By definition, a triathlon is a single race, consisting of swimming, biking and running — almost always done in that order. The reason? Safety first. Swimming is the riskiest event, so it’s best completed when the athlete is fresh. If you compare the injury risks of a bike race to a running race, the consequences of an exhaustion-related mishap are lowest on the run, so that event is usually held last.
If you know how to swim and are already exercising regularly, you are ready to train for a triathlon. Most people can go from fit to triathlete in six short weeks. If you are starting from couch potato, you’ll need to spend a few months building your fitness — three days a week of running, swimming or cycling — before starting your six-week triathlon training plan.Here are some tips to excel at your passion:
Nurturing the connection between body and brain during training can be one of the most important aspects of preparing for competition. We often think of our workouts as exercises to train the legs and lungs, but we forget the important role the mind plays in that process. Indeed, most triathletes can recall a race when their mind limited performance, even when their body could have pushed through. That’s why building mental toughness through training is so imperative.
Interval training can help you realize what your body is truly capable of. This breed of workout teaches you not to mentally bite off more than you can chew.
Thirty minutes is a mere 2 percent of your day, but that’s all it takes for successful strength training for triathletes. Making strength training a priority is the first step for triathletes, and then from there it’s a matter of honing in on how it can directly help your performance in training and out on the race course.
The primary goal of strength training for triathletes should be two-fold: injury prevention; and a positive transfer of strength, power, movement efficiency, and muscular endurance to the sports themselves.
Any time you’re training for a triathlon, nutrition must give you energy and help you train hard and recover well. In essence, training for any sport should be aimed at developing the efficiency of your energy (supply) systems and movement efficiency. The key is to develop the energy systems most appropriate to the sport you do; combining the right mix of training intensities to give you the most “bang for your buck”.
Your training priority should therefore focus on the energy system that is most used.
While race day nutrition is important, it’s what you eat outside of events that generally makes the biggest difference in health and performance. By focusing on a wholesome daily diet, you help your body maximize training adaptations and recovery throughout your season.
You can break your triathlon diet plan into three essential pillars. These concepts may sound easier in theory than in practice, but sticking with them will serve you well. Eat high-quality meals and snacks made up of mostly whole foods. Enjoy treats occasionally, but don’t overcompensate for your workouts. Lastly, maintain a healthy weight while moulding your body and exercises to meet the needs for swimming, cycling, and running.
Let the water be clear. Don’t do what the over-ambitious triathletes do; training too hard, too much, all the time. It’s called muddying the water. And if you keep the water muddy, you won’t be performing to your full potential. Respecting your rest periods and staying within the confines of your workout is extremely important to get the desired result.
Focus on the essentials. Strength in the glutes keeps the pelvis from tilting from side to side (among other things) and has the potential to eliminate some classic running injuries including IT band friction syndrome. Keep your feet firmly under you. The feet should fall directly under your center of mass, not in front of it.
Wisely drop some drills to become the sharper and smarter. Doing some 1,642 swimming drills doesn’t make you a better swimmer. You can do a few drills that have a very specific purpose and become a better swimmer. If you’re a bad swimmer, you’re killing your momentum. You need to get comfortable in the water and get your body position correct. Side lying kick drill is an essential way to do that. Definitely, not the only drill you need to have in your repertoire, but it’s worth putting there.
Style without substance is just a body without soul. Don’t just train to look strong. Real motive must be to gain strength, rather than demonstrating that with no substantial purpose. Do weight work with positive mindset and healthy approach towards the goal. Keep it as simple as possible.
Stretching helps you maintain your extensive range of motion & movements. Stretching is an important part of fitness, increases circulation while bringing calmness to the mind – which proves very helpful in fending off injuries.
Focus must be on the process, rather than the outcome. Focus on the outcome alone can be very distracting. So instead of fixating on winning race, better turn your attention to what it takes to win the race. Keeping your rhythm up, getting your nutrition right and all the other little pieces you need to put together to keep you ahead in the race. Process is more important. When the process is right, result will always be in your favor.