If you fancy pushing yourself to your fitness limits, why not sign up for a triathlon?
There has been a 238% increase in the number of people taking part in triathlons over the last few years – which typically includes swimming, cycling and long-distance running in a three stage mega-race.
Sean Lerwill, ex Royal Marine Commando and top personal trainer has a few tips to get you underway…
1. Money is no substitute for hard work
Nearly all new (and some experienced) triathletes want to buy speed and success, and throw money at it. It doesn't work like that. Good kit helps to a point, but it's no substitute for hard work, conditioning and technique.
2. Choose the right footwear
Don't train in trainers with elastic laces. Save these for races, when they will save you time. During training they'll just negate the support function of your trainers.
3. Seek a professional opinion
If you have money to burn, pay for a professional gait analysis. Use the results to specifically strengthen and condition the weak areas, and you'll see great improvements.
4. Train off-road in winter
Use a mountain bike for cycle training and do cross-country runs. Doing such off-road training isn't only good for strength and conditioning, it's also far safer if roads and pavements are icy and/or wet.
5. Stick to one bike
Other than off-road winter training, you should always train on the bike you'll race on. Some people think they should keep their 'race bike' special for race day, however if you train on a different set-up you'll use muscles ever so slightly differently.
6. Don't over-train
It's tempting to have no or too few rest days, but if you have no rest days you won't improve as much. Many improvements occur outside of training: you strain (stimulus), then you rest to adapt. However, if you never rest to adapt you never see improvements.
7. Rest before the race
Establish a good training routine and take your rest day two days before a race, not the day before: perform light training the day before the race. This ensures you aren't groggy or lethargic on race day from having a day off.
8. Look Professional
If you take a look at a professional Triathletes bike, it isn't littered in energy gels taped to the frame. It is neat and tidy and exudes confidence. Unless you are doing a full or half ironman, one or two energy gels in a pocket will suffice.
9. Planning prevents poor performance
Plan what you are going to do, both in training and for the race itself. Proper planning makes for a more enjoyable triathlon session and means you are more likely to succeed in the race.
10. No short cuts
There are no quick fixes. Hard work is the only way to success.
The Triathlon Manual by Sean Lerwill is available now, £21.99, from Haynes.co.uk
Do you have any tips for training? Leave a comment below to be in with a chance of winning a £100 goodie bag
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