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Training for a Triathlon

Were you inspired by the IRONMAN in Bolton at the weekend?

A triathlon is comprised of a swim, a cycle followed by a run. Between the swim and cycle, and cycle and run you have ‘transitions’.

Here are my top tips for tackling a triathlon:

  • Set yourself a goal. Look at what race you want to enter and prepare yourself a plan to help you get there.

Your plan should include:

  • Understanding your nutritional needs for race day. Get yourself a bumbag and a bike bag for all your snacks to keep your energy levels up or a training belt to clip water or food too. in Practice get used to what energy snacks/gels you are looking to use on race day. Some gels can give you an upset tummy so try not to use anything new on race day. Practice eating and drinking throughout training, if your race is a long one you’ll need to eat and be used to eating on the move.
  • Avoid cramping; eat foods specific to your training to keep your sodium and electrolyte levels up, especially if you a sweat a lot. More sweat means more fluid and salts lost, therefore will need replenishing.
  • Stay hydrated; take regular sips of water throughout the event even if you don’t feel thirsty, feeling thirsty means you’re already dehydrated.
  • Get plenty of practice in the element of the race you are least comfortable with, the things you like are usually what your good at but it’s the things you don’t like that will really let you down if you don’t persist at them. The more you do them the better you’ll get and the more you’ll start to enjoy them, or at least dislike that element less, for me it’s the bike!
  • Equipment; a good pair of padded cycling shorts, a good pair of trainers for the high impact pounding of the run to reduce injury, tyre repair kit, drinks bottles and new socks are always lovely. Then practice using that equipment, changing a tyre or spending too long in transition because you couldn’t get your helmet on is never a great reason to loose time.
  • Taper your training down leading to race day. Too much training too close to race day can exhaust you, leaving nothing in the tank for main event. This can be as much or as little as you want dependant on the event a week is usually too much and a day too little. You’ll either feel less fit or tired, a light session 1-3 days before is always good though to stay loose and feel fresh.
  • Practice combining swim and cycle, cycle and run in training to help get you prepared, these are usually referred too as brick sessions . There is nothing quite like the jelly like feeling you will get when you start to run after a long ride. Start them both small then progress the distances of each session.
  • Find someone else to train with. It’s an enjoyable sport and one that athletes can help each other to train for its also great for partners to train together; especially as distance increases training time does also. There is always a level of guilt when you are doing something on your own for yourself, and training together would reduce that feeling.

If you did watch the ironman I thought I’d give you a breakdown of just how superhuman all these athletes were weather they finished first, ninth or one thousand seven hundred and eighth; every one of these athletes put an immense amount of effort in to training and their race on the day and if you can look at this comparison and go ‘wow’ or even ‘I could do that’ maybe you should get in contact with IRONMAN then come register with KEPT Fit and have us train you up so you too could hear those 4 precious words ‘’You are an Ironman’’.

Alex Youngman 2010 Ironman uk finisher. 12hrs 12 minutes and still proud of it!

And yes I will be doing another.

Name Country Div Rank Gender Rank Overall Rank Swim 2.4 miles Bike112 miles Run26.2 miles Finish Points
Mcnamee, David GBR 1 1 1 00:48:01 05:02:34 02:51:48 08:46:37 5000
Average speedAverage pace 2.99 mph20.42 mm 22.21 mph2.42 mm 9.15 mph6.33 mm
Gossage, Lucy GBR 1 1 9 00:59:11 05:22:56 03:03:43 09:31:58 5000
Average speedAverage pace 2.43 mph24.40 mm 20.81 mph2.53 mm 8.56 mph7.007 mm
Howe, James GBR 1 1464 1708 01:56:14 08:15:21 06:15:00 16:57:06 5000
Average speedAverage pace 1.24 mph48.26 mm 13.57 mph4.25 mm 4.19 mph14.19 mm