Triathletes are the athletic equivalent of celebrity superstars. Jacks-of-all-trades, Renaissance men and women, these athletes can do it all: swimming, biking, running and all of it consecutively with no breaks in between and demanding the best of your body for hours on end. Naturally, the triathlon, despite the prestige and health benefits that come with it, is not an easy event to train for and requires the greatest amount of persistence, dedication and patience. This article was designed not as a miracle shortcut to instant triathlon success, but as a supplementary tool to improve training habits and techniques to give you the best race to date.
Set A New PR (Personal Record) With Proper Nutrition
- Choose foods that are iron-rich – Eat more dark meat and pair the iron foods with a source high in vitamin C, such as orange juice, strawberries and other citrus fruits.
- Decrease intake of high-fat content dairy – Make the switch from whole milk to 2 percent, 1 percent or skim milk. If you have a sweet tooth for ice cream, choose low-fat options and even substitute ice cream for frozen yogurt.
- Make wise snacking decisions – Adopt the idea that you should eat only to for nutrients and to be filled. That said, avoid mindless and emotional eating, which means dropping corn chips and cookies from your diet. Replace your snacks with nuts and trail mix, which are great sources of vitamin E. The National Institute of Health says vitamin E protects the body from cell damage caused by free radicals and can prevent and delay the onset of cancer and heart disease. Consume pineapple – one cup of cut pineapple contains 77% of the daily value of manganese, a mineral that contributes to the formation of connective tissue, bones blood clotting factors and sex hormones, and is a factor in antioxidants that fight free radicals.
- Boost carb intake by increasing fruits and vegetables – Contrary to the carbohydrates-hate of the late 1990s and early 2000s, the carbs and sugars found in fruits and vegetables are a triathlete’s main source of energy during the middle of a race. It’s critical the athletes builds a proper store for these nutrients so the muscles can constantly feed off this energy. The day before a race, load up on cards to build a large energy store in your muscles.
Mix Up Your Workout For Maximum Performance
- Engage in Pilates and yoga – Pilates and yoga stretch the muscles and promote balance by testing core stability, two key components commonly forgotten in a triathlete’s training regiment. Stretching your muscles will ensure elasticity and delay muscle soreness, while have a firm, balanced core builds the foundation of you body, from which the rest of your muscles will draw strength from.
- Challenge your muscles with weight training – While triathlons primarily test the cardio, endurance, stamina and fortitude of their competitors, athletes should not neglect muscle workouts. Studies have shown that long-distance runners have improved their race times via light weight training; cyclists pedaled an average of three to four extra miles before fatigue began to set in; and swimmers were able to navigate churning waters with ease. For you triathletes over the age of 35, definitely consider adding weight training to your workout regimen as the human body reaches peak muscular strength in their 20s and 30s. From there, it goes downhill, as may your triathlon performance.
- Is your core hardcore? – Core stabilization is a key component of every part sports, athletic activity, and athlete, and it is especially important in the triathlon. Having a strong core helps build the foundation for your hips, spine alignment and even your extremities. helps you maintain a tight streamline in water, provides a comfortable position while cycling, and gives you added strength during your run.
- Build a training program – and stick with it! – World-class triathletes swear by the routine they create and feel that the pattern helps to build a structure to measure progress. For some budding triathletes, the information can be overwhelming especially, if you’re looking for something that best suits you and with race day quickly approaching. While it may be suitable to experiment with one or two training programs, see if you can create your own based on your body’s current standing, where you want to be, and how soon race day is. Adjust things like diet (cutting back on some foods, incorporating more nutritious ones, even scheduling exact fluid intake), and determine workouts based on distance, heart rate, pace. Compare and base your program with where you are compared to where you want to be. Switch up workouts to vary between interval and distance training in cardio, and maybe even specify days for muscle focus, including what workouts to do and when. It all depends on you – just make sure you stick with it and adjust only if you’re not meeting your own deadlines.
- Join a triathlon training club – Adding a social aspect to training makes the workout all the more enjoyable. Having support network of people fighting for the same goal will spark motivation and incentive within you, giving you the mindset to constantly improve, keep up with the herd and even set pace. As a result constantly bouncing challenges off one another, you’ll be able to continuously improve your physical and mental capacity.
- Jump for the stars with plyometrics training – Strength training does not always mean weight training, but that by no means negates the importance of plyometrics. Your legs are launch point for the rest of your body, so engaging in plyometrics will give you a boost in leg strength while building your endurance. Box, lateral, ski and squat jumps as well as burpees are all body-weight exercises you can do that will definitely give you jelly legs at the end but will provide you the muscular fortitude you need on that last stretch to the finish line.