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Idiot-proof triathlon training

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It’s the sport every man wants to try, so Ben Isaacs asks experts where to start

Triathlon is said to be the fastest-growing sport in the country. If you’re looking to see what the fuss is about, you should probably sign up for the ShortList Tri Challenge on 7 September and find out why it’s one of the most exciting and rewarding endeavours around. Training for a triathlon will focus you on a tangible goal, massively improve your all-round fitness and boost your confidence and happiness. So we asked three experts to give us their dos and don’ts.

DO

“Plan to arrive at the race up to two hours prior to the start, and spend time setting up your transition area and understand how the transition process works,” says Dermott Hayes, RG Active triathlon coach. “Watch any racing that is underway and see how people move from swim to bike to run.”

“Respect your background in the sport,” says Kypros Nicolaou, triathlon academy coordinator at Thanos Hotels (next training camps are in November). “If you have never run before, do not start triathlon training with a 10km session. Build gradually instead.”

“Know the rules ahead of time,” says Steve Whittle, a personal trainer with Virgin Active, sponsor of the London Triathlon. “Did you know that taking a drink from a spectator can result in your disqualification?”

DON’T

“Get involved in racing other athletes and wasting energy unnecessarily – you are racing against the clock,” says Hayes. “Concentrating on other athletes will distract from your own plan.”

“Forget things,” says Whittle. “Triathlons often start early – you’ll be tired and nervous. Pack the night before and, if possible, load the car the night before, too.”

“Use any equipment or clothing on race day that you have not used in training,” says Hayes. “All the items that you use must be checked to ensure that they perform well in a race situation. Do not change items at the last minute on a friend’s recommendation.”

Enter the ShortList Tri Challenge 2014 at shortlist.com/triathlon and consider raising sponsorship money for our selected charity, Calm – the Campaign Against Living Miserably (thecalmzone.net)

Image Credit: Human Race Events

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