Spin® Life Blog

How to Train Your Students for a Triathlon

How to Train Your Students for a Triathlon

Posted by Spinning® on Apr 18th 2018

Learn to Build a Triathlete-based Program from Former World Champion & Olympic Coach, Siri Lindley

As Spin® Instructors, our goal is to help our clients get fit, strong, lean and happy from our sessions! That starts with making fitness a lifestyle for them by continuing to challenge them with progressive teaching methodologies and challenging rides. To be a triathlete is a lifestyle as much as it is a sport. You get people of all shapes and sizes that take on the challenge that combines swimming, biking and running. For beginners, the Sprint Triathlon is typically the first event that people will use to get their feet wet. The triathlete events. ½ mile run, 12-mile bike, and a 3.1-mile run.

Most of the time during this race will be spent on the bike, so the bike training portion of an athlete's training is of the utmost importance. As Spin® instructors, you can be a huge part of an athlete’s preparation for this race! In order to prepare your triathlete students, you can help them with their goals by providing them with all the different types of sessions they need to arrive at their goal race as strong, fit and prepared as possible. One day a week, a hill class. Work on building up your students' strength and power. Keep it all climbing orientated and explain to them how this strength will help them with their speed on the bike. And on the run!The next type of class you want to offer is an AT/speed style session. A session with fast intervals, with a ton of rest, and then longer intervals in a strong gear, to really get them working hard, heart rates high, muscles burning. Short rest intervals to really work their thresholds. These sessions will be grueling, but with each week, the students will get stronger and subsequently more confident! The last type of session that would be great to offer would be a longer aerobic session. Within this session, you can do some climbing, but at a lower intensity. Just working the muscles, but keeping the heart rates lower…and then some constant Spinning®. Just building up their fitness and their strength.The most important session that can also be a ton of fun, is a race-specific class. I used to use my classes as a chance to take my students through the bike portion of the race. For instance, there is a big local race coming up. Learn a bit about the course, the terrain, the weather and start incorporating that course into your class program. Take them through the course, verbally describe the environment and the temperature and as you go along the different aspects of the course. If this is a hilly course, and you have done your research, find out just how long the climbs are, the descents etc., and you can formulate your sessions around the layout of the course. For instance, after a 10-minute warm up, start taking them through the course:Spinning® is different because everybody can train at their own pace. Whether you are a beginner or advanced, everybody can train together. I teach Spinning® because people are open. You can teach Spinning® and you can reach everybody in one class. Spinning® is the whole component. It’s the music, it’s the movement, it’s the group:

We start with a steep climb, this one is going to take your breath away from everyone. Put it in your hardest gear. Your cadence will drop significantly and we are going to use all our strength and power to work our way up the top of this hill. Remember, at the top, accelerate up and over the top of the hill. Ready for the descent?

At this point, you should throw in a fast downhill section, while still describing where they are on the course as the class goes on. This would be a great race-specific class to help triathletes and other competitive racers build confidence, enhance their strength and prepare for the road ahead. Lastly, remember to have fun, train hard and, of course, #EnjoytheRide!
Siri Lindley - 2001 Triathlon World Champion, 2001,2002 World #1 Female Triathlete, Olympic Coach.