With 10+ years of experience training top-ranked pros and Olympic champions, NSCA Strength & Conditioning Specialist and Club Med fitness director Idrissa Diallo explains that your performance relies on a few key factors: training, nutrition, sleep, and post-race conditioning. Discover how a few changes in your ‘routine’ will help you perform at your best.
How to prepare for a Triathlon?
Training for triathlon requires a balance in training between three disciplines; swimming, cycling, and running. The proper balance depends on a number of factors from the distance of the race an athlete is training for, the athletes strengths, weaknesses, amount of time available to train, the number of weeks till an event, and so many other factors. All though this can be achieved alone, it is best to have a coach to guide you and monitor your progress.
The most basic and generic training program for a triathlon is a 3-3-3 training plan or 3 swims, 3 bikes, 3 runs per week. This usually includes a long workout, a middle distance faster workout, and an interval or speed session. The distances too depend on the factors listed above.
Personal suggested distances (these are the distance I suggest an athlete should be able to cover before the event): Sprint Triathlon: All Race Distances Olympic Triathlon: All Race Distances Half-Iron Triathlon: Swim Distance, Bike Distance, 10mi Run (minimum) Ironman Triathlon: Swim Distance, 100mi Bike (minimum), 16mi Run (minimum)
Also, athletes should not increase distances by more than 15% each week. For example:
Week 1 Totals: Swim 8,200yd - Bike 95mi - Run 28mi (the max I would increase in Week 2 would be)
Week 2 Totals: Swim 9.430yd - Bike 110mi - Run 32mi
Increasing by 5-15% each week is adequate for building endurance for a particular event however I suggest every 3-4 weeks to back down your volume by 20-25% to let your body recover.
Nutrition in triathlon is just as unique as each athlete, but common guidelines would suggest focusing your nutrition around your training including a pre-workout meal, during workout fueling, and post-workout meal.
Before exercise I suggest fueling up with primarily carbohydrate and water. Fruits, grains, breads, and oats are a great way to give your body the energy to workout.
During exercise hydration is critical. For workouts lasting more than 45 minutes I suggest sipping water and/or sports drink every 10-15 minutes. For workouts lasting more than 90 minutes I suggest using either energy gels, bars, or fruit to give you the energy to keep going.
After exercise it is important to replace what was lost while rebuilding muscle. This is why I suggest a balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Carbohydrates to replace lost glycogen, fats to lubricate joints and protect the heart, and protein to repair and rebuild muscle.
Sleep is critical to regeneration and performance. During hard training cycles it is important to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. If possible taking a midday nap of 30-60 minutes also is beneficial for athletes doing a morning and afternoon workout.
On race week I suggest dropping the volume of your training by as much as 50%, however you should keep intensity rather high for short bursts up to race effort.
Club Med is, as 4x Olympian Hunter Kemper puts it, your one-stop-shop for triathlon training. We have unbelievable facilities for training, refueling, regenerating, and racing. With our triathlon coaches on site to provide professional level training, personal assessment, and personalization you will leave feeling confident for your race.
The best programs in Sandpiper Bay
As 4x Olympian Hunter Kemper put it, Club Med is your one-stop-shop for triathlon training. We have unbelievable facilities for training, refueling, regenerating, and racing. With our triathlon coaches on site to provide professional level training, personal assessment, and personalization, you will leave feeling confident for your race.
Train with the Pros
Our Triathlon Active Packages are designed especially for you and focus on the vital aspects of training: Personalization: your journey will begin with a personal assessment and evaluation designed to determine your skill level, strengths, weaknesses and goals. Whether it’s your first race or you’re a hardcore athlete looking to train competitively, we offer ‘boost’ packages for every level. Rejuvenation: A truly holistic wellness program must be balanced with rejuvenation activities aimed at reenergizing your body, revitalizing your mind, and releasing the tensions of everyday life. Nutrition: An integral part of every Active Wellness boost package includes nutritional guidance tailored to your individual goals.