Written by Tom from our Leeds, Headingley shop.
Triathlon is regarded by many as one of the world's toughest sports. While in most sports people just focus on one discipline, in triathlon one must dedicate oneself to three sports; swim, bike and a run. So if you're looking for a sport where you can push yourself to your max, lose weight and meet friends then triathlon is the sport for you.
I am fortunate enough to live and train with the two best triathletes in the world who are the world beating brothers Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee. At the age of 21 Alistair was World and European Champion while his younger brother Jonathan was under 23 World Champion. The education I get from the brothers means I am in a position to pass on expert tips and knowledge.
Training for Triathlon is not easy, it requires mental and physical strength but just as important is the kit you have. Me and the brothers always go on about how important the correct running apparel is for training and racing.
It's vital that to compete and train for triathlon you have the right gear, you will of course need goggles, tri-suit and a bike etc. The most important part of a triathlon is the run. So it's really important that you have the running shoes that are best for you.
When training for the run it's a good idea to get a well cushioned light pair of trainers. Mizuno and Saucony are a triathlete's normal choice of trainers as they both soft and light.
For the run in the triathlon it's key to have a racing flat. This is a light-weight racing shoe which has very little upper and minimal cushioning to save weight. I know world class triathletes say that Saucony are their favourite triathlon racing brand. The Saucony Fastwitch and also the Mizuno Musha are both good. These trainers are ideal for triathlon due to their ability to expel water, be light on the feet, but also they have a soft liner which is useful as when you run in the triathlon you have no socks.
When training for the run in Triathlon you really want to make sure you are comfortable. The best clothing to go for is moisture management vests and t-shirts - there is nothing worse than having a sweaty top. I prefer Ronhill, Salomon and Saucony which wick away sweat very well. The same goes for shorts, either the loose fitting race short or the tight fitting lycra short are the main choice for both men and women.
Good nutrition is fundamental to training and racing at any level. When out cycling it's a good idea to have your bottles filled with either High5 4:1 or GO electrolyte. Being dehydrated on the bike is very dangerous and staying hydrated with the right fluids is paramount.
It's also a great idea to take on gels and other forms of sports bars to keep your glycogen topped up. Products such as Cliff Bars and Shotz Energy Bars are great.
Tom's Top Tips
- Lock Laces are useful for people wanting to shave seconds off there transition times as they save you tying up laces. They are elastic laces which fit into your trainers.
- Tie nutrition gels to your bike, as tri-suits do not have pockets. Eating on the bike section is the easiest and most important option.
- Place elastic bands round your cycle shoes and back of the bike frame so it keeps the shoes aloft. When running out of transition with your bike you do not want your cycle shoes dragging on the floor, use the bands to keep them upright.
- Put loads of talcum powder in your cycle shoes and running shoes, as you have no socks on. This prevents blisters as it absorbs moisture.
- If wearing a wetsuit on the swim, make sure you lube up arms, legs and neck seams. As when you pull off the suit, these areas can stick and can be a nightmare to pull off. Use BodyGlide.