How to Get Started in Triathlon

You did it! You signed up for your first triathlon! Now what? We've got your complete guide to crossing the finish line of your first triathlon.

Training Plans

Triathlon is terrifying, it’s confusing, and it’s also pretty great. We’re excited to have you join our ranks—so excited, we've gathered all of our beginner triathlon resources. Getting started in triathlon can be overwhelming, but we're here to help.

As a triathlon beginner, we recommend starting with a sprint triathlon (generally a 500-meter swim, a 20K bike, and a 5K run), but if you're interested in longer distances you can learn more about what those entail here. Along with the gear, training, and nutrition resources below, you can also ask us questions on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Now here are some beginner triathlon training plans to get you started.

Gear & Tech

The gear can be overwhelming, but don't overcomplicate it! Buy, borrow, or rent only what you need and then add on as you go.


A solid nutrition strategy will help your body make the most out of all your hours swimming, biking, and running.


The best part of this sport is the people (and lifestyle!) that come with it.


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What We're Loving This Week: SUPing, Pull-Up Bars, Chicken Chips, and Strava

Here’s what our staff is using and loving in their regular lives this week — from the old to the random to the not-so-random.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding

If I can’t be in the water, then the next best thing is being on the water. Actually on top of it. With a lot of the open water swim areas slow to open back up, I turned to standup paddle boarding to get my fix. It’s been a peaceful experience, but I’m ready to get back into the water. Warning, yoga on a paddle board isway harder than it looks. Paddle on!

-Thomas Erny, senior designer

Ignite by Spri Pull Up Bar

As a climber turned runner due to access closures here in Boulder, I’ve tried to balance outdoor endurance workouts and upper body training from home. After week one of rotating through the same bodyweight workouts on the floor of my apartment, I knew I needed something to liven up my at-home routine. Enter the doorframe pull-up bar. Surprisingly, what has upgraded this bar as a “love it” item for me has been the core training opportunities, such as these exercises. It’s easy to use—secure it over any door frame—and affordable at only $25. Plus, I have to walk past it every time I make a trip to the kitchen, making it a key part of my everyday workout routine.

– Natalie McCollum, office administrator

Wilde Chicken Chips

When I received the package of these Wilde Chicken Chips I thought the concept was…weird. They’re “chips” made of 100% all-natural chicken breast, with each serving offering 10g of protein. I’ve tried all of the available flavors. The chicken & waffles chips were too much (super strong maple flavor, maybe that’s your thing) and the Himalayan pink salt chips didn’t have enough flavor to cover up the fact that you’re eating chicken instead of potatoes. My favorite two flavors were the buffalo and the jalapeno. They are perfect for when I’m looking for something to snack on (which, aren’t we all now that we’re working from home?). I’ll definitely be buying more of this in the future. My biggest advice is if you try one flavor and don’t like it, be sure to pick up a different kind. The flavors have a huge impact on the palatability of these chicken chips.

– Liz Hichens, senior digital editor


I don’t do much exciting anymore. Things are pretty routine in COVID times: I make my swim reservations (which is a system I could still get behind whenever we’re eventually post-COVID), I ride my bike and run, sometimes I go on exploration hikes and mini-backpacking trips on the weekends. And that’s more or less it. So I’ve found myself more interested in Strava than I normally would be. It gives me a way to see what other people are doing, imagine races are still happening, and plan routes. This week, I threw in a “QOM attempt” during one of my rides. I failed spectacularly, but it was more “fun” than I expected. And, yesterday, when I got roped into a gravel ride that I didn’t realize was a gravel ride, I was able to look at our maps later to see what all those dirt roads were and where we actually had gone—and to confirm that yes, I did descend the slowest anyone has ever descended. It was the most excitement I’ve had all week.

– Kelly O’Mara, editor-in-chief

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