Go For Gold

Ever wondered about giving Triathlon a go? Read on, say Team Nuffield

What do J-Lo, Gordon Ramsay and Jenson Button have in common? They are all mad for triathlons. The desire to become a triathlete has rocketed in the past couple of years, and with the Olympics fast approaching it is likely to be one of the hot events to watch.

Indeed, Britain has the male and female World Triathlon Champions, so our hopes for gold are alive and well. But it’s not just Olympians and celebrity athletes monopolising this sport, it’s one for us ordinary folk too. The sport has rightfully won a reputation for being super friendly and accessible to all.

This is partly because the range of distances available means whatever your speed, background or ability, you can have a go. Despite being an ‘endurance sport’ some races can be as short as a 400m swim, a 20k cycle and a 5k run – still hard work but achievable.

If you are unsure of the open water element you can take your first steps into the sport in a swimming pool, or closed lake-based race. If you worry about cars on the road when cycling then pick a race that is closed to all traffic. And if you are anxious at all about being able to run at the end of a race with such tired legs – well, everyone worries about that bit – it’s all part of the challenge.

The average triathlete burns off 800 calories an hour, and it is a great way to get your heart and lungs fit and healthy. And if you find running tough on your joints, triathlon training allows you to vary your training with cycling and swimming as well. This means you can minimise your injury risks, and keep your exercise routine interesting.

Such is the increase in interest from ‘normal’ people, Nuffield Health has specifically designed a triathlon for first timers this summer that will take place at the Olympic Rowing Venue, Dorney Lake, on May 27th.

Emily Tuck, who manages Worcester’s Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centre, explains: “We’re actually holding the Nuffield Health Triathlon Challenge so we can introduce Triathlon to a new audience. We want to inspire lots more people to get fit and healthy in 2012. The great thing about our event is that it’s suitable for everyone from beginners to seasoned pros.”

Don’t worry though if you feel you’re not quite ready to take the plunge, but you’re interested in finding out more about what it means to be a triathlete. Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centres in Worcester have launched a Triathlon Circuits class. The hour long, high intensity workout is designed to mimic a triathlete programme with three phases – base, pre-competition and competition. The class will focus on strength and conditioning work and will use the training techniques implemented by triathlon coaches.

The Nuffield Health Triathlon Challenge is being held at the Olympic Rowing Venue, Dorney Lake on May 27th. It offers the three most popular triathlon distances, and is designed for first time Triathletes as it is in a small rowing lake and closed to traffic. You can tackle the threesport format on your own or as part of a relay.

For more information and a free one-day pass please visit www.nuffieldhealth.com Follow us on Twitter@NuffieldHealth