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The best triathlon training program is mostly determined by an individual’s schedule. Fortunately for the beginning triathlete, sprint triathlon training programs do not require the hours of intensive training that are needed for an Olympic or Ironman triathlon. A solid sprint triathlon training program will include aerobic exercise, some anaerobic exercise, proper rest and recovery time, and stretching. The best sprint triathlon training program will also be unique to each individual as many factors such as age, sex, and current fitness level come into play.
In the search for a sprint triathlon training program that best suits the athlete it is important to understand the disciplines that are required. The typical sprint triathlon consists of a swim of around 550 yards (500 m), a 10-mile (16 km) bike race, and a three-mile (5 km) run, though triathlons differ slightly depending on course location. Typically a good sprint triathlon training program includes a minimum of eight hours per week of aerobic training that should be considered in the athlete’s daily schedule. Since the competition involves swimming, biking, and running, each of these disciplines should also be part of a good training program.
A very important factor in a good sprint triathlon training program is allowing adequate time for proper rest and recovery. The importance of recovery cannot be stressed enough. The body needs to repair itself regularly after the vigorous exertion that is often experienced in triathlon training. An indicator of a good sprint program is at least one day of recovery per week. This recovery day should be present after the hardest workouts within the weekly training schedule. Most important, it is up to the athlete to monitor his health during strenuous cycles of training, and let the body rest if it hurts.
Brick workouts are another indicator of a good sprint triathlon training program. A brick is any workout consecutively followed by another, such as a run immediately after a bike ride. Brick workouts train the body and muscles to successfully make a transition from low impact aerobics to heavy wear and tear aerobics. This training of the muscles allows an athlete to feel less worn and sore after a previous event.
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