Triathlon and Marathon

Targeted weight training should always be on the agenda for these sports. It increases performance and prevents muscular imbalance and injury. 

Here, it is important to concentrate on your core muscles, as well as those around your knees and ankles. Event and skill specific training is just as important so you can take the strength and endurance from your training to the event.

Your Diet Plan for Success

On the day before the event: 

Stock up on glycogen with cab and protein rich meals such as pasta with chicken or a jacket potato with tuna. Drink plenty of fluids, and pack your race bag with the food and sports nutrition products you will take on race day, and plan when you will use them.

2 hours before the event:

 Test out what works for you in training. Try some dried fruit or a jam sandwich. Lots of sportspeople like to eat a banana, although others find this upsets their stomach. Don’t eat unfamiliar foods, or try nutrition strategies that you haven’t tested first in training. Make sure that you are well hydrated.

45 before the event: 
Eat one GU Energy Gel and sip some fluid. Think about joining the ‘loo queue’ sooner rather than later. Get into your race kit (if you haven’t already), and do your warm up.

15 minutes before the event: 
Eat one GU Energy Gel and sip some fluid. Get to the start line!

During the race: During exercise, eat one gel every 30-45 minutes or munch one chomp every 10-15 minutes. Take on fluids to stay hydrated, aiming to drink 24 to 30 ounces of fluid per hour of exercise. Replace the sodium, potassium and carbohydrates, as well as the water, lost through sweat with GU Electrolyte Brew. For triathlon, try this in your bike bottle so that you can take some soon after the swim without wasting any time in transition.

After the the race: Within 30 minutes, try drinking a GU Recovery Brew. This will help you r body repair and recover effectively, by providing a boost of protein, simple and complex carbs, amino acids and vitamins C and E.

Try to eat a meal, containing carbs and proteins, within 2 hours.

Start triathlon running – how sports nutrition helps

Pounding the streets two or three times a week is good start to triathlon training but you need to plan your training more carefully if you want to reap better rewards.

Planning may sound easy until you try juggling work, home and social life round all three triathlon disciplines. The beauty of the running discipline is that you can do it anytime, anywhere — so plan cycling and swimming first around quiet times at the pool or with a club, then slot your runs in where you can.

Plan at least one session to your schedule where you run immediately after a bike ride — this doesn’t count as a run session or a bike session, it is a separate entity. Start simple with a 40 minute ride at close to race pace with a 10 minute run immediately afterwards. You could do this in the gym or with a turbo trainer. As you get nearer the race, set up a mini transition area at home with an imaginary dismount line so you can practice running with your bike and struggling into your shoes.

If you’ve been a runner, you might be used to running four or five times a week. But this is not possible while you are training for a triathlon. Running too much will leave you fatigued and prone to injury. You need a minimum of two run sessions a week. If you are training for middle distance or shorter, make them quality sessions. Third and fourth session can be for endurance only.

If your race is an Ironman distance race and you’re not a marathon runner, you will need to put in the hours. If you have time it’s worth running a marathon a few months before. This will teach your body how to cope with running for long periods of time. Find a run programme that builds up to a marathon on three or four days running a week and just maintain your swim and bike training.

Fueling your training properly is key to making all this preparation count. Sports nutrition, where you match nutrition to specific needs, will become your best friend during a triathlon. The sooner you start using sports nutrition and sports supplements the better. Running is the most energy-demanding of the three triathlon disciplines and one which makes digesting food difficult. Sports energy products are designed to make it easy for your body to digest and cope with extra calories for energy and protein for muscle building and recovery.

In any run session lasting longer than an hour, aim for 30g carbohydrates per half-hour of exercise. This could be in the form of an energy drink, a gel or chomp.

Even if you have taken up triathlon to lose weight don’t cut back on these calories — they will enable you to train harder and that will shift pounds faster than any diet. Don’t forget that post exercise recovery is also important. Sports nutrition products containing high quality protein will help muscles to recover properly and enable you to maximise performance.

If you have never done any sport, start gently with two 30 minute sessions of each discipline per week and include walk breaks at first. If you are a swimmer or cyclist but new to running, you will need a gentle introduction for four to six weeks before attempting fast runs. If you are a runner but new to triathlon, introduce at least two sessions each of cycling and swimming (keep sessions short and easy for the first month) and cut your running down to three or four sessions per week. Plan your running in four week blocks. Build up your training time in weeks one to three with the last week easy.

Don’t under estimate the importance of recovery either. After intensive exercise the body needs rest, re hydration and glycogen replacement. GU Recovery Brew drink provides many of the nutrients needed to do this. It relies on whey protein isolate — not cheap whey protein concentrate – to provide high quality protein to repair and build muscle. It is available in an easy to mix drink format to be taken within 30 minutes of finishing your workout.