Why are triathlons so tough? It’s not just because of the effort involved in each individual stage: it’s because they all require something subtly different from the body.
This makes training for triathlons uniquely difficult. Not only do you have to structure a training programme that takes into account each separate element and the way they interact, but you also need to account for the different nutritional support that your body requires for them all.
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When you come out of the pool after a hard swim – which you should be doing around three times a week when you’re training for a triathlon – restoring energy levels and refuelling your body are top priorities. Carbohydrates are what your body will be craving, and it’s good to eat them as soon as you can, but you’ll also need protein to repair the muscles that break down during intense exercise. A whey protein supplement makes it easy to get this into your system quickly. You can consume it as a nutritious drink to give your muscles a quick, intense dose of what they need to rebuild and strengthen. You also may feel a bit restless afterwards, but if you’re able to sleep or take a nap, this will give your body a chance to focus on recovering more fully.
While swimming is about balancing effort across a range of muscles, cycling demands more from a smaller number of them, in the legs specifically. This means that the body needs to be all the more efficient in fuelling those muscles. This is where a creatine supplement comes in useful. As a triathlete in training, you should really be taking a supplement like this on a daily basis, ideally two to three times. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids at the same time so that your body can process it effectively.
Many triathletes like to start the day with a run. Although you shouldn’t do too many demanding runs in a week because you need to keep your body in balance, having a short jog on the in between days is a great warm up. Kicking off the day by taking a supplement that blends amino acids and creatine with caffeine is a great way to get that burst of energy right when you need it and help you get more out of your activity.
Much of the exercise you’ll need to build up your ability as a triathlete is about improving endurance and stamina. But, in order to be truly competitive, you’ll also need sessions of more intensive, short-session work to increase your sprint speeds and capacity. Unfortunately, this type of exercise comes with an increased risk of injury, including subtle tissue damage that you might not even notice. Taking a glutamine supplement speeds up repair times when this happens and reduces the risk of injuries becoming aggravated. It’s particularly useful if you increase your training session frequency in the run-up to an event.
Training for a triathlon entails a lot of physically and mentally demanding hard work. Make sure that your body is primed to undertake these endeavours by taking the right supplements to support your efforts and propel your performance.