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HOW TO GET THROUGH YOUR FIRST TRIATHLON

From how to train for it, to how to fuel yourself on the day and recover afterwards – newbies, heed this advice


Triathlon is one of the greatest tests of an individual’s physical ability, not to mention a test of adjusting to three different sports in one race. An ultimate endurance race, triathlon has experienced a huge uplift in participation in recent years.

 

Whether you’ve signed up to your first tri this summer, or just want some inspiration to sign-up, here are some top tips to get through the race and come out the other side smiling and eager to complete your next one. 

Training 101

To attack a triathlon well, you need a solid plan of action around your training regime running up to the event. This must be one that you know you can keep to. Having a structured plan will keep your motivation high and enable you to go into the race with a positive mindset and attack the race with a ‘race mentality’. 

How do I train?

Swim, cycle, run. They are the fundamentals of a triathlon, however, how much time does the average participant spend on each section of the race? Well, typically someone racing a triathlon will spend 20 percent of the race swimming, half of it on the bike and the remainder on the tarmac running.

 

This is a good time distribution attitude to have when attacking your training with. So, if you utilise six workouts per week and your longest ride is an hour, then your swim and run sessions should replicate the time structure of the race. This means your swims should last around 30 minutes and your runs 40 minutes.

 

As a rough guide, you should divide your training time as follow:

  • Cycle – 50% of total time training
  • Swim – 20% of total time training
  • Run – 30% of total time training

You need to go into your training regime with a mindset that adequately matches your current fitness, and then work up the intensity throughout your training regime up until the race itself. It is important to allow yourself to recover after each training session to prevent injury, over-exhaustion and potential illness. You’ll typically want to set yourself 12-week of training before your first triathlon. 

Tips for your first sportive 1

Nutrition

PRE-RACE

Your pre-race fuelling should be approached in the same way as any other health-conscious diet, e.g. high in slow-burning carbs (whole grains), fresh fruits and veg, water and low in processed foods and saturated fats. Proteins need to come from quality sources such as fish and organic chicken. You also need to think about recovery nutrition after your training sessions. Here, you’ll need to intake protein as soon as you can after the session so your body can start to repair itself. To get the fast intake of protein you need, a protein based drink like that of the SIS Rego Rapid Recovery shake will target your recovery and allow you to get the necessary protein in quickly after your session.

 

Fuelling in the run up to the race itself is also very important, so sustaining your diet for the week before the race, making sure you’re getting those good quality carbohydrates and proteins is advised. It is also essential to keep yourself hydrated in the run up to the race, taking on a little more water than on a normal week to ensure you avoid dehydration at all costs. 

Tips for your first sportive 1

RACE DAY

On the race day itself, it is obviously very important to fuel yourself correctly to sustain your body throughout the race. Your breakfast needs to contain slow-burning carbs, for example whole grains, to give you a slow burn of energy throughout the race. Hydration is again important in the morning, and throughout the race. You will also want to fuel throughout the race, and the bike section of your triathlon is the ideal time to do this. Take on either a carb based gel, or carb drink if you prefer, to ensure your energy stores are replenished after the swim and give you the carb levels needed to complete the rest of the race. 

POST-RACE RECOVERY

Your post-race recovery fuelling is an important factor to weigh into your nutrition plan as this will enable your muscles to repair faster and more effectively. Protein is the key nutrient in recovery, and it’s often advised to have a protein shake as soon as possible after the race to get the fast intake of protein you need. Your muscles will be screaming out for food so this is an easy and fast way to start the recovery process. Check out the SIS Rego Rapid Recovery powder.

TRIATHLON

When every second counts, give yourself the edge.


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