A triathlon combines the sports of running, bicycling and swimming into an endurance sporting event. With next to no transition time for breaking, participating triathletes switch one from activity to the next. The winner is the thriathlete who finishes the course in the shortest amount of time. If you have begun training for a triathlon, you know that providing your body with the balanced fuel needed to build and maintain muscle while limiting fat buildup is crucial to your success.
Maintain a Healthy Body Mass Index
Do not be tempted to shed pounds too quickly for an upcoming triathlon. Maintain a healthy body mass index. Consult a dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition to determine a healthy BMI for you. The inherent danger of having too little body fat puts the lean muscle mass you are trying to build at risk. What is more, you may actually lose the endurance you hope to build up if the body does not have the needed body fat cushion to draw on extra energy as needed. A healthy body mass index for your gender, age, and frame is crucial for someone who is training for a triathlon.
Chart a Nutritional Intake for the Week Leading up to the Triathlon
Plan your nutritional intake for the week leading up to your triathlon all the way to the last calorie. Mistakes in dietary planning lead to lapses in endurance, sluggishness, and a metabolism that is not functioning at peak levels. The last week prior to the big event is essential for metabolic fine tuning, and if you have not already done so, setting up the plan and sticking to it are vital components of your training. If you are uncertain how to set up a 7-day nutritional diet for someone who is training for a triathlon, consult with a sports dietitian or physician. You may also check in with the Ironman organization devoted to the health of athletes competing in their triathlon event.
Learn About Food Substitutions
Keep a food journal to chart your overall nutritional intake. Compare the entries to the optimized diet a triathlon organization or sports dietitian may recommend. You may notice that you fall short when it comes to fruits or veggie servings. Learn how you may substitute a serving of fruits with a smoothie or related nutritional drink. At the same time, find out how to substitute carbohydrates or protein-rich meals with alternative food options. Note in your food journal anytime you make a substitution and gauge the effect this has on your fitness. While such substitutions should be an exception rather than the norm, a diet for someone who is training for a triathlon needs to have some flexibility to make it suitable for the athlete who has family- and work-related obligations.
Article Written By Sylvia Cochran
Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.