Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, triathlons present a real test of fitness on the body and require a lot of preparation and recovery time. Supporting your body throughout your training is key to enhancing your performance and overall sense of wellbeing. Here are 4 of the best ways to support your body during beginner triathlon training.
1. Follow the 80/20 Training Plan
It takes an average of 3 hours to complete an International Distance Triathlon, but that’s not to say that you should be training for that long every day. Consistent short bursts of training will increase your fitness and help your body prepare for what’s to come.
In fact, one of the best strategies to follow when preparing for a triathlon as a beginner is the 80/20 training plan. This is where 80% of your training is completed at low intensity, and it’s a strategy that has brought success to some of the world’s top athletes.
To create your 80/20 training plan, you must create a schedule in which 80% of the total weekly training time is done at low intensity. Low intensity falls at around 77% of your maximum heart rate, so keeping an eye on your smartwatch will help you follow this strategy more effectively. The remaining 20% of your training should be done at moderate or high intensity – around 92% of your maximum heart rate.
As a rule of thumb, a beginner triathlete should aim to train up to around 75% of the distance of each discipline at any one time. This means swimming 1.25km on one day, cycling 30km the next, and running 7.5km on another. Combining this strategy with the 80/20 training plan will help you train efficiently without wearing out your joints. Soon enough you should be able to combine each exercise together for the final race!
2. Hydrate During Training
Triathletes use a variety of dietary strategies to enhance their performance, and optimising hydration is one of them. Studies suggest that athletes minimize fluid loss during training, and keep hydration levels above 2% of their total body weight.
Consuming sports drinks is one of the best ways to stay hydrated and reap the performance benefits of glucose all in one. In fact, studies have shown that consuming a carbohydrate-electrolyte drink before exercising can reduce the time it takes to cycle 40km by 32-42 seconds.
Depending on the length of the triathlon you’re doing, the amount you should drink will vary. But generally speaking, if you’re training for 30-75 minutes per day, you should take frequent sips of sports drinks containing glucose throughout your session.
3. Treat Sleep as a Part of Your Training
Recovery is actually the single most important part of any training regime, healing the body, replenishing energy stores, and improving performance. Getting a great night’s sleep and reducing mental fatigue and stress is extremely important for getting your body prepared for the next training session.
Soaking in Epsom Salts right before bed can simultaneously help the muscles relax while decreasing Delayed Onset Muscular Soreness (DOMS). The WholyMe Epsom Salts are also infused with calming essential oils that soothe both muscle tension and the mind, supporting a better night’s sleep.
4. Soothe Your Muscles and Joints With Topical Balm
Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, triathlon training will be pretty hard on your joints and muscles. Soothing them with a topical balm is one of the best ways to alleviate the inevitable aches and pains you’ll face.
WholyMe’s Relief Balm has been specifically formulated for overworked and fatigued muscles and joints, making it perfect for those training for triathlons. It’s infused with science-backed ingredients like hemp seed oil and arnica, renowned for their ability to soothe and support the body after exercise. We recommend rubbing some on the ankles, knees, hips, and anywhere else that may need a little TLC.
Pro tip: this balm also contains lavender oil, so rub a little on your chest before bed and enjoy an even better night’s sleep!
The next UK Ironman is due to take place on 19th September 2021 in Dorset. Get preparing now and put these tips to the test!