Ironman Triathlon Training

The Ironman Triathlon is the most challenging of all triathlons. Triathlons come in different lengths. Sprint triathlons are on the one end of the spectrum (short) and the Ironman is on the other end (long). How much swimming you do in the triathlon depends on which one:

  • Sprint or Olympic – triathletes swim ½ mile
  • International – triathletes swim .93 miles
  • Long – triathletes swim 1.2 miles
  • Ironman or Ultra – triathletes swim 2.4 mile

Triathletes used to swim last in an Ironman but due to safety reasons, it is now the first event. The idea here is that you’d be better off passing out from exhaustion on asphalt than you would be out in the big blue ocean.

Open-Water Swimming Different than Pool

Swimmers find the open-water in a Triathlon very different from being in a pool. It’s as different as riding a bike in a gym is from cycling out on a wooded trail. Or, take your own experience with the treadmill. Running inside is different from running outside.

While most of us have played in the surf at beach, we may not have tried to competitively swim in a straight line to a distance, compensating for the current and watching out for other swimmers. Most triathlons won’t have shores where swimmers can just dive in. You’ll need to run in to the point where you can swim. Some swimmers find their experience overwhelming to the point where they lose their focus and become disoriented.

Training in your pool is a vital part of training for your Ironman. Just don’t leave your training there. Make sure you get some open-water time as well.

Ironman training needs to focus on more than endurance training

Ironman training focuses on more than just endurance training. When you’re triathlon training for an ultra length event such as the Ironman you’re no longer in a training program, as much as your training program has become your life, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week!

Your training goals depend on your race goals. If you are an experienced triathlete, then your goals probably revolve around improving your time. If you’re new to triathlons in general, you probably want to focus on finishing.

Training for Ironman requires long-term commitment

Make sure that you don’t short change your training by limiting your activities to only swimming, cycling, and running. You must incorporate stretching and cool down exercises to help minimize injuries while you train. You should also make weight-training an important part of your training as well as consider some form of cross-training to help balance out your muscles.

When you’re training for an Ironman, your training program must incorporate training in a fatigued state to get your body used to those types of demands. Training for a marathon is one thing. Consider what running a marathon will feel like when you’re already tired from your swim and bike events.

Another important aspect of training for your Ironman is to understand and apply endurance nutrition. You must now see yourself as an elite athlete; you cannot remain ignorant about nutrition and not expect it to impact your performance.

Triathlon Nutrition

Food is fuel, and when one of the things you should be doing when preparing for a triathlon is making sure your giving your body the right fuel. Changes to your diet may be in order to make sure that you’re getting the right triathlon nutrition, and you may even want to consider taking supplements.

You’ll have a far better chance of succeeding if you eat the right foods and consume the proper amount of calories, minerals, and vitamins. Your body needs to be in tip-top shape if you really want to succeed. That means you’ll need to be in good shape, follow the proper training regimen, and do what you can to avoid any injuries.

One of the things you need to do when you’re training for a triathlon is to feed your body what it needs to perform at its best. Some people blow off triathlon nutrition because a lot of calories are getting burned off as they train. While it’s true that you’ll need to take in a lot of calories for your training, you’ll be far better off when you eat wholesome foods than you will if you mostly eat junk.

On the other hand, many thriathletes understand how important it is to follow the proper triathlon nutrition, which is why they consult professional dietitians. Talking to a professional dietitian will help you determine the best nutrition plan for you while you’re training.

More than likely, a dietitian will recommend a diet that’s most appropriate for someone who engages in physically demanding activities– like training! He’ll probably suggest that you eat plenty of fresh, wholesome foods that are full of minerals and vitamins.

Grains, lean meats, vegetables, and fruits are all wholesome foods that will give your body the energy it needs to keep on training. Relying on pricey drinks and energy bars can get really expensive, so you’ll do better if you plan meals that contain these foods.

Stay away from foods high in sugar and fat when you’re training for a triathlon. Your training will be negatively affected when you consume a lot of junk food. You should also steer clear of alcohol, because that will leave you dehydrated.

About Triathlon Suits

Being the type of suit that provides most of the advantages in using the principle of cold and heat absorption, wet suits seem to rank top among all choices.

But not all wet suits are alike. There are those that were specifically designed for SCUBA diving, surfing and those that are perfect for triathlon races.

From the suit’s simplest form, they have undoubtedly morphed into varying classifications that optimize the use of wet and cold system.

Basic physics tell us that heat transfers from a hot object towards a colder one. This law is so simple that you can bet it and argue otherwise ’til your wit’s end. No triathlon suit can prevent the exchange of cold and heat. After all, that is not the work they were intended to do. However, many are so entirely engineered to make as much delay of the heat transfer as physical science would allow.

It is critical for a triathlon swimmer to preserve as much heat as his suit will allow because delay (even by a second or two) can create a large discrepancy between you and the racer running before and after you.

The loss of heat in water are dependent on several variables including the total mass of the person’s body, a person’s physical exertion, the materials used in creating the triathlon suit and the temperature of the surrounding water itself.

The ideal triathlon suit, or any wet suit for that matter, is one that is made of three layers. The outer protective layer, the insulation layer and the wicking layer.

The outer protective layer is obviously the one that coats the whole of the suit. The more popular material used for this is the neoprene. This works well yet very delicate that simple scratches may actually cause the suit to get serious damages.

The insulation layer, on the other hand, appears in many varieties. The most usual choices include wooly bear, open-cell foam, type-B marine thinsulate, and radiant barriers.

Triathlon Weight Training

When done right and the focus is there, your weight training or resistance training actually doesn’t need to take up that much time. Shorter and more intense is better for good, balanced muscular development anyway. If you do your triathlon strength training right, you won’t have to worry about either burn out or bulk. And, you’ll enjoy the very important benefits that this training aspect brings you.

  1. What’s important for the triathlete to focus on is “core strength” training. This allows one part of your body to transfer energy to other parts of the body. Core strength training regimens will improve your swimming power, your uphill climb and sprint cycling speed, and your resistance to injury while running all at once. Core strength training focuses on: the superficial and deep abdominals; the lower back (the lumbar region); and the middle and upper (thoracic and cervical) regions of the spine.
  2. When doing your strength training, listen to your body. On your lighter workout days, push yourself harder with the strength training; on days when you have hard endurance training lined up or you feel tired, go easier.
  3. Have a high-protein diet and try to consume a lot of protein within a half hour after your strength training. On days when you know that you’ll be doing your harder strength training, eat soft foods before your workout, such as apple sauce. Consider taking creatine supplements (these are all-natural and won’t harm you).
  4. You might not want to do actual weight training at all. You might want to make developing your muscular strength entirely a resistance training regimen. This utilizes no weights except your own body weight. This is an advanced martial arts training “secret”. Using weights can possibly lead to injury because weight training isolates muscles so entirely. Also, due to the muscle isolation, it might not do as well for the “holistic” development that core strength training is all about. Consult your fitness coach and do your own research to make up your mind.
  5. Involve an exercise wheel in your triathlon strength training regimen. This is a very inexpensive and deceptively easy to use workout device that will definitely help you develop your core strength. You can also take it just about anywhere (Note: you’ll also need a floor mat). Be forewarned: although it’s a wondrous tool, it’s use is very repetitive and can be dull. You may want to listen to some inspirational music while you use it.

Sprint Triathlon

Sprint triathlon, like those of Iron Man or half-Iron competitions are composed of three disciplined events namely, swimming, biking and running. Sprint, being a smaller scale as compared with other variations may not require you the same endurance other types have but still it requires some great will power. In usual cases, sprint triathlon takes off half the original distance Olympic standards have.

Sprint triathlon only takes 750 meters of swim (considerably short for a triathlon race), a biking distance of 20 km and a run of 5 km. Not much of a suffering right? But it is for the beginners.

Olympic distance, on the other hand, has standard of 1.5 km of swimming, 40 km of biking and 10 km run for the last leg.

Iron Man Triathlon, which seem to have the primary aim of testing the limits of the physical body and the mental endurance of a racer requires one to finish 3.8 km of swim, 180 km for the bike lap and a run to hell of 42 km.

Once you embark on a sprint triathlon competition, the first thing you need to do is to condition your body for the grand day ahead. This can only be acquired through proper training, which normally lasts for not less than 13 weeks.

Set an achievable goal first. That would be better since you can work on it. Set your hopes high but do not go beyond plans that you believe would not work. Now that you have a specific point to get to, schedule your training program and start working on it. Assure to it that your plan will always be in accordance with the specific events that you are about to join. Do not just swim meters by meters. Or ride the bike for as long as you want. Or run miles on end. See to it that in each session, there is a specific aim that you are working with, say endurance or speed.

Preparing For Mini Triathlon

Strengths and Weaknesses

We all have strengths and weakness. And recognizing each of them would provide you with the best tool in making it to the mini triathlon. Knowing what are your strengths would mean knowing where to begin your training. They are your blueprints. Admit it, you may be good on swimming but not in running. You might be one hell of a runner but suck on the bike. The thing is: knowing where your strong and weak points are would let you know what to improve and what to keep on improving.

Goal

If you want to cross the finish line in one piece, you need to have a goal. And this would mean drawing up a plan (a realistic plan) that would take you to your goal.

  • First: Set your goal. In this case your goal is to finish the race in one piece (you may also consider other goals, it’s up to you).
  • Second: Make sure you have identified your strengths and weaknesses. In this way, you know how to keep on track with your plan.
  • Third: Devise your training schedule. Set schedules when, where, and how you should do it. Give yourself enough time to rest. A good rest will keep your body in tacked at the same time, improving as your training progresses. You may want to consult some expert on this.
  • And finally: Stick to your plan. Self-explanatory.

Caution

While improving your running, swimming, and biking is a good thing, there is nothing better than making a preventive measure every time you train. You will never know when injuries come but you can prevent them from happening. Take the necessary precaution to avoid ending up injured. Do some stretching before you begin the training. Wear appropriate gears. These include swimwear and shoes. Remember that running shoes are different from cycling shoes so you may want to consider buying at least one pair for each of them.