H is for habits

When you enter the world of triathlon training, you’ll discover that there are some important pieces of clothing that you need to form in order to be successful. These habits encompass several different aspects of the sport, but if you want to be the best triathlete nonetheless, then form good habits in nutrition, training, research, and rest.

Nutrition:

Many people get into the sport of triathlon to try to lose weight or at least to get healthier. One of the first things you’ll discover is that you need to have proper nutrition for your workouts to do what you want them to do. You can’t go out and eat a double cheeseburger and drink a milkshake and expect to lose the weight you want to lose. You’ll want to develop some nutritional habits that will lead to ultimate success. You may want to start the habit of keeping a food diary of what you eat so you can keep track of your calories. You can use an app called MyFitnessPal.com for this very purpose. You can use the app on your phone that syncs with an online app. This habit will help you determine if you are receiving adequate caloric intake, but also your fat, carbohydrate and protein figures. The habit of keeping up with journaling can wear off over time as good nutrition habits are formed, but start journaling and watch your weight loss goals come to fruition.

You’ll also want to form better nutrition habits in the foods you choose to fuel your workout. You can’t expect to do a long 10-mile run or a 30-mile bike ride without having adequate fuel. Develop some good habits that help you eat the right nutritional components. I use bananas to start with and then use Fizz and Endurolytes, both produced by Hammer Nutrition. I also use PowerGel Gels to give me calories and energy for training and racing.

training:

You need to form a good habit of getting into your workouts. Many people never start an exercise regimen because they feel like they don’t have enough time to exercise. You are going to need to form some good habits in terms of scheduling your workouts so that you don’t miss too many of them. You may need to have a different sleep schedule or a different work schedule, but you want to make missing a workout a big bummer. The reason you want this is because if you don’t have healthy dissatisfaction about missing a workout, you’ll miss out on more than your fair share and won’t be ready for race day. You may even have disappointing results to the point of wanting to quit.

Develop some good training habits to help you maximize your workouts. For example, have a good way to heat and cool. You will need to drink a recovery drink or supplement to minimize pain and prepare for the next day. I use Accelerade for this purpose and have found that it gives me the right amount of carbs and protein to recover well for the next day and minimize pain. I can definitely tell when I’m not drinking it. These warm-up and recovery habits will help you stay injury-free during your workout.

Investigate:

This is a tough one. Every day there is a constant barrage of information about triathlon. Spending just a few minutes doing a little research could help you find the right nutrition plan, the right workout plan, the right gear, or just give you an inspiring boost. Subscribe to blogs like this or magazines that can help you understand this amazing sport of triathlon. However, keep a good amount of this research and don’t get too addicted, otherwise you’ll switch every few weeks to a new device or training plan and go broke.

Rest:

You have to form a good sleeping habit. Rest is as important as any workout. You have to get the right amount of rest in order to perform at your highest level. Find ways to rest more or sleep more. You can’t function for long in this sport without the proper amount of rest. Too many triathletes are out of the sport due to overuse injuries. It’s not a bad thing to miss a workout if you intentionally need to rest. If your body is overwhelmed, rest. Get into a good rest habit and you’ll see your training gains go on and on after every workout.

Forming some of these good habits in triathlon training will ensure that you compete well and for a long time.

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