Top tips for triathlon preparation

Get the right gear
Before you start training for any type of triathlon you need to make sure you have the correct gear to enable you to achieve your goals. To get started you’ll need a swimsuit, goggles, running shoes and a bike. These are the most vital pieces of equipment you will
use. The bike you choose can either be a mountain bike, a road bike or a hybrid. Just make sure the bike fits you and is in good working order. Cycling shorts and a water bottle are also key for your time on the bike as you don’t want to be uncomfortable half way through a triathlon!

Set a training program
How long are you giving yourself to prepare for this? Twelve weeks to get in shape for race day is recommended to minimise the chances of injury. Work out when you are able to train and try and commit to five days per week with two and a half to four hour’s exercise per week. During the week you should try and limit your workouts to 30-45 minutes for running and swimming whilst your longest bike ride should be one and a half to two hours long. Use your weekend workouts to build up as much endurance as possible for the actual race. Whilst training you will also need to get used to the transition between different disciplines so try and incorporate run-to-bike combinations to get used to the feeling of switching.

Eat right
Nutrition is the fourth leg of any triathlon. In the lead up to the Triathlon, you want to
try and eat as clean as you can. Cut out processed foods such as frozen or energy drinks. Fibre-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains are great sources of healthy carbohydrates that convert to glycogen which is the primary energy source endurance athletes run on. As
you get closer to race day you need to fuel your workouts. Eat carbs before you train and then cool down with more carbs and protein. If a workout is going to last longerthan two hours then replenish your energy reserves with a sports gel.


Allow time to rest
As you into to your training regime and learn more about triathlon it’s only natural to want to increase your workout load to get yourself in the best possible shape but you need to remember your body makes advances in fitness with a balance of stress and rest. Make sure you allow for rest days in your training schedule to allow your body to rebuild and get stronger. This will allow you to be at your best when the race comes and help you prevent silly injuries from overworking.

Race day
Stay away from fatty breakfasts on the morning of the race and try and finish your meal three hours before the race starts to allow your body to digest the food. When you arrive at the event don’t drink water just for the sake of it, aim to start sipping around eight minutes
before the start time as well as eating a sports gel as these calories will help you in the beginning of the race. Before you begin remember to map out your transition area so you know exactly where your equipment is when changing disciplines! All your training has led to race day so stick to what you learnt in training and go and smash it!

If you’re interested in doing a triathlon, join the TRICLUB by Fitness First to get into triathlon condition. Best of all, it’s free for all Fitness First members.