NEW YORK -- Due to the increased popularity of triathlons, New York Health & Racquet Club (NYHRC) and JackRabbit Sports, a triathlete’s store in New York, partnered to launch a new comprehensive triathlete-training program.

The nine-week program, Try a Tri, began April 23 at NYHRC’s 50th St. location in New York City. At the end of the program, participants have the option of competing in the Patanella’s Flat as a Pancake sprint distance triathlon in late June at Staten Island, NY.

The program includes two workouts a week. One workout focuses on running; the other focuses on swimming and cycling skills. The goal is to take gym members out of their comfort zone--inside the gym--and introduce them to outdoor sports via running, according to a statement from NYHRC. The program is appropriate for all levels, including first-time and experienced triathletes.

The club company also added a group fitness class, BRICK, for triathletes.

“We have seen a significant increase in the number of members requesting this type of program,” says Maryann Donner, NYHRC group fitness director. “We have one of the few group fitness classes to address this, BRICK, that combines the cycling and running training these athletes go through. But with so many races exploding in the tri-state area and nationally, the interest for members to push their fitness levels further has been a great impetus to launch this program.”