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Trained by his wife Florence Bachelet, Pierre-Mary Bachelet is a keen sportsman who has competed in triathlons in France and the United States and recently participated in the Fort de Soto and Daytona triathlons. This article will provide an overview of the different components of a triathlon, as well as providing tips for those training for their first triathlon.

The world’s first triathlon took place in San Diego, California in 1974. It was staged by the San Diego Track Club as an alternative to hard track training. The attached PDF contains more information about the event.

Triathlon events consist of swimming, cycling, and running components. They are completed as a single event without breaks between different activities.

Triathlons come in a range of different distances. Some of the most popular types of triathlon include:

  • Ironman: Ironman competitions are staged all over the world, but arguably the most important is the annual World Championships staged in Kona Hawaii, a race that consists of a 2.8-kilometer swim, a 180-kilometer bike ride, and a 42.2-kilometer run
  • Olympic: First introduced in the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, this version consists of a 1.5-kilometer swim, cycling 40 kilometers, and a 10-kilometer run
  • Sprint: An ideal option for those new to the sport, sprint distances vary, but the swim portion is generally around 750 meters, with a 20-kilometer bike ride and a 5-kilometer run

Preparation for a triathlon begins with a well-designed training plan to help increase performance in all three areas while simultaneously helping the participant to stay in shape throughout training. A triathlon is no small undertaking, and it is sensible for anyone considering participating in one to consult with their doctor before embarking on such a grueling training routine. The attached infographic takes a closer look at some of the world’s most iconic triathlon events.

Pierre-Mary Bachelet - The Worlds Most Popular Triathlons

In general, individuals aiming to compete in their first sprint triathlon should train for at least 12 weeks prior to the event. For those who are very healthy, physically fit, and used to running, biking, and swimming, an 8-week training program may be sufficient. However, for those starting from scratch, it would be prudent to leave more time, for example a 16-week training plan.

Training should include a minimum of two sessions of each activity per week, including a “brick session”, with the cycling and running sessions completed back-to-back. Participants should increase distances by no more than 10% each week, incorporating resistance training and at least one rest day per week to aid recovery. The attached video takes a closer look at why rest days are an integral component in any fitness regime.