triathlon and training 101 – tips from a seasoned novice

Triathlon season 2018 has officially started and I already have one in the books! This past weekend was the Redondo Beach triathlon. A sprint, consisting of 1/2 mile ocean swim, 6 mile bike and a 2 mile run – it’s a great first race to kick of the season and a good one to try if you had thoughts about dabbling in the sport. Not yet (or even close to) a professional, but a seasoned novice (is that a thing?) is how I would describe myself at this point, at least with the races that I’ve consistently competed in.

hermosa triathlon finish         Redondo triathlon finish

Let me break it down for you. For one, you will never find me in a wetsuit- having to take that thing on and off in such a quick time frame gives me nightmares!! I know it helps increase buoyancy and alleviates some of the shock of the water temperature, but who doesn’t love a little adrenaline rush? Am I right? I still ride with cages on my bike pedals. {insert eye roll}  I’ll clip in on stationary bikes and in cycling classes, but have an irrational fear of being stopped at a light and wiping out. Are there any lights to stop at during a race? Nope! Anxiety much? Also, have you seen my hair-dos? I look like I’m about to go to a wedding, not put a bathing cap and helmet on (thanks Laura- a mother of 2 girls who does my hair before each race)! But hey, you do you and I’ll do me.

hair do 1         hair-do 2

NuTRItion

Another thing I’ve focused on a little bit more for my triathlon season is my nuTRItion <–  see what I did there? About to get a little scientific/educational here, so get ready. As you may or may not know, I’ve been consistently taking Vital Proteins collagen peptides for a few years now. You can watch my highlight video that I did back in September 2017 with them here. Collagen is naturally produced in our bodies, but supplementing with it can have additional benefits, i.e. strengthening joints, ligament and tendons, promoting gut health and improving hair, skin and nails.

Supplements

I’ve also incorporated supplements magnesium and vitamin D in my nightly routine  (I personally enjoy NowFoods brand). Taking one tablet of each before bed. Magnesium has been shown to increase energy, support the nervous system, aid with sleep and digestion, relieve muscle aches and pains and help with maintaining bone strength. Vitamin D helps regulate the absorption of calcium which in turn helps maintain the health of our bones (and teeth). It also helps support the brain, nervous and immune systems.

**This isn’t a recipe for everyone, you should consult a professional before adding a variety of supplements to your diet. For me, I have found that these supplements have increased my overall well being, nutrition and performance.**

Aside from supplements, I’ve been learning how to keep my blood sugar/hormones balanced and reduce cravings (thanks Kelly LeVeque and her fabfour). Thus eating to satiety and preventing sugar cravings/swings. I’ve been creating a version of her #fabfour smoothie from her Body Love book and having that once a day. Blend: 1 heaping handful of spinach, 1/4 avocado, 2 tbsp chia seeds, 1 scoop acacia fiber, 1 scoop vanilla collagen peptides, almond milk.

 

fabfoursmoothie

Recovery

While nutrition is important, I also find that self-care is something we take for granted and almost never “find time” to do. With triathlon season in full swing and increased weight training, I have been taking more time for myself (yay summer break- the beauty of working for a school district) and focusing on recovery as well. After all triathlons, (and monthly) I am sure to get a massage. It is great to break up the lactic acid build up in the muscles and it is oh-so relaxing- namastay here. Recently I have started to get acupuncture and cupping done. This is a holistic treatment that I incorporated into my routine after I pulled my back picking up a weight to put it away, AFTER the workout (cue the old jokes). Acupuncture is focused on correcting imbalances in the body. Cupping is another alternative medicine that is used to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and act as a type of massage. While these treatments for self-care may become expensive, especially if not covered by insurances, there are plenty at-home remedies that you can do to indulge in self-care, promote good habits and recovery.

At-home remedies

Stretching is something that is accessible to everyone and another thing that no one has ‘time’ for. I’ve incorporated more yoga into my programming and try to stretch after each work out. Foam rolling is a great way to massage out the lactic acid build up in the muscles. When I am at home and watching TV, I use a golf ball to roll on my legs, neck and shoulders. I sometimes will put it under my feet and roll the arches out on the golf ball as well. At Expo West, I came across a CBD mentholated cream for joint and muscle pain. I tend to use this the night after a very hard workout or right after a triathlon to soothe the muscles. NowFoods also makes a muscle and joint cream which I have used in post-workout recovery as well.  If you have access to a bathtub, epsom salt baths or baths in general is another great way to recover; maybe, you even turn on your diffuser with some relaxing essential oils or light a calming candle.

yoga move               forward fold stretch

Tri it out

If you’re interested in the sport of triathlon and want to get your feet wet (pun intended), here are some of my key take-away pointers. Find a sprint triathlon to start with. These are smaller in distances and are great beginner races. If ocean/open water doesn’t do it for you, find a race that has a swim in the lake or pond. Do note that after you get through the break in the ocean water, it is not too difficult (also many hot lifeguards waiting to save you, if need be). Whether you want to wear a wetsuit, triathlon suit (one of the most unflattering things I own and wear) or clip in, that’s up to you. There is no wrong answer to doing or not doing any of these although they individually have their own benefits. Nutrition and self-care/recovery should not be overlooked. It is something that will aid in increased triathlon performance and overall well being. It will also help decrease the likelihood of injury.

triathlon run    triathlon bike    triathlon set up

Disclaimer: You should know that I am not a fitness/medical/nutritional professional, but I am a fitness enthusiast, a self-proclaimed seasoned novice and have done some research. All the information above is my opinion and you should always consult with a doctor or medical professional.

 

Information adapted from: www.vitalproteins.com, www.nowfoods.com, https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/cupping-therapy#1, https://draxe.com/magnesium-supplements/, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-magnesium-benefits, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161618.php

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1 Comment

  1. Your hair looks so cute all braided! Do you get it braided the night before? I wish I could do fancy braids on myself – I love when my best friend does my hair in a French braid. I need to learn how – I have lots of hair but not the gift of being good at doing hair haha

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