello, and “if the ‘sink or swim’ saying has a literal meaning to you, you’ll need to get some lessons.” However, if you are comfortable in the water and have a bike that’s in good working order, an athlete with decent base fitness should be able to pedal through 12 miles and run 3, he says. A caveat, though: “Having said that, the more time you dedicate to training for your first triathlon, the more prepared you will be.”

RELATED: Train Hard For Your Next Sprint Triathlon

Next »

FILED UNDER: Getting Started / Training

Sign up for our free e-newsletter, SBR Report!

Subscribe to the FREE Triathlete newsletter