Training for a triathlon

Triathlons are one of the fastest growing sporting events in the world. Anna Kooiman shows us what it takes to become a triathlete, and how even beginners can take on the challenge


Triathlons are one of the fastest growing sporting events in the nation, with nearly two million participants in 2011.

Fox News’ Anna Kooiman is training for the New York City Triathlon, which is a one-mile swim, 25-mile bike ride, and 6-mile run. She recently got together with her triathlon coach, Robert Pennino of to talk about how even beginners can get involved.

Pennino said even though triathlons sound intimidating, there are shorter races called ‘sprint triathlons’ that are a great way to start.

“A sprint is usually about a half-mile swim, about a 15-mile bike, and a 3-mile run,” he said. “Just a little bit of training can get you through a sprint."

Kooiman started her training day at Equinox gym with what she considers her most challenging event: swimming. She said the hardest part is sighting – watching where you are swimming.

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"A lot of beginners will get in and say, ‘Oh, I don't want to sight, it's too much work.’ The next thing you know, they're swimming circles and they don't even realize it,” Pennino said.

When it comes to the biking portion of the race, Pennino said many people think you have to spend a lot on gear to do a triathlon, but that’s a myth.

"It's just a matter of having a budget for yourself and going in with that budget. But if you're new to the sport we recommend spending less money on a road bike,” he said. “If you love it, then you go out and get all the bells and whistles."

Pennino said the most important piece of advice for those participating in a triathlon isn’t about gear or running times.

"Confidence. Just know anybody can do a triathlon and it's more about the unknown of doing your own triathlon."

To learn more about training for a triathlon, visit