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Joining one of the most exhausting sports in the world can be totally nerve wracking. You have probably been practicing for months and thought you are absolutely prepared but as the time of the actual event comes close, you cannot help but feel less prepared. It is normal to have crazy nerves a week or less before the triathlon but do not let it get the best of you. For as long as you did every single thing that you have to do, then you have prepared well. You are ready to take on this new challenge, you just does not realize that yet because your nerves are clouding your way of thinking.
Whether you have an actual triathlon event in the near future or just gearing up towards one, here are the 10 must-know tips for first-time triathletes and a quick reminder for the good old ones who needs some bout of refreshing:
Choose your triathlon event
While some train for triathlons even without definite plans of joining an actual triathlon event, experts suggest choosing a short triathlon event first. Because this way, you would not have any excuses of not training or postponing training. This should also keep you more inspired to train and do better each waking day.
There are several triathlon distances and if it is your first time, do not take the longest Iron Man distance straight away, as it will be way too difficult. Another thing to remember when selecting an event is to choose one that is reasonably close to your home as well. Keep in mind that you are already pushing your boundaries with training endlessly for this. There is no need to push things further.
Devise a good training, diet, and lifestyle plan
If you have no idea about these three, you might want to consult with a nutritionist and a fitness trainer locally so that you will be guided properly. All you would have to do then is to strictly stick with the plan.
If you are afraid your budget might be a total wreck since you do have to buy proper triathlete gears, you can do a comprehensive research on the internet about various fitness programs that are suitable for running, cycling, and swimming and stick to it. Eat healthy and practice a healthier lifestyle to be on your best shape come the triathlon event day.
Prepare your triathlon gear
Joining a triathlon does not necessarily give you an excuse to splurge. In fact, triathlon experts say that there are only five things you need to prepare if you want to train for triathlons and those are triathlon wetsuit/swimsuit, goggles, bike, helmet, and running shoes. Plus a towel and a water bottle most especially on the day itself.
Remember that you are joining a triathlon to challenge yourself and be fit and healthy. You are probably not going to be the world-best triathlete but prepare yourself in the best way possible.
Do train seriously and consistently
The results of training for triathlon are now measurable thanks to the numerous fitness gadgets available in the market today. Experts suggest building up your training every other day for only about an hour and tackling a different sport each time. This is another area where most aspiring triathletes make a mistake. When you’re getting the hang of it, you can start to intensify your training schedule to make your trainings longer and more often.
Your body needs rest to invigorate and revitalize itself from the previous day’s stress. Let it rest. If you went cycling yesterday, you might want to opt for running or swimming next time and vice versa. Do not do the same thing for two consecutive training days.
Do your research about the triathlon event course
You do not have to run, swim, and cycle as would be done on the actual injured but it pays to have a preview even while driving your car. It gives you an idea of how the event will go and you can plan ahead of time on what to do. On the internet you can find a lot of information as well. Most event organizations even supply the racing track and more information on their website.
Improve your swimming form
The swim part is actually the shortest but most feared part of every triathlon event. The key here is to stay relaxed and calm throughout the whole part. Leave your nerves at bay because it will not do you any good. Panicking will only tire you out and leave you more breathless which will ultimately slow you down.
If you want to get ahead of your opponents, make sure to improve your swimming form. Make their weakness your strong suit. However, swim at the pace you are comfortable with. Swim on your sides, focus to get more efficient strokes, and only either look straight or down.
Improve your cycling form
Truth is nobody but spectators care about your bike. Judges will not care and it will not make you win the race. What will help you win the race though is a better cycling form. You have to comfortable at your bike with your back properly arched at a 45-degree angle and your legs 80-90% extended.
Get into a better running form
This is the most basic skill yet up until now, athletes are getting quite often injured from it. Improve your running form and avoid overstriking as this is a total waste of energy, keep the shoulders back and head up, always look ahead, let your arms swing naturally, and skim the ground. Make your goal to run like a stealthy ninja and you will be in top shape in no time.
Strictly follow triathlon nutrition meal plans
Do you know that nutrition is actually referred as the fourth element of training? Yes because this has the great power to dictate what can happen in a race especially for long-distance triathlon events like ironman.
Nutrition should be simple. Avoid junk foods, sugar-loaded beverages, and even energy drinks. The best diet to follow would be Paleo diet for athletes so that the body can utilize energy from fat stores.
Give your body and mind ample time to rest and heal. Training is not easy and it can take its toll on your body and mind if you do not let it rest. We know you are eager to train so that you can have a successful first triathlete event but remember that there will be no success without rest.
Triathlons are loads of fun. You get to challenge yourself. It sounds difficult and it is no easier said than done but it is attainable. Some say that triathlons are a beast of a sport given the fact that an athlete would have to train and conquer three different kinds of sports – all in a day’s work.
Well, we live to overcome all the challenges thrown our way and if this is the kind of challenge you have chosen, train as hard as you can, maintain discipline and sports ethics at all times, and rise above the challenge. You can only emerge as more powerful, better, and healthier than ever.
Upon completion of the triathlon, make sure to take these simple steps in order not to injure yourself.
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