5 Things To Know For Your First Tri

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Triathlete and physio for Australian Olympic team Ian Gard tells you what you need to be thinking about when you sign up for your first triathlon


Get Your Running Analysed

My first ever run event I trained for was the Sydney Half Marathon in 2010. For the 14 weeks leading up to the race, I was in pain from injuries I’d incurred, which is pretty bad when you are a sports physio. Luckily none of my injuries were difficult to treat, but after that race I decided to find a good running coach to teach me how to run properly. I had spent years working with good coaches on my swimming technique so it made perfect sense to me to get my running analysed. It was the best money I ever spent! I have since logged up over 2232km of running (yes, I am a Strava junkie!) And I am happy to say I have not had an injury that has stopped me running since.


Be Bike Fit

For the next ironman, I will be taking part in I be spending just under six hours on the bike before I run a marathon, so it is important to be comfortable. I was recommended to get a Retul fit out and it was amazing. The bike fitter was very experienced and had just set up Pete Jacob’s bike (2012 Ironman World Champ). Not only did it feel more comfortable, my power output increased straight away with the same effort.


Have A Training Plan

A long course triathlon is not something that most people can just rock up to and complete. For my first tri, I purchased an online plan, which was 16 weeks. I managed to do about 80 per cent of the training due to other life commitments, but it was the main reason I had such a good experience on race day. For ironman I am doing a 24-week programme.


Get Your Nutrition Right

One of the things I learnt when training for my first half marathon was that if I didn’t eat correctly, I suffered. I hit the wall on a training run and it was horrible. I soon worked out that on training sessions longer than one hour, I needed to replace my energy stores using gels, sports drinks and food etc. The best tip I got was to consume just under 1g of carbohydrate per kilo of body weight per hour. Funny enough you have to train your stomach to deal with it too. I manage with gels and sports drink and my stomach is fine, but I know others that cannot consume anywhere near that much so it is best to experiment when training.


Maximise Your Recovery

Make sure you consume a good portion of carbohydrate and protein immediately after your training. Science has shown that there is a window immediately after training in which you should eat to maximise recovery. With a busy schedule of work, training, family commitments and so on, there is nothing worse that training for an event like this and feeling terrible the whole time because you didn’t get the post exercise nutrition right. Even worse, the whole point of training is to improve and by maximising recovery, you will improve the most.


Ian is taking part in the Ironman – Melbourne 2014 to raise funds for Cure Cancer. To donate or find out more visit http://cantoobeyond.gofundraise.com.au/page/IanG  


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