Published on January 18, 2017 Comment(s): 0
New Year new fitness goals. Whilst many of us our taking our first steps off the couch for a gentle walk, others are planning more adventurous fitness goals such as Triathlons. Over the last 5 years Triathlons have boomed in popularity but why?
Maybe it’s down to the variety it offers. If you don’t already know, a Triathlon is a combination of swimming, biking and running. It’s a sport that gives you the ultimate whole body workout. A Triathlon helps to improve cardiovascular as well as muscle tone. Taking part in such a variety of disciplines helps to avoid injuries associated with repetitive single sports.
Are you thinking of training for a Triathlon? This article is for you! Read on for all of the tips you could ever need to kick a Triathlon's butt!
How to Train for your First Ever Triathlon (Without scaring yourself).
First off, decide upon the type of Triathlon distance you’d like to do. There’s a shorter distance for the ultimate beginner and longer options for the advanced athlete.
Don’t be under any illusions about putting together a training schedule - no matter the distance you’ve chosen, you have to get your body used to endurance on a regular bases.
It’s best to seek advice off someone who has done a Triathlon or a professional that trains others. However there are also a whole host of Triathlon training schedules for you to take some inspiration from.
● Slowly build your fitness level up;
● Monitor how you feel during and adjust accordingly;
● Allocate more training time to your weaknesses e.g. slower runner - faster swimmer (more running practice needed);
● Train at least 3 days a week and 6 days maximum;
● Focus on the different Triathlon elements each day.
What to Eat in Preparation for a Triathlon?
What you put into your body is what you get out of it. A well balanced diet is very important ahead of training season but it’s even more important in the weeks leading up to the Triathlon!
Foods including pasta, potato, quinoa, oats and rice are rich in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are what help your body with energy storing. The general rule goes, the closer to the Triathlon, the more carbs you should consume. For every gram of carbohydrates stored, you’ve an extra three grams of water which means you’ll be energised and hydrated to start the triathlon.
Don’t skip breakfast
Breakfast certainly is the most important part of the day. Everyone has their own diet requirements and success stories but throughout the years, there has been evidence to suggest that below is a requirement rather than a choice for optimum performance:
● 12-20 ounces water
● Low fat, fibre and glycaemic
● 100-200 grams of carbs
● 400 - 800 calories including a little amount of protein
Eat and drink during
Your body will constantly need to eat and rehydrate during the race especially on the biking and running sections. Foods that are easily consumed on the go and packed full of energy include:
● Energy bars / liquids
● Apples, grapes, oranges and berries such as strawberry and blackberries
What Triathlon Equipment You’ll Need to Compete
You’re going to need some Tri - gear but for a beginner Triathlete it doesn’t have to be too complicated!
Tri - Suit: an all in one suit designed for every aspect of the Triathlon as you don’t need to get changed! They’re not a beginner’s must have but they certainly help with that competitive edge.
Wetsuit - great for keeping you warm in open waters (if you’ve decided to compete in that terrain). Opt for long sleeves and legs to help keep the warmth in. Ensure its skin tight but you’re also able to put clothes on underneath.
Goggles: Invest in a pair with a good seal to keep the water out and improve visibility which will intern improve timing.
Swim cap: keeps hair out of your eyes and swim caps can help to secure goggle straps to maintain their tight fit so there’s no leaks.
Driathlon: Made from highly absorbent and quick drying material, this piece of kit will help you to stay warm and dry whilst training.
Bike: if you’re just starting out in the world of Triathlons then any bike will do as long as it’s in working order and doesn’t squeak! As you progress you’ll want to start looking for bikes which are Triathlon specific.
An injury to your bike means time added and a frustrated competitor! A repair kit should have all of the essentials (inner tubes included) to fix in a timely fashion.
You can’t compete without one. Always try on before you buy. A good rule of testing it fits properly is placing your head upside down (with the helmet on and the chin strap secure). If it doesn’t move - you’ve a perfect fit!
Cycling shorts are not only made out of special material to stop chaffing but they come with extra padding to stop your butt going numb from sitting down too long. Tri -Suits are also ideal should you want some extra padding in the saddle area.
For a beginner, shoes that are slim line - easy to get on and off - with good ankle support and a springy sole. Specific cycling shoes that attach to the bike do help with performance but can be tricky to attach and detach when just starting out.
As we mentioned earlier a Tri-Suit is suitable to compete in all aspects of a Triathlon. However clothing which are breathable and tight fitting and minus tags and seams to prevent chaffing.
Ideally a bike shoe and a running shoe can double up and it’s probably one the most important investments you’ll make. We would recommend seeking professional advice before buying running shoes for your Triathlon.
Socks will keep your feet at the right temperature and cushion them. Everyone’s feet are different - try out various socks until you get ones that are perfect for your needs.
Congratulations you’ve completed your first Triathlon. Keeping warm is now a priority. Your body can go into shock if you don’t cool down properly and add extra layers. The long sports cloaks will help you to keep at the right temperature and make changing by the road or water side hassle free.
Please also take a look at our handy traithlon infographic here!
See all upcoming events in England https://www.britishtriathlon.org/events/search?page=25
(Without scaring yourself).