How to prepare for an Ironman or Triathlon race



THE START.
Before you start out on your training you need to know where you want to end up. Setting yourself short term goals each day each week month and so on helps you towards your ambition, a goal allows you to maintain your focus and check on your progress. Goals come in many different varieties.

Firstly there is your dream goal - the ultimate goal that may take you several years to reach. There are destination goals required to achieve the bigger picture. An event you want to do well in this or next season and finally there are progress goals - smaller events, times or skills you need to accomplish on the way to your accomplishment. Goals can be used to focus your training on a daily basis. Every session you do should have a goal - something you need to achieve during that session. If it is a recovery session going slow can be difficult for some athletes to do. By writing your aims down or saying it out loud to yourself or to someone before your training session, it will reinforce it and help provide a sense of satisfaction when it’s achieved.
A training goal could be absolute anything from maintaining a set heart rate, improving leg speed or ensuring you drink sufficiently, eating straight after a workout to speed up recovery reducing your alcohol intake etc.
Each week aim for a small improvement in form, economy endurance so that it moves you along the road to your final destination.

Goal setting should be done with your coach, write your goals down and refer to them daily to maintain focus and motivation. It doesn't take long but it will make a real difference. Goals should be SMARTING - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Record able and Time Orientated.

AIR TEMPERATURE.
Some people are summer athletes while others are able to compete much better in the winter everyone is a particular season time specialist.
Whether you change to golden brown when or lobster pink in the sun we all react differently to the sun and air temperature. You can improve by training more in the air temperature that you expect in racing but being individual you will find you are better at certain temperatures.

ALTITUDE
Not just available for the Elite athletes, however time is the main constraint as the best gains are made after many weeks training at high altitude.
Many athletes do NOT adapt to altitude at all while certain individuals improve after only 3 weeks others can take 6-8 weeks. The benefits are real however, your body will adapt and produce more haemoglobin helping you compete better at sea level. Athletes claim for example that 6 weeks at Altitude can be better than an 18 weeks of preparation base work done at sea level.
They often Train Low & live & sleep high, training at higher than 10,000 feet and go higher and sleep at night and after training. Some athletes do not get any benefit with this type conditioning at altitude as it never gives them time to adapt and therefore has a negative effect on sea level performance. Results vary but generally speaking it is best to either race within 72 hours of coming down or race 12-16 days when the body is still in its peak adaptation phase.

ENERGY LEVELS LOW.
There can be numerous reasons for this but with frequent colds and a feeling of being run down consider the following if you have some of the following lifestyle. If you work long hours on computers drink lots of caffeine drinks like coffee and tea and snack on quick fix sugary treats with inadequate quality sleep. Avoid tea and coffee as these stop the absorption of potassium and iron. Drink more mineral water, eat more fruit and vegetables rather than sweet snacks.
Eat your food more slowly and be relaxed, as your body knows it is actually eating. Echinacea Purpurea root extract is a natural herb with an active ingredient called cichoric acid, which helps as an anti-inflammatory and immunostimulant.
Prescribed as an antiseptic and for infections (colds), Skin health and wound healing.

MIRROR IMAGE TRAINING.
Know your triathlon course and either train on it first then find a suitable area close to home to mimic and improve your fitness.
If your race is pancake flat still incorporate some hills in training for strength.