Completing Your First Middle and Long Distance Triathlon

June 14th, 2017

I hope these tips on preparing and completing you first middle or long distance triathlon event help.

  • Be consistent with your training, as this will be the biggest contribution to your success. Having a pattern to your week helps eg Sunday – Long bike ride, Monday- swim session, Tuesday – Talking pace run (Zone 1 and 2), Wednesday – Recovery Day, Thursday – Threshold turbo bike session with a brick run, Friday – Swim session, Saturday – Park Run with family and friends.

  • Have time for your family and friends. Plan your training around your family and work commitments. Share with your family, so there are no clashes. Remember, unless your mortgage depends on winning have lots of fun with your preparation and competing.

  • Getting good quality sleep IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE TRAINING SESSIONS.

  • Have a protein drink within half an hour of a training session.

  • Increase time/mileage in all three disciplines gradually, never increase a single session or total week’s session by more than 10% – 12%.

  • Focus on your weaknesses – For example, if you know you’re struggling with swimming up the time improving on this discipline.  

  • Remember “Bike is King/Queen” for the longer triathlon events. So if this is a weakness, improving on this will have a big impact on your time. If you’re going to be weak on one discipline then swimming is the one, as it takes up a very small percentage of the event.

  • Ensure to take one day off training a week.

  • Listen to your body – If feeling sick or fatigued, take time off training to fully recover. This is particularly important if you have a virus or infection. Your body needs all the energy it can get to beat off a virus or infection.

  • Eat and drink sensibly with the odd treat as a reward for putting the work in.

  • Injury – Seek physio help and follow his/her advice to the letter. If you have to stop doing one or more of the three disciplines focus on what you can do. For example – If a running injury, up the time on other low impact disciplines such as swimming and cycling.

  • Keep some form of strength and conditioning up at least once a week with either yoga or other forms of stretching which focuses on your main muscle groups. Stretching and varying the movement of muscles is important, as your muscles will be contracting from the running and cycling. Any weakness in your body will show up as the training miles increase.

  • Remember to stretch off thoroughly for at least five minutes after each run and cycle session.

  • More does not mean better performance – Focus on quality rather than time/mileage.

  • Three months before your A race – Start working on your race nutrition plan. I work on at least 60 g of carbs an hour. Remember that carbs are the fuel that allows you to perform on long distance events.

  • As a general rule keep the 80/20% balance – 80% zone 1 and 2 effort when training and 20% in zone 4 and 5 which means eye balls out session. However, when doing a track session work to your times and don’t race other faster athletes, as you risk picking up what I call an Alpha Male injury.  

  • Train with a club or a group of like minded friends, so you can have a bit of fun when training.

Tri-Rivington Ironman 2016 cyclistTri-Rivington Ironman 2016 runner