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    Create Your Triathlon Training Plan: 3 Steps for Beginner Triathletes

    If you are feeling inspired to try your first triathlon, we can help you get started. Find out what you need to consider to complete a triathlon below. With these three steps you’ll be able to set up your own beginner triathlon training plan.​​Swimming, cycling and running: the challenge of triathlon training is to prepare for three endurance sports at the same time.Good to know:Triathlon distances vary, so you can choose a length that works for you. For your first attempt, try a super sprint triathlon – also known as the “starter triathlon”. Distances are usually approx. 500 meter (0.3 mile) swim, 10K (6.2 miles) bike, and 1.5K (1.6 miles) run. These three sports place very different demands on your body:Swimming is considered to be a technique-heavy endurance sport. Water is 800 times denser than air. To swim efficiently, you need to reduce drag (the resistance of water on your body) while increasing the thrust force of your arms to propel your body forward. The only way to improve this is by working on your swimming technique.In cycling, the bicycle restricts your range of movement. This means that this sport greatly depends on building up a specific kind of endurance and reducing air resistance (drafting and/or aero position).Of the three triathlon sports, running is the one that places the greatest demands on your cardiovascular system. Since this sport is at the end of the race, it is important to increase your running stamina and your mental toughness.You can’t really take a recreational approach to triathlon training or improving at all three sports simultaneously. Therefore, you need to follow certain strategies in order to make performance gains in an efficient manner.3 Steps to Your Triathlon Training Plan Step 1:Determine your training cycle and how much time you want or can devote to your training.Divide the number of weeks before the race by 3.Example: 30 weeks/3 = 10 three-week cyclesNow multiply the average time you want to devote to training per week by 3 to get your overall training volume. Then you need to break your training volume down into the individual weeks of your three-week cycle based on the following weighting: 35% in week 1, 40% in week 2 and 25% in week 3. Therefore, if you want to train 10 hours a week, you will have a 30-hour cycle that breaks down like this:Week 1: 10.5 hours (35 %)Week 2: 12 hours (40 %)Week 3: 7.5 hours (25 %)This is the standard 2:1 training cycle — two weeks of intensive training followed by one week of recovery.Step 2:Choose a training goal for each three-week cycle.What is my best sport?What sport needs the most improvement?Keep in mind: It takes much less effort to maintain a performance level than it does to improve one. Depending on the length of the race, the influence of the individual sports on the overall time differs: swimming makes up about 11-18%, cycling about 50-55% and running about 30-34% of the total time.Thus, improving your swimming performance by 1% doesn’t really have a big impact on your overall time, whereas improving your cycling performance by 1% can shave several minutes off your final time (in long distance races). On the other hand, if you wear yourself out during the swim, you aren’t going to be able to perform well on the bike.Once you have set a goal for a training cycle, the other two sports have to take a back seat. Therefore, if the focus is to work on improving your swimming technique, your cycling and running training sessions will only serve to maintain but not improve your performance level. The priority over the next three weeks will be to improve your swimming efficiency.You can change your goal for each training cycle but make sure to devote more time to your weaknesses than your strengths.Step 3:Keep track of your progress!You should assess your performance at regular intervals (6-8 weeks) — the best time is at the end of the first training week of a cycle. These tests are designed to show you whether or not your training is producing the desired adaptations. But keep in mind that your performance doesn’t always have to increase — your goal can also be to maintain a certain level.Of course, there are also other variations of this approach:Ask yourself the following questions: How much time do I have until my race? What training options do I have? (swimming pool, track, seasons, etc.)Besides the 2:1 training cycle, there is also the 3:1 cycle with three weeks of intensive training and one week of recovery. The weighting for a four-week cycle is 25% in week 1, 27.5% in week 2, 30% in week 3 and 17.5% in week 4.Caution: Because three weeks of intensive training can greatly increase overall fatigue levels, this long training cycle is better suited for experienced athletes.Of course, you can combine the 2:1 and 3:1 cycles to suit your training. Besides these standard training cycles, there are newer approaches like block training, supercompensation training, training at a specific time of day, etc. You should probably talk to a personal trainer, however, before trying one of these approaches because some of them are very demanding and could easily lead to overuse injuries if done improperly.The main thing though is to have fun and stick with your triathlon training plan. We wish you great success in reaching your goals.*** More

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    We all make cycling mistakes. Everyone messes something up on their bike when they first start. Some people continuously make cycling mistakes, and you usually know them as “the person who always crashes” or “the person who always has a flat tire” or “the constantly overtrained person.” These tips will help you shortcut the 15 most common cycling mistakes. You won’t go from Joe to Pro in a day, but you can avoid a lot of frustration by doing a few simple things.Good to know:Always make sure your bike is in safe working order. Take your bike to a shop if you’re not sure.Mistake 1: You don’t wear a helmetDo you know bikers who ride around with their helmet hanging from the handlebars? That doesn’t make much sense. So, never make the mistake of riding without a helmet, no matter how short the trip may be.Mistake 2: The saddle is too high or lowIf you want to ride a bike, you should look at the height of the saddle. Follow these steps to check whether everything is set correctly: Put your bike upright.Stand up straight next to the bike, facing toward the front of the bike.Now check how high the saddle is. Ideally, it should be at your hip crest. If not, take a minute to move the saddle into a neutral riding position: the saddle should be level and pointing toward the front, not tilted up or down. The position of the saddle should feel comfortable.If you buy your bike from a shop, have them help you set it up to be comfortable.Mistake 3: The handlebars are too high or lowMake sure that you adjust the saddle first and then the handlebars. If you are a beginner, the difference between the height of the seat and the handlebars can be one to two centimeters. After a few trips, you will get used to this position. Then you can move the handlebars down a bit. Mistake 4: You’re wearing the wrong clothesPart of enjoying a good bike ride is wearing the right clothes. Well-padded biking shorts make sense, but the right bike shirt is also essential. The special fibers wick the sweat away from your body.Mistake 5: You’re riding the wrong bikeA beginner bike doesn’t need to be lightweight or have the latest components. The bike simply needs to fit your body and how you want to ride it. Pick the bike that will make you want to ride it more, not the one that claims to be “the best road or mountain bike.”Mistake 6: You’re not wearing cycling sunglassesHigh-quality sunglasses are not just to protect your eyes from UV rays. They will also keep your eyes from watering, like when you’re on a fast downhill. Plus, glasses will prevent insects and dust from landing in your eyes.Did you know?Good cycling glasses also protect you if you fall. The lenses are shatterproof, which provides better protection for your eyes.Mistake 7: You’re riding without biking glovesGloves are not a must – unlike helmets – but it still makes sense to wear them. They will protect you if you fall, and you’ll have a better grip on your handlebars when you work up a sweat.Mistake 8: You overdo itCycling has a lot of benefits. But just like with other sports, it’s all about the right intensity. Don’t overdo it on your first ride – pace yourself.Overdoing it can also include overestimating your abilities. For example, riding a mountain bike on a too technical trail can lead to serious injury. Planning to ride your bike over several mountains before you have built up enough endurance can also do more harm than good.MISTAKE 9: TOUCHING HOT DISC BRAKESEver notice your disc brakes make strange noises after using them for long, sustained periods? That noise is due to heat buildup in the disc and the caliper. Never touch hot disc brakes or rims after squeezing the brakes for a long time, as you can seriously burn yourself!MISTAKE 10: NOT EATING ENOUGHYou plan to ride further than ever before. Midway through the ride, you begin to quickly realize just bringing a sandwich, and a bottle of water was a bad idea. It will happen when you’re in the middle of nowhere and on the hottest day of the year. Panic sets in, and you wonder if you can even turn the pedals another kilometer.If you plan to ride for more than an hour, bring a minimum of 40g of carbs with you for each hour you plan to ride. Aim to drink 500ml of water every hour, more if it’s a scorching day or you sweat a lot. Plan your stops ahead of time so that you can stop for a snack and fill up your bottles. Read more about nutrition timing and what to eat.MISTAKE 11: NOT WEARING SUNSCREENCyclists are passionate about their laser-straight tan lines. Do you know what they aren’t passionate about? Skin cancer.Always wear sunscreen. Plus, it makes your legs shiny, and cyclists think that’s cool.MISTAKE 12: NOT KNOWING HOW TO CHANGE A FLAT TIREYou will get a flat tire eventually. Watch a couple of videos and practice at home before your next big ride, so you are prepared when you ultimately flat. Know how to use your tools and pump and always carry a spare tube or two. If you don’t need them, you will make someone’s day when you stop to help them.MISTAKE 13: JOINING A GROUP RIDE BEFORE YOU’RE READYYou just watched the Tour de France and the events in Japan. You roll up to your local drool-on-the-handlebars group ride about to show them all what a real sprint is. Hold up.Riding in a group at high speeds is a skill. Knowing how to modulate your speed and ride predictably are group ride requirements. Introduce yourself to the group the first time, then hang out at the back for the first few times. When you feel comfortable and get a feel for riding in a group, practice moving through the pack.It’s for your and everyone else’s safety. MISTAKE 14: NOT SHIFTING GEARSYour bike probably has at least 20 gears by now. Use them. The smaller gear in front makes things like climbing hills easier. The bigger gear in the rear of the bike likewise makes things like climbing easier. So if you’re climbing a hill and you feel like you’re pedaling through mud, shift into the small gear in the front and the big gear in the back, and you should be able to pedal easier up hills.Reverse this for pedaling downhill (big gear in front, small gear in back). MISTAKE 15: CARING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINKCars. Other riders. People who don’t ride. Everyone has an opinion about cycling. You may feel self-conscious about wearing tight-fitting bike clothes, sweating a lot or if you have the “right bike.” The only thing that matters is that you ride the bike, stay safe and have fun. See you out there!*** More

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    Boost Cycling Fitness with Base Training and More

    Did you know that your leg muscles aren’t the only ones in play during cycling? Your gluteal, back, shoulder, arm and neck muscles are all activated by this versatile activity — so you really need to focus on total-body training. And don’t forget, base training is just as important if you want to improve your cycling fitness and performance. Set the wheels in motion with comprehensive training and get yourself ready for cycling season so you can enjoy the many benefits of this sport.Important for Beginners:You’re usually full of motivation right at the start. Ready to hit the road pedaling, you begin biking under the motto “the more the better”. Put the brakes on that mentality to avoid excessive strain on your back and your joints. Ease into a training routine, gradually increasing the intensity and frequency of your rides.Total-Body Toning with Strength Training If you want to boost your cycling fitness, the first thing you’ll think of is probably leg training. “Basically, you’re not wrong to think that. But make sure to remember that you’re going to do more than enough leg training while actually cycling,” explains extreme sports athlete Gerhard Gulewicz. “This means you should devote your prep time to total-body training. Try to dedicate only ¼ of your training time to leg strength and focus on your other muscles the rest of the time.Focus on FlexibilityIf you really want to be in good shape for cycling season, make sure to mix flexibility training into your routine. Our cycling expert recommends: “Take at least 10 minutes to stretch properly before every ride to actively support your recovery. Don’t forget: you’ll only see the benefits if you’re consistent and dedicated in your efforts.Train Your Coordination SkillsIf you want to venture into wide open spaces, your coordination skills will come into play. They will ensure you can master most tricky situations safely. “There are lots of different ways to train your coordination skills. You can take a class at your local fitness center or try these exercises to improve balance and stability.” Again, consistency is key is here.Note!Coordination training should always be done before strength or endurance training, and after you’ve completed a warm-up.  You can only train your coordination properly if your muscles aren’t already exhausted. Last, but not least: make time for endurance and base trainingDon’t underestimate the importance of endurance training during your cycling season prep. Be sure that you don’t overdo it in the beginning — no high-intensity training with unfamiliar levels of muscle strain! “Increase the intensity and volume of your training gradually over time to see slow, but steady improvement. And never forget to include sufficient recovery time – avoid making these mistakes on your rest days!”, says Gerhard Gulewicz.This approach has two major advantages:You reduce the risk of injury if you don’t overwork your musclesYou continuously improve, which keeps you motivated.Tips for Endurance Training:You should spend more than 80% of your total training time in Zone 1 or Zone 2 — this will help you boost your performance.  What are these zones? They are used to measure training intensity based on your max heart rate. Zone 1 is 60-70% of your max heart rate and Zone 2 is 70 – 80%. Let’s look even closer at the difference.How can you tell if you’re training in Zone 1 or Zone 2? Check your breathing:You’re training in Zone 1, if you are breathing easily. For example, if you can breath for 5 minutes only through your nose, you’re definitely training in Zone 1. You’re training in Zone 2, if you can easily hold a conversation with a training partner despite light to moderate exertion. Zone 1 Training InfoZone 2 Training Info:This is how you can really improve your carbohydrate metabolism. Simply, this means that your body will be able to more easily convert carbs into energy. During more intense training, your body will be better able to use carbs from your glycogen stores as fuel. This means you definitely need to replenish those stores after your training session.How long should an endurance training session last for beginners?Zone 1: 60 minutes or longer, but no longer than 2 hours in the initial training stages.    Zone 2: 30–60 minutes. For slightly more experienced cyclists, no more than 90 min.Don’t forget to do at least a 10-minute warm-up before your base training session, and follow up with 10–minute cool-down riding at a relaxed tempo.Summary:If you want to take up cycling in the future, make sure you don’t take on too much at once. Base training is an important part of cycling fitness, as well as strength training. Don’t forget coordination skills and recovery. “Even if you firmly believe that more is better when it comes to training, that definitely not the case with cycling. While you’re riding, your muscles are being stimulated, but the real improvement to your performance ability comes while your muscles are resting afterward,” concludes biking expert Gerhard Gulewicz.*** More

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    Looking for a Running Alternative? How to Increase Stamina with Low Impact Cardio + 5 Tips

    If you want to increase your running endurance, there’s more than one way to do it. We’ve put together some suggestions for running alternatives, so you can boost your endurance and give your joints a break with low impact workouts. 
    3 Low Impact Cardio 
    The impact of running puts a lot of stress on your knees and hips. If you want to run farther and faster, you’ve got to improve your stamina. But how can you get there without pounding the pavement for hours? Here are three workouts to get you running better without running more. 
    1. Deep-Water Running
    If you’ve got access to a pool and a flotation belt, there’s nothing better than deep-water running to crank up your cardio and be kind to your joints. A study on the physiology of deep-water running shows that endurance athletes maintain their cardiovascular fitness level for up to 6 weeks with deep-water running workouts. (1)This is also an effective way to stay in shape after an injury and promote active recovery.  
    2. Dance Workouts

    Perhaps you’re missing a bit of fun in your life these days. Have you ever tried a dance workout? Dancing is an energizing way to combine a cardio workout and strength training, increase coordination, and work on your sense of rhythm. Studies have shown that dancing also has great benefits for older adults, improving balance and memory. (2)
    3. Cycling
    Hop on your bike for another great low impact workout. If you’re pedaling at the right intensity, you can get a solid cardio workout, explore the region you live in, and strengthen different muscles than those used for running.

    5 Tips to Maximize your Workouts
    Learn how to get the most out of your workouts with these 5 helpful tips:
    1. Shorten breaks in your strength workouts
    Bodyweight training will help you build strength and if you cut down on the length of your breaks and really push yourself to the limit, you can turn those workouts into a cardio booster, too. Try a workout in the adidas Training app and see if you can shave a few seconds of the breaks to get your heart rate up.
    2. Add variety
    Runners used to train for long races by running, running, and more running. Research on race performance has shown that adding variety to your training routine will not only reduce your risk of overuse injuries, but also prevent boredom. So try the workouts listed above and then try yoga for runners. Yoga’s not your thing? How about speed walking? Look around and see what interests you. Maybe it’s time to take up a new sport. 
    3. Adjust nutrition
    Don’t forget about your diet. To get your body in top form, you’ve got to give it the fuel it needs. The energy for endurance training – whatever form you choose – comes from macronutrients, especially carbohydrates. Cut down on your sugar intake and make sure you’re getting healthy fats and lean protein. Give your body what it needs, when it needs it.

    4. Improve your sleep
    Sleep health is an – often minimized – essential part of physical and mental health. You’ve probably heard the basics: no screens in the bedroom, don’t work out late in the evening, hit the sack before midnight. It’s important to prioritize sleep and change bad habits before you develop a chronic sleep disorder. Did you know that long-term sleep deprivation can put you at risk of diabetes melitus, obesity, and heart disease?(3)In addition to being important for our health and longevity, good sleep habits improve our wellbeing and increase our stamina when we exercise. 
    5. Steady state cardio
    Cardio workouts used to mainly be steady state: get on the treadmill, elliptical, or hit the road and maintain a moderate intensity for the duration of the workout. Then came HIIT, Tabata, and other interval training that can lead to more results in a shorter time. But does that mean you shouldn’t bother with steady state anymore? Not necessarily; it depends on what your goal is. Yes, there are certainly great benefits to high intensity workouts, such as high calorie burn. But if you’re looking to relieve stress and quiet the neverending spinning of your thoughts, steady state can add that meditative element to your exercise routine that helps calm your nerves and improves your sleep. 
    Running faster or longer is not the only way to improve your running performance. Low impact cardio workouts can really increase your stamina, especially if you combine these running alternatives with some of the adjustments listed above. So if you’re ready for some variety, give your knees a break and change gears for a long bike ride or hop in a pool and try deep-water running.
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