Top tips from personal trainer Zanna Van Dijk
Kit Yourself Out: Go to a specialist store for running/triathlons and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Kitting yourself out with the right equipment such as stable and supportive running trainers will help to reduce the risk of injury and ensure you feel confident and comfortable when training.
Get a friend involved: It is so much easier to train towards a specific goal like a race or competition when you have a training buddy on board. You can go through the early mornings, blisters and uphill challenges with each other. You can motivate and encourage one another, share the experiences and cross the finish line together.
Warm Up: Ensure you warm up effectively as this helps to avoid injury and muscle soreness. It is vital to spend time to prep your muscles before embarking on a long run, or triathlon. I recommend trying self-myofasocial release (a fancy name for self-muscle massage) to help you warm up. New research has shown the benefits for increasing flexibility and preventing injury. Use a foam roller, or a product like the Deep Heat Muscle Massage Roll On Lotion before exercise. These can massage deep into the muscles, increase blood flow and flexibility, and therefore limit soreness and tightness of the muscle.
Fuel yourself appropriately: training is physically draining and uses up your bodies energy supplies. Ensure you stock up on healthy, nutritious and energy dense foods like fruit, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean protein. These will ensure you have enough energy to push yourself and also that you recover from your training too.
Rest and recover: Give yourself time off, yep I am telling you to make sure that some days you DON’T train! Allowing your body to rebuild, repair and recover is almost as important as the training itself. This is when the changes happen and your fitness levels progress. Be sure to get your sleep, listen to your body and only push yourself as hard as you can handle.