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Triple Threat: How to Train for a Triathlon

Prepare to master the toughest endurance test of all.

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Marathon: check. Tough Mudder: check. Triathlon: Not yet?

It may be time to cross this race off the list. It takes just three months to properly train for a triathlon, according to eight-time Ironman competitor Sam Cardona, corporate wellness director at New York Health and Racquet Club and assistant coach at TriLatino, a New York-based triathlon training club. Still, many people underestimate how demanding the three-part race can be. But if you follow a well-structured plan, like the one on page 2, you’ll be adequately prepared by race day.

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But first things first. Before training, you need to choose your distance and locate a race (find one at trifind.com). If you’re already in very good shape, it may be tempting to dive right into an Olympic distance triathlon (0.93-mile swim, 25-mile bike, 6.2-mile run). However, “you can be physically fit, but if you can’t swim, it doesn’t matter,” cautions Cardona. “Always start with a sprint triathlon—half-mile swim, 19-mile bike, and 3.1-mile run—and gradually work your way up.”

Ready to try a tri? Follow our training plan and tips and you’ll be adding a triathlon to your brag sheet in no time flat.

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