Triathlon to most people is like a self-torture because of the tumultuous training a sporty junkie has to go through. However, over the years it had gained popularity and has become a mainstream event every year wherein thousands of men and women participate in the most torturous sport in history to date. It’s a rewarding and fulfilling experience though, especially if you’ve prepared yourself properly.
To beginners this sport remains to be intimidating probably because of its complexity. If you are yet to try triathlon, here’s a little boost that will help you get that little boost when going through your first ever training:
How do you train?
Typically, a triathlon will require a participant to spend one-fifth of the total duration swimming, half of it cycling and thirty percent running and for such duration a participant’s training must match the aforementioned duration. You will be required to train every week with roughly almost the same duration of swimming, biking and running. It is advisable though that you should go on biking longer than your swimming.
As with any fitness program, begin your training with intensity that is within your current level of fitness and then gradually increase it over time until you’re fitted enough to endure your first triathlon. If you’re in a good shape – neither overweight nor underweight, it’s advisable that you train for at least 12 weeks to prepare for a sprint triathlon. When training, keep the intensity level on four to six out of ten scale.
Staying afloat is one thing while swimming long is another. The latter seems to be a pretty challenge to triathletes especially beginners.
To prepare for the swimming stint, most beginners have to undergo swimming lessons or coaching. There’s a proper technique to keep you afloat with precision. Techniques taught by swimming coaches are so effective that even professional triathletes continue to work it out everytime.
Techniques used taught in swimming coaches are not self-taught. Most people who had gone through such find it easy to learn by enrolling themselves in a swim group. Here, your swim coach will be working with you individually or as a group.
Just because you’re on your way to your first triathlon even you’ll go on shopping and buy those expensive equipments. If you have money to squander on such, then there’s definitely no problem but if you’re thinking wisely then you should know that you have to get a taste of what triathlon is first before you make that move.
The gears you will need for your swimming includes the best swim goggles, swimsuit and a swimming cap. When it comes to swimsuits, a lot of athletes really choose tri suit as it’s more fitting and comfortable. Goggles must fit well with your face because if it doesn’t water might come gushing on to your eyes. Also, to keep the goggles from fogging, place few drops of anti-fog on the lens before using it.
When it comes to cycling, the things you’ll need are: bike, cycling clothes, cycling glasses, a helmet, spare tube, a tire pump and a hex wrench which you will use for loosening or tightening bolts. A road bike is a good choice. You can also use an off-road bike such as mountain bike but if you want to run it fast you can improve its speed by switching its tires with more appropriate road tires.
Regardless of what bike you’ll be using, it is always best that you have your ride all tuned up prior to the training and competition. Ask your trusted mechanic on what other upgrades you can do with your bike as well as some basic tips on properly maintaining it.
Running the Marathon
Running gears include appropriate clothes and shoes for the activity. When choosing for running clothes, it’s best that you pick the one with moisture-managing fabric. While running shoes must be of perfect fit otherwise you’ll be up for an injury. If your budget allows you, try different running shoes while running and see which fits well for you.
Aside from these basic and necessary things for your triathlon, there are also these other options that will be of great help as well for your training. Some of these equipments include a good sports running watch, a heart rate monitor, triathlon suits – a suit that are meant both for swimming, running and cycling.
What do you eat?
If you’re going on a triathlon training, your diet consists of a combination of high slow burning, low glycemic carbs such as while grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lots of water and minimal intake of processed foods, saturated fats and refined carbohydrates.
Proteins must not of artificial ones but from quality sources such as fish. Eat foods of high carbohydrates just enough to maintain that body weight you will need throughout the training and competition.
When working out or training, drink a high quality sports drink that has lots of water content in it, 6 to 8% carbohydrate, some protein and of course, electrolytes. When done with your workout, it’s best that you drink the same amount and the same sports drink.
By taking proper amount of carbohydrates and proteins within the first 30 minutes of your exercise, this will increase your performance every single day of your training.
Injuries: How do you prevent it?
Did you know that injuries during training are not because of accidents or sudden occurrences? Most of the sport injuries incurred by triathletes on training are due to overuse. It’s actually common among athletes and may easily be prevented and cured.
To prevent injuries caused by imbalances on your motions and posture, stretch your muscles first. Stretching actually helps to strengthen muscles when they tend to be weak. Also, athletes must do regular functional exercises that will help them strengthen their hips, abdomen, upper back, butt and shoulders.
Overuse injuries may also be caused by sudden increase in training. Like any other training, it should be done gradually. Your body should have enough time to adapt to the changes and stresses it undergoes. A warm-up prior to swimming, biking and running is really of great importance.
Cooling down must also be part of the each training session. It helps your heart rate and breathing to gradually return back to normal as well as allows your muscles to relax and eliminate waste products.