Most people hear "triathlon" and think Ironman a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile marathon. "That's for crazy people!" jokes Jennifer Lopez, who's training for her first triathlon, the Nautica Malibu Triathlon's classic distance (a half-mile swim, 18-mile bike and 4-mile run), to raise money and awareness for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.
Races like the Malibu tri and shorter, sprint-distance events are a challenging and fun way to get in shape, and you never get bored, says Lucy Danziger, SELF's editor-in-chief and a huge cheerleader for the sport, who will be racing with Jennifer. "If you can bike, run and swim, each separately, you can do it," Lucy says. We checked in with Gunnar Peterson, Jennifer's trainer, to find out more about her training.
Check out how Lucy Danziger made it through her most turbulent triathlon event--during the swim she was covered in slimy jellyfish!
"The goal is to be comfortable throughout the event. Jennifer should be able to go out to dinner afterward, not check into the ER. We started by focusing on each of the three events individually to lay a strong foundation. Then we began working on the transitions. You don't need to do the whole event during training, but you try to simulate the race conditions--biking, then immediately running. Or by doing a mini-tri--all three events at shorter distances.
"You've got to get used to the race conditions. It's one thing to swim in a pool that is temperature controlled and another to get into the freezing Pacific with 3,000 other athletes. Other than the usual jitters, nervousness and having lots of people around, there shouldn't be new demands on the body. So we get out on the bike path and swim in the ocean. That way, when she's in the water on race day, she's thinking, 'Yup, I know what this feels like. I got this.' Then on the bike, 'Yup, I'm comfortable. I know this.' It shouldn't be, 'Holy s---! This water is cold! Those waves are crazy! These hills are steep!'"
"Jennifer knows what she has to do and gets it done. She has a great perspective on workouts and what she derives from them. It's not just about the exercise. Your workout will be better if you realize that by doing it, everything else you do will be a little better, too. You're better at work and make fewer mistakes. You feel better and so are a nicer person."
Erin over at Fresh Fitness Tips just finished two Nike The Human Race 10K's in two different cities on two different continents in one single day! Head over to SELF to see how she did it.
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