When it comes to athletics, we are all gifted (or not) differently. Some are good in one discipline, while others have been graced with the ability to perform exceptionally well in multiple disciples.
If you are such a one that is so gifted, perhaps you should consider taking part in an Olympic triathlon.
Triathlon – 3 Disciplines One Race
A triathlon is an athletic competition involving the completion of 3 endurance disciplines in sequence. The most popular Olympic triathlon variation is one that involves swimming, cycling, and finally running. There is a reason for this order and it is very important that a triathlon is done in this order. Swimming is the riskiest event in a triathlon and thus, it is best to complete this challenge when the triathlete is fresh. Next is the bike race because the risks and consequences of injury from exhaustion are greater than in the running challenge. A triathlon’s challenges are done in immediate succession over various distances, with the most common Olympic triathlon distances being:
- A swim of 0.93 miles
- A bicycle route of 24.8 mile
- Running distance of 6.2 miles.
Although the individual components of a triathlon are timed, the overall prize goes to the triathlete who completes the triathlon in the overall best time.
Triathlon Transition – Strategy is Key
At every stage of a triathlon, a transition area is set up where the triathletes change gear for the different segments of the race, known as T1 (swim-bike) and T2 (cycling to running). The transition from one stage to another is another crucial aspect of a triathlon and can actually make or break your race.
Even though each stage has its own transition procedure and strategies, there are 2 main factors that will ensure that your transition is as smooth as possible – speed and efficiency. This is why it is crucial to include the transition areas in your pre-event preparations. The day of the triathlon can be a very confusing day and as such, it is important that you master the swim exit, bike exit, the run exit, the placing of every piece of your equipment, and the space you will have to work in. In essence, you have to be very familiar with the transition area and have a very good procedure to make the transition from one stage of the triathlon to another. You have to be a well-oiled machine with a well-mapped blueprint of everything you will be doing in the event – every tiny detail.
Olympic Triathlon Training Plan – Preparing Your Entire Being
Although a triathlon may seem like a very daunting challenge, participating in one is not as difficult as you may think. Winning it, on the other hand, is another matter altogether. But if you already have an exercise regimen, it’s easy for you to get yourself triathlon ready in as little as 8 weeks.
What about an Olympic Triathlon training plan?
Well, training for an Olympic standard triathlon requires that you have at least an average training regimen in the 3 disciplines involved. Average but consistent, as consistency plays an important factor in endurance. And to be able to implement an effective Olympic triathlon training plan, you have to rigorously train all your systems – making you well rounded to perform to the best of your ability in the water, on a bike, and on the road. Every muscle, including the heart, is put to the test in a triathlon, and as such, every muscle will need intense training.
It is the intensity of this training that makes it necessary for you to have a solid training plan. And your training plan must not just only focus on the physical aspect of the challenge but must include mental training as well, as a triathlon can put a toll on you mentally and emotionally.
3 Race Day Tips to Make Your Olympic Triathlon a Success
You have trained your body to the maximum and now you are ready to tackle the triathlon. It’s race day and you can’t wait to go out there and put yourself to the ultimate test. Before you do though, here are a few tips to make sure you release your full potential.
1. Every Great Day Starts With a Great Breakfast
Avoid hard-to-digest foods as they will cause stomach complications. The best breakfast is a combination of good fats and carbohydrates. If you are racing later in the day, keep your meals light and soft.
2. Have a Nerve Calming Routine
The best way to keep yourself calm and collected is to have a pre-race routine that helps calm your nerves. It could be a song, a simple exercise, or even as simple as positive affirmations.
3. Take the Race One Step at a Time
Although the urge to win may move you to concentrate on winning, it is best to take the race one step at a time.
Ready for Your Olympic Triathlon?
Although a triathlon may be a competitive sport, for many it is simply a matter of fulfilling personal goals. Whatever your reason, best be ready.