Some general guidelines to cover all the basic fronts of your training are:
1. Follow a Strength Training and stretching Program. Due to the intense level of training triathletes have to endure they need to protect their muscle mass and flexibility more carefully. Triathletes must include resistance training workouts with stretching exercises at least three times a week during the training season.
2. Use Proper Sun Protection. As obvious as it sounds, triathletes spend a lot of time outdoors and they should use proper skin protection. Extended sun exposure can produce skin cancer so it is very important to protect the skin when exposed to the elements. Ironically, constant use of sun block may affect your Vitamin D levels, so make sure to check this regularly (every 3 months) with a Vitamin D blood test.
3. Wear Sun Glasses and tinted goggles for swimming. Many cases of irreparable damage to eyes have been recorded among triathletes who do not wear eye protection. Your sun glasses must fit tight to your face to avoid anything falling between the glasses and the eyes.
4. Eat a Low Fat High Carb Diet. Especially during training season. A high carbohydrate diet helps the body to recuperate from the training regimen. Protein is also necessary but it is preferable if it lean meats, fish and chicken. Create a balanced diet for off training season and during training season. Since you will not need that many calories during off season your diet should include less carbohydrates.
5. Warm up properly. It takes the body longer than you think to warm up. For young triathletes a 20 to 30min warm up routine is necessary. For those older than 60, a 40 to 45min warm up is required. Doing any type of high speed workout without being properly warmed up, increases your chances of injury.
6. When possible, do not shower between training sessions in one day: If you are planning to train in the morning and also in a few hours after, it is better to towel dry but not shower. It saves time and it is better for your muscles to naturally cool down, rather than being exposed to hot or cold water.
7. Take one day off from training. It is important to take one whole day off from training when training for a triathlon. Your body needs to recuperate to improve performance.
8. Swimming. To prepare for the swimming portion of the triathlon practice swimming 2 to 4 days a week with a mix of fast and slow swims to work on your technique. If you can use a wetsuit use it since this makes you faster in the water.
9. Biking. To prepare for the biking portion, bike 3 to 4 times a week. Make sure to buy a light bike to help you move faster and practice getting in and out of the pedals, to avoid losing time during the race.
10. Running: Run 2 to 4 days a week, with one long run and one day of hill or fast interval training, supplemented by steady runs near race pace.
In addition to these tips, here is check list of items you must have for the big day:
*Two power bars or equivalent (for before the race)
*Water bottles with sports drink (and salt if needed) for bike and run
*Gels in a water bottle or separately
*Wetsuit, goggles and swim cap
*Bike, bike shoes and helmet
*Power glide or equivalent (to help get wetsuit off and prevent chafing)
*Running shoes and socks
*Timing chip (if provided)
*Race numbers for bike, run and helmet
*Cap (for running)
*Other possibilities: knee brace, towel, container of water (to clean feet)
*Keep spare wheels in your car in case they are needed
By: HindyCortright for The BioFit Center and Sports & Health Magazine