Triathlons are all about endurance. You have to outperform the competition when swimming, running and cycling, meaning you have to be fitter than ever. For triathlons, strength doesn’t necessarily mean the biggest muscles, but overall core strength and endurance. Training in no way has to be boring or monotonous. Here are four ways to train for your next triathlon, without sacrificing your sanity or motivation:

Put a Plan in Place

You’re training for endurance, but also to hit your ideal race weight.  Keep yourself accountable on a daily basis by first giving yourself a reasonable amount of time to achieve your weight goals, while training. This typically takes about seven months. You must also be consistent. For example, cycle every day and make your workout a lifestyle choice. There’s no excuse to not make a bike an everyday part of your life. Tools such as Spinlister make bikes readily available at the push of a button, helping you train easier and hassle free wherever you may go, globally.

Your Diet is Your Lifeline

When training, dieting decisions are game-changers. Properly fueling for training—and making wise choices when not training—makes a great impact. Cycling is one of the few activities where it is possible to fuel during training and it’s key to keeping your body sharp. However, it’s vital not to over-fuel. You should eat nutrient dense, low-glycemic wholefoods, as opposed to over-starchy and sugar-laden foods. Overall, choose a diet with healthy fats instead of bad fats. Remember this simple equation when trying to reach goal weight: Calories Out > Calories In.

Triathlon training

Manage Your Training

Gearing up for a triathlon is all about segmenting your training. If training for a race nine months down the road, the last thing you want is to go as hard as you can for the full nine months and burn yourself out. For the first six months, grow into your regimen by building in long rides and consistency. Then, as you get closer to race day, decrease to one long ride per week, build up speed work, and focus on cadence. Cadence (pedal rotations per minute) plays a huge part in fat burning and muscle growth. Focusing on a high but sustainable cadence is crucial in preparation and will help you hit your proper heart rate zones and establish consistency throughout your race.

Keep Your Body and Mind Guessing

Vary your workout routines. Climb mountains, visit new countryside’s, and get outside of the spots you always visit. The easiest way to become disillusioned with training is to lock yourself into a repetitive routine. Long story short, have fun with it! Cycling is one of the few exercises where you can actually cover distance and visit places you haven’t gone before. You don’t have to ride the same path everyday; A to B is not always in a straight line.

Cycling allows you to train more frequently without as much risk for injury as running. Being a low impact exercise, due to the decreased strain and pressure it puts on your muscles and joints, it allows you to train multiple time per week. You can diversify your workouts by cycling in groups, and push yourself harder by focusing on different muscle groups and techniques over time (e.g. hills and climbing vs. flats and acceleration) in order to get triathlon-ready.