Your first triathlon will no doubt be an event that you remember for the rest of your life. Years and years of hard work, dedication, gruelling training and nutrition regimens, will all come to a head on one glorious yet extremely terrifying day. Before the actual event itself however, there’s the training itself, which is not easy to say the very least. There are the nutritional factors to cover, the recovery, and the Triathlon gear and equipment itself. There will be highs, and there will be lows, but when you cross that finish line, no matter where you happen to place, you can rest assured that you’re up there with only an elite few of dedicated athletes willing to go the extra mile to achieve greatness. Here we’ll be looking at several things to consider whilst training for your first triathlon.
What is a triathlon? – A triathlon is an athletic competition made up of multiple stages (three, hence the name TRI-athlon), that takes place both on land, and in water. It comprises of a stage of swimming, a stage of cycling, and a stage of running. As the event is so intense, having the right triathlon clothing, the right triathlon gear, and the right triathlon bikes can help give you a valuable advantage over the competition. The distances can vary, but each stage is designed to push you to your absolute limits.
Recommended triathlon nutrition – Obviously no two people are the same, so you do what is right for your body, but one thing is for sure, you won’t get very far if you eat junk food and drink alcoholic beverages on a daily basis. When both training and racing in the event itself, staying well hydrated is simply vital. When we exercise, vital electrolytes are lost through our body in the sweat we excrete. For that reason it’s important to drink plenty of water, as well as glucose energy drinks. The body converts glucose into carbohydrates and uses them for fuel, so these drinks are ideal. As well as that, before each training session, it’s recommended that you consume high amounts of carbohydrates. Stay away from sugary junk food and focus on complex carbs such as rice, pasta, and potatoes. Protein is also important as it aids in the growth and repair of muscle tissue. Supplement these foods with plenty of fresh fruit and veg, and you’re good to go.
Triathlon clothing and equipment – Another important factor to consider is getting the right equipment. You can work as hard as possible in training, but if your equipment isn’t right, you just aren’t going to see the benefits. Triathlon bikes, or tri bikes, as they are sometimes known, make up an important part of the training and the race itself. You need a bike that is well built, and well maintained to offer you the best chances of success. Eureka cycle sports offer a great range of triathlon bikes and equipment, so check them out. The triathlon clothing and equipment is just as important so ensure you choose that which is made of the highest quality. Take wetsuits for instance. A third of the race is in water, so being able to move freely and comfortably, as well as staying warm, is simply vital if you want to place well. The bottom line is that if your triathlon clothing and triathlon gear isn’t up to par, then you will not get the results that you might have been hoping for.
Triathlon recovery – We’ve spoke about the training, but what about the recovery, both from the training, and the actual event itself? In order to stay injury free and to recover as quickly and efficiently as possible, you need to know how to recover after each gruelling session. Deep tissue massages can be great for loosening up stiff and tight muscles, and can really help speed up the recovery process. Another great technique is by using an ice bath.
When you hurt your ankle for example, you put an ice pack on it to bring down the swelling and help soothe the pain. An ice bath acts like an ice pack for your entire body, helping to soothe nagging aches and pains. Resting is another great technique too. You must allow rest days with your training schedule, as this is when the body heals itself.
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