Build Your Own Triathlon

Schriever Air Force base members planning on participating in the Lazyman Triathlon may expect a lot of running, swimming and bike riding. Participants must swim 2.4 miles, ride a cumulative distance of 112 miles on a bicycle, and of course, run a marathon, which is 26.2 miles. (Courtesy Photo Air Force)

Somedays when you are designing your workout of the day, you just want to get out, enjoy the weather, and get a good dose of cardio. Maybe doing one thing for a prolonged period of time is too much like running for a full hour.  Here are some ways to get creative with your cardio and enjoy a longer dose of cardio activity by mixing up several methods.

Build Your Own Triathlon Day

You can always opt for the classic triathlon workout of swim, bike, run for 20 minutes each.  However, when designing for personal workouts (not competition), you can always arrange to swim last and enjoy the cooldown effects of swimming in a pool after getting warmed up with running and biking. If limited to an hour, the 20 minute limits for each with short transitions is a great way to go and will keep the mind from getting bored just doing one event for an hour. Also, in place of just running, it can save the impact on your body by doing two non-impact cardio events of biking and swimming.

1. The Non-Impact Triathlon

Speaking of non-impact cardio options, picking three non-impact options is a great way to get some relief from the pounding of running and/or rucking events.  Try the 20 minute bike, 20 minute elliptical or row / paddle, and the 20 minute swim for a way to finish a great cardio hour workout and feel very little joint pain afterwards.

2. Spec Ops Level Triathlons

One thing we like to do is the Special Ops Triathlon – Run, Ruck, Swim. Instead of a bike, you add in a ruck (walk fast with backpack) and you swim with a big pair of SCUBA fins on your feet. If you are preparing for any of the special ops training programs in your future, a longer event of 4-5 mile run, 4-5 mile ruck, and 1 mile swim with fins is a good challenge that level of fitness requirements. Obviously the distance of each event will determine the amount of time you have.  If you are pressed for time, do 20 minute run, 20 minute ruck, and a 20 minute swim and just go for maximum distances in all three events. This is a fast and easy way to check progress over time as well.

3. The Triple 5km (swim, run, ruck)

Another option of this level is the Triple 5km:  5km run, 5 km ruck, and 5km swim.  Though I would recommend doing the swim first as you will likely start to cramp up during the swim if performed last. The 5000m swim is the biggest challenge of this event as the 5km run and ruck can typically be done in less than an hour combined.

Think of as many cardio events you can do and have access to.  Some ideas are running, rucking, rowing, biking, swimming, elliptical, rowing, stairstepper, versaclimber, vasa-trainer, or just walking as well for a great warmup or cooldown cardio option. Take your pick and get yourself a good hour or more worth of cardio.

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