It is difficult to find an endurance sport discipline as complete and spectacular as triathlon. The physical, technical and mental demand is maximum; and its growing popularity, a fact that seems to have no end. We will start our preparation with a sports medical stress test. It will consider the physiological response of our body to physical exercise, especially assessing the correct cardiorespiratory adaptation to it. Nowadays there are stress test protocols specially designed for triathlon (Triatest®), combining aspects related to health and at the same time obtaining key data for the triathlete’s performance and training.
Once the stress test has been passed, we will face one of the pillars on which to base our final success: training. In this regard, the best advice is specialized advice, not only because the three sports disciplines are so different at a technical and physical level, but also because of the importance of good management in the distribution of training loads, the type of training and recovery times.
Stress test, nutrition and training: the basic pillars to start preparing for a triathlon
Parallel to training we cannot forget another pillar as important as nutrition. And not only the one that will provide us with the nutrients and energy needed for daily training, but also the one we will need on the day of the competition for optimal performance. At the same level we find hydration, essential to maintain a correct plasma volume that allows us to oxygenate the muscle cell, remove from it the metabolic waste produced and at the same time help us in another basic aspect, the thermoregulation of our body.
And finally, we must not overlook the fact that our progression in triathlon will and should be a slow learning curve. Our body’s physiological responses to training are not overnight; acquiring the correct technique that will make us more economical or efficient in each of the three disciplines or in transitions requires time and experience. Starting with short distance triathlons (SuperSprint, Sprint) is a good option, to eventually tackle the Olympic distance.
If the adaptation to this Olympic distance is optimal, we can eventually consider facing such physically and mentally demanding events as middle and long distance triathlons.