Train for a Triathlon at LA Fitness

Train for a Triathlon at LA Fitness

The Basics of Triathlon Training

A triathlon is an athletic contest that challenges its competitors in three different events: swimming, cycling, and long-distance running.

There are typically four to five different levels of triathlons that you can choose to compete in.

Level 1: Super Sprint Triathlon (Beginners)

  • Swim: 500m
  • Bike: 10km
  • Run: 2.5km

Level 2: Sprint Triathlon (Beginners)

  • Swim: 750m
  • Bike: 20km
  • Run: 5km

Level 3: Standard Triathlon – Olympic Distance (Intermediate)

  • Swim: 1.5km
  • Bike: 40km
  • Run: 10km

Level 4: Half-Ironman Triathlon (Advanced)

  • Swim: 1.9km
  • Bike: 90km
  • Run: 21.9km

Level 5: Ironman Triathlon (Advanced)

  • Swim: 3.9km
  • Bike: 180km
  • Run: 42km (marathon)

Source: Cycling Weekly

What to Bring to a Triathlon

  • Tri suit*
  • Triathlon designed wetsuit for anything Olympic length and longer. Sprints are usually reverse so swimming is last and short so no wetsuit needed. Tri suits are nice because you don’t have to change clothes from swim to run but Tri shorts and a tank top works great too. Wetsuits are for warmth but more so for buoyancy to keep your legs on the surface of the water. It really helps a lot, especially in ocean swims. Surf wetsuits are not preferred since they are cut differently and it’s hard to swim in them. (Suggestion provided by Tom G., competitive triathlete and LA Fitness member.)
  • *If you’re not competing in a tri suit, make sure to bring proper clothing for each event (i.e. wetsuit, cycling shorts, and top.)
  • Swim Cap
  • Swim goggles
  • Bike helmet
  • Bike (road bike preferred but any bike with street tires)
  • Tire repair kit
  • Cycling shoes
  • Socks
  • Hat (optional)
  • Sunglasses (optional)
  • Bag(s) for dry/wet clothing
  • Fitness tracking device (optional)
  • Water bottle
  • Pre/post-race nutrition
  • Towel(s)
  • Confidence 😉

Triathlon Training Requirements

A triathlon training schedule is going to vary based on current fitness level, age, gender, and the level of triathlon you plan on competing in.

Taken from the Triathlon Training for Dummies Cheat Sheet, they recommend:

Sprint/Super Sprint

  • 2 to 4 hrs./week
  • 12 weeks before event


  • 4 to 6 hrs./week
  • 16 weeks before event

Half Ironman

  • 4 to 10 hrs./week
  • 24 weeks before event


  • 5 to 15 hrs./week
  • 30 weeks before event

Of course, this is only a suggested guide. Everyone may need to adjust their fitness routine accordingly.

Triathlon Training with a Certified Personal Trainer

If you find yourself struggling with swimming, biking or running, consider investing in a certified personal trainer who can help create a personalized training schedule for you to successfully reach your goals.

It’s an additional way to help you stay accountable during your training, further establish your goals, and measure and track your progress leading up to the big day!

Tip: Know the terrain well before race day and share this information with your trainer. It can greatly impact the intensity and style of training you’ll need for optimal success.

Triathlon Training at LA Fitness

Any time is a good time to start training at LA Fitness, but it’s a great time if you’re training for a big event. With state-of-the-art equipment, a Junior Olympic size pool*, and plenty of cycle bikes, it’s a great place to put in the work needed leading up to the big day.

If you’re looking for an upcoming triathlon to try, consider the Time to Tri Indoor triathlon series at

The Time to Tri Indoor Triathlon Series features a 10-minute pool swim, 30-minute stationary bike, and 20-minute treadmill run. Choose from one of five LA Fitness locations in the Tempe/Tucson area July 15 or July 22.

Triathlon Training Nutrition and Diet

The basic concept is to eat for training as you would an actual competition. This enables you to test out which foods, beverages and meals work best with your body for your specific race distance. Competing on a full stomach is uncomfortable, doesn’t allow the best digestion, and can impair performance so you’ll want to be sure and have a higher carbohydrate meal 3-4 hours prior to a full training session with all three sports. This meal should contain a moderate amount of protein (~30 grams) and a low amount of fat, followed by about 2 cups of water. Races are usually first thing in the morning making this timing impractical, so load up on carbohydrates the night before and practice early mornings while following the below.

About an hour prior to the event, eat a snack with around 30-60 grams of carbohydrates and about 10 grams of protein, again lower fat and with a cup of water. Consumption of this snack is critical as there is no intake during the first swim leg and fueling during the bike and run legs will likely be limited to sports drinks. The goal is to create a constant supply of blood glucose throughout the triathlon. Hydration for thermoregulation is critical, so drink ½ – 1 cup of a lightly salted solution of 5-8% carbohydrate (10-20 g CHO and ~110 mg Na+ per cup) every 15 – 20 minutes during competition and training. Everyone’s body is unique and gut tolerance varies, so find your ideal foods and volume to ensure peak performance.

Response above provided by LA Fitness registered dietitian, Debbie James, RDN.


Sunday, July 15 at 7:30 a.m.:

  • Tempe
  • Queen Creek
  • Tucson North

Sunday, July 22 at 7:30 a.m.:

  • Camelback @ I-51 (Phoenix)
  • Oro Valley

It’s your time to try a triathlon! For more information and to register, visit LA Fitness members save $10 on registration.

For a more comprehensive look into everything you’ll need to know before your big day, check out this all-inclusive article published by the New York Times on triathlons.

All guests using club facilities must be 18 years of age or older, show I.D., and sign a waiver of liability prior to admission. Advertised events are subject to change. ©2018 Fitness International, LLC. All rights reserved.

* Amenities may vary by location and some may require an additional fee. Access based on membership type.

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Zumba®: A Fitness Fan’s Happy Hour – Podcast Ep. 4

Zumba®: A Fitness Fan’s Happy Hour – Podcast Ep. 4

Welcome to the 4th episode of the Living Healthy Podcast, presented by LA Fitness.

Working out doesn’t have to feel like work! Bring your after-work happy hour to the gym for a Zumba® fitness party! Burn calories, make friends and learn why so many people love this form of exercise. On this episode of Living Healthy, Andrew and I take a Zumba® class and speak with Zumba® instructor, Ana. Who knew burning calories could be so much fun? Have a listen and find out why Zumba® just might be your new favorite group fitness class! 

Are you passionate about a certain class? Do you find enjoyment in cardio or strength training? Let us know what YOU would you like to hear about! Share with us in the comments below!

How Are We Doing? 

Timecard Markers – Zumba®: A Fitness Fan’s Happy Hour – Podcast Ep. 4


Begins at 0:29

Zumba® Instructor, Ana, joins the show

Begins at 2:52

Different Zumba® Styles

Begins at 5:28

Dance Battle

Begins at 6:50


Begins at 8:29

Advice for Newcomers

Begins at 8:52

The Member Experience

Begins at 11:37

What to Bring

Begins at 16:02

Member Success Stories

Begins at 19:13

Show Wrap-up

Begins at 22:24

This podcast should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

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AAT: Ep. 24 – What Machines Help with Toning the Body?

AAT: Ep. 24 – What Machines Help with Toning the Body?

Ask A Trainer: Featured Question of the Week

LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Stone T., gives his expert advice on which machines best assist with toning the body. His answer may surprise you!

Do you have a fitness question? Ask one of our certified Pro Results® trainers here! Your question may be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video.**

8 + 7 =

**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights.

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Surf’s Up with Shawn Farnell

Surf’s Up with Shawn Farnell

Surf's Up With Shawn Farnell

Photo: Gustavo Romero
Video: Matt Martin-Hall
Writer: Candice Currie

The sun hides behind hazy grey clouds of an early morning sky in Huntington Beach, CA.

Part-time lifeguard and student, Shawn F. waxes his surfboard eager to get out on the day’s first waves.

Part-time lifeguard and student, Shawn F. waxes his surfboard eager to get out on the day’s first waves.

“Growing up, my parents would take me and my brother to the beach all the time. We started boogie boarding and one day I realized I wanted to surf, so our parents bought us boards and we taught ourselves.”

Shawn F. of Huntington Beach, CA has been surfing since he was 6 years old, the ocean has always played a positive role in his life. In order to improve his physical performance and maintain his active lifestyle, Shawn decided to join a gym.

“I joined LA Fitness because most of my lifeguard buddies have memberships and it was the closest gym to my house.”

“…being able to go to a gym gives me more structure in my workouts and makes me actually work out more consistently.”

“I generally use lighter weights. I start with running or rowing then I use machines that involve ‘pulling’ workouts then move to ‘pushing’ machines.”

“Then, I go to the Aerobics room and use the physio and bosu ball along with a weighted medicine ball, where I do workouts that target my core and muscles that help with surfing.”

“I enjoy being in a physical state that allows me to get up and go for a 6-mile run or surf for 3 hours and do it again the next day.”

“Be patient, not one wave is the same.”

“I am not the best at giving advice, but I look up to people who grind and work super hard to make their life better, either in school, work, physical fitness and/or hobbies. I try to surround myself with people who push me to do better.”

The Common Misconception of Getting Fit Before Joining a Gym

The Common Misconception of Getting Fit Before Joining a Gym

You’ve wanted to lose weight. You’ve wanted to get healthier, feel better, and have more energy. You’ve thought about the possibility of joining a gym, but something has held you back. Perhaps it’s fear, vulnerability, or a lack of confidence keeping you from accomplishing your fitness goals. Before allowing any more negativity to cloud your frame of mind, let’s push the pause button.

For many toying around with the thought of joining a gym (but slacking with the follow-through), we’re here to say: let’s not put off your health and happiness any longer. There seems to be this common misconception that one must get fit before getting fit in a club. That could not be any further from the truth. Yet, it’s an idea that many people believe, usually due to one of the fears listed below.

7 Common Fears When New to the Gym (And How to Avoid Them)

1. Everyone is going to judge me.

  • No – most people who go to the gym are way too focused on their own workout routine to be watching anyone else, let alone judge you.
  • The gym is a type of community where you’re surrounded by others who share similar health and fitness goals.
  • Almost everyone is supportive because they’ve been where you’ve been and want to see you succeed.

2. I won’t know how to use any of the equipment.

  • Easy fix – perhaps one of the easiest on this list! On most machines, there is a picture showing which muscles the machine helps target and how to properly perform the exercise. Take the time to review it before getting started.
  • Still nervous that you may be doing it wrong? There are plenty of helpful videos showing proper use of gym equipment online (check out our LAF YouTube channel).
  • Your third option can be adding on some personal training sessions to your membership and have an instructor walk you through how to properly use the machines and explain which would be best for you.

3. Everyone is going to be ripped fitness models/competitors.

  • No – sure, some people at the gym will be in peak fitness shape. Some will be fitness models. Some will be bodybuilders. The majority will not be.
  • Remember: Everyone was once a beginner. You’re not any different or capable of accomplishing any less than those others you see at the gym.

4. I am going to sweat… a lot.

  • This is probably true. We’re not going to lie to you. Working out can get sweaty, especially if your body isn’t used to it, but guess what? Everyone sweats.
  • Sweating is great for your body! It can help rid your body of toxins and help cool the body down from a particularly intense workout. Plus, it’s great for boosting those feel-good endorphins (just don’t forget your towel).


The weight area will be dominated by Arnold Schwarzenegger built men.

  • The weight area of any gym can be a bit intimidating if you’ve never lifted before. The key for overcoming this fear is to do your research so you know how to properly use the weights without bringing injury to yourself.
  • It never hurts to ask for help! Do you see someone who looks like they know what they’re doing? Wait until they finish their set, and then ask them to help spot you or ask for assistance. Again, most people want to help and watch you succeed. In fact, they may even be flattered that you’ve thought to ask them for help.
  • Not a fan of asking strangers for help? Book a session with the PT department and they’ll walk you through the weight training basics.
  • Men and women can be seen in the weight training area. Being strong is sexy. The old-age idea of hulk-like men grunting and dropping weights is yesterday’s worry. Fear no more.

6. I’m so out of shape, I won’t be able to keep up in group fitness classes.

  • Far from the truth! Group fitness classes can be a great place to start if you’re looking for an instructor to help push you, without the added cost of personal training. All classes can be tailored for the fitness level you’re currently at. Let the instructor know that you’re new and they can help give alternative moves so that you can confidently complete the class without fail.
  • Stick with the class. The more often you attend, the better (and more comfortable) you will become. You’ll begin noticing a difference in your endurance and strength levels with continued participation.

7. I won’t end up going, it’ll just be a waste of money.

  • We wish there was a way to say this isn’t true, but it’s entirely on you. There is a frame of mind that you must be in to make sure you’re putting your gym membership to good use.
  • Think of the money that gets spent on fast food, specialty coffees, and afternoon snacks. If you aren’t feeling healthy, wouldn’t an investment towards your health be more worthwhile than the money spent on less than healthy habits?
  • Here’s some advice on healthy (and inexpensive) meal prep to help get you on the right track –
  • Don’t commit to a membership yet. Give us a try first.


You don’t have to be in shape, an experienced-gym goer, or former athlete to reap the benefits of joining a gym. Whether you’re a complete beginner (or otherwise) there are ways to modify your gym experience to fit your personal physical fitness goals.

At LA Fitness, we’re a judgment-free zone. We’re here to help you reach all of your fitness and health goals. Come check us out today, and don’t be afraid to start.


  1. Borreli, Lizette. “Sweat It Out! 5 Surprising Health Benefits Of Sweating That Actually Don’t Stink.” Medical Daily, 7 Nov. 2014,

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