Training for a triathlon is a great way to focus energy on your weight loss and fitness goals. A triathlon involves three different stages -- running, cycling and swimming -- performed in quick succession. Training for this event involves doing the three activities regularly, plus weight and interval training for added power and endurance. As long as you eat carefully during this time, you will see weight loss results due to the rigorous nature of the training.
Create a plan that outlines the exercises you'll do each day to train for the triathlon. Start training at least eight to 16 weeks prior to the event if you're an advanced athlete, six months if you're intermediate and up to one year if you're a beginner. Begin training as early as possible for maximum weight loss.
Include the major events in your training plan: running, swimming and cycling. Jog, swim or cycle for at least 30 minutes per session, three days per week, to work on endurance. Start slow and build your way up to more time and distance. Alternate between jogging, swimming and cycling for best results.
Add interval training to your routine two times each week. Perform running, swimming and cycling intervals on different days. For example, during a running interval you can begin by jogging for a few minutes to warm up. Move on to sprinting for an interval of one to four minutes and really give it all that you've got during that time. Recover by slowing down and jogging for 60 seconds. Repeat the interval up to 10 times.
Train with weights two times per week. Do two sets of eight to 15 repetitions of the following exercises during each session: chest presses, biceps curls, lateral pulldowns, lateral raises, pectoral flyes, seated low rows, triceps presses, leg presses, leg raises, squats, lunges, crunches and oblique crunches.
Stick to your plan as closely as possible. Find motivation in the fact that you're getting in great shape and losing weight at the same time. Do not get discouraged if you miss a day; pick yourself back up and start again the next day. You must be committed to your goal to train for and participate in a triathlon.
Set realistic weight loss goals. It's typically not healthy to lose more than 2 pounds per week from diet and exercise. To lose 2 pounds per week, reduce your total calories by about 1,000 per day through diet and exercise. Pay attention to your total calories each day by recording them in a diet journal.
Talk to a physician to determine the right number of calories for you to eat per day based on your height, weight and level of training. Since you'll be burning plenty of calories from exercise during triathlon training, you might not need to cut down on your total calories. In fact, you might need to increase them to give you energy for training.
Eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and multiple snacks every day. Include fiber in your meals through fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Protein sources should be lean and can include fish, poultry, tofu and legumes. Get enough fat in your diet by eating avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, ghee and nuts. If you eat mainly whole, unprocessed and healthy foods you'll have more energy for triathlon training, you'll recover more quickly and help your body avoid injury.
Drink plenty of water to ensure that you're hydrated throughout the triathlon training process. Your body will not retain as much water if you're drinking regularly, so you won't look or feel bloated due to excess water weight. Drinking water also makes you feel full in between meals, which can help you stick to a healthy diet plan.
Speak to your physician before starting triathlon training, as this is a rigorous event. Talk to your doctor about weight loss if you're planning to lose more than 25 pounds. Speak with a personal trainer at the gym if you're unsure about how to use a certain machine.