How to train for your first triathlon
With summer at our doorstep, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the glorious warm weather and extra daylight hours. This time of year is ideal for setting new goals or revisiting past ambitions, like training for a triathlon or fun run.
We asked Craig “Crowie” Alexander, three-time IRONMAN world champion and 2XU ambassador to share his tips to get your body prepared for triathlon season…
Although I’ve competed in more than 200 triathlons in my career, I’ve also suffered from a lack of motivation at times. So, I wanted to share a few tips on how to get back on your feet and rediscover the benefits of exercise this summer.
Remember, not even high-performing athletes turned pro overnight. Training is a journey, so it’s important to enjoy the process in order to really appreciate the outcome.
When training for a triathlon or running event, it’s a good idea to join a group with some more experienced athletes to help you get started. Try to include a combination of endurance, strength and speed work in your training program and remember, consistency is key.
Get the right gear
It helps to invest in the right training gear. I swear by my 2XU compression tights for training and recovery. There’s no way I could back up for training day after day without wearing the right gear, and compression clothing is proven by the Australian Institute of Sport to aid performance and recovery, improve muscle alignment, reduce the risk of injury and muscle damage, and reduce soreness and fatigue.
Food is your fuel
A common-sense, sustainable eating plan helps the body fuel up and recover. And cheat days are okay! It’s all about creating a happy lifestyle and enjoying training in a sustainable way. I incorporate protein or a protein shake after intense workouts to promote recovery.
Sleep is very important for recovery and overall quality of life. I always try to avoid training late in the evening but ultimately, it comes down to time management and work and life commitments. Sometimes you just need to fit in the training whenever you can. Aim for a training program you can sustain long term.
In addition to sleeping and eating right, compression definitely helps me cut down my recovery time so I’m ready to go for my next training session or event. I pull on recovery compression within an hour of training and sometimes even sleep in it – it’s amazing the difference it makes.
Stay mentally fit
The regular physical training and discipline required for an effective training program also helps condition your mind for race day. Understanding what you’re motivated by can be a powerful driver but remember to also enjoy some downtime, whether it be yoga, meditation, going for a walk or simply stretching in front of the TV. Your mind is a powerful muscle that is continuously flexed, and it needs time to recharge.