Getting Started: Where to Focus
by Marilyn McDonald
While many people who read this site have some background in triathlon already, we're always getting visitors who are just starting out -- either as new entrants to iron-distance racing or those who are completely new to triathlon. I want to share some tips as a sort of primer for the inexperienced and as a reminder for experienced triathlete. Even if you've been at this a while, you might have drifted away from a basic principle.
I can think back when I started triathlon. I was an active person and had done your basic running and gym programs. I came from a sporting background, but not endurance-based sport. I started to meet some triathletes and liked the community and the attitude of this sport. It was something I wanted to be a part of and I saw that it could change my life to a healthier way of living.
The two most important things to focus on are consistency and frequency of the three sports. Once you can do that you move to duration and work rate. Focus on doing the three disciplines of your new sport.
Triathlon is a endurance event, even at the shortest distance. I've found over the years the best way to build endurance is through focusing on these two basics of consistency and frequency. At Endurance Corner we'll regularly talk about the concept of "minimizing your zeros." By that we mean avoiding days without activity. Constant application of physical activity over a long period of time is what's going to make the most change and progression.
Enjoy the challenge. It's a great way of life.
Marilyn McDonald has been in elite sport since the age of 9, from show jumping to cycling and triathlon. Competing on an international stage in all three sports with an Ironman title, several podiums and state championships in cycling, Marilyn works with all distance and level of triathletes and cyclists. From beginners to elites; short course, bike racing, stage racing and long course triathlon, she has guided several athletes to the podium and to Hawaii qualifications.