British triathlete and former World Champion Helen Jenkins shares advice for budding triathletes
Triathlons are the fastest growing sport in the UK. If you're planning to sign up for one, advice from the experts will no doubt be welcome. Helen Jenkins is one of Britain's top female triathletes and hopes to compete at London 2012. She shares with us her top tips for training:
1. Plan your training in advance, this will help you keep training balanced and help you to progress towards your goals.
2. Putting pen to paper can also help you commit to training more effectively.
3. Training with friends or at a tri club can be fun and more enjoyable than doing all the miles on your own.
4. Never get in a swimming pool with no session planned, it is the most boring thing in the world!
5. Always wear a cycle helmet when riding - any bike, anywhere.
Jenkins, the 2008 World Champion, started competing when she was about 15 years old, having previously just enjoyed swimming. Now, her favourite event of the three is running as she sees it as the easiest. 'Wherever you are in the world all you need is a pair of trainers and you're off running,' she says.
A place in the 2012 Olympics is not guaranteed so Jenkins will be preparing for the selection races by completing a very gruelling training schedule.
She explains, 'Training varies so much, which is one of the things I love about triathlon. A typical week consists of around 25 hours training, this involves five swims, four bike rides and seven runs, plus two gym sessions, stretching and rehab/prehab work.'
Between training sessions, Jenkins, along with her coach and husband Marc (a former triathlete), also finds time to encourage more youngsters to get involved with the sport.
The couple recently led a triathlon master class in London's Hyde Park. Working alongside their sponsors GE Capital and Sport Action Zone (an organisation that offers sports programmes to children) they took the children swimming in the Sepentine Lido, developed bike skills and technique as well as led running sessions with London's Running School.
Find out more about triathlons at www.britishtriathlon.org or visit our sister site www.triathletesworld.co.uk
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