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You’ve signed up for your very first triathlon, and have already sought out an ideal training schedule. The next step, now, is to develop good exercise and lifestyle habits that will complement your regimen and prevent unwanted problems or injuries. These include adequate nutrition and hydration, as well as good exercise practices.
With all the exercise that you will be incorporating into your lifestyle, your body will be burning a considerable amount of energy. To ensure that you have enough, you must include lots of slow-burning and low-glycemic carbohydrates, such as whole grains, in your diet. These will help to sustain your energy levels when you engage in intense workouts. However, avoid refined carbohydrates like white bread and cakes, as well other kinds of processed food and saturated fats.
A balanced diet is essential, and you will need to take enough fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins that contain the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. It is necessary to ingest enough calories because of the large quantities that you will be burning during training. You should also not lose unnecessary weight as it will affect your strength and performance.
When undergoing high-intensity workouts, your body will definitely lose water - and minerals - at a rapid rate. To prevent dehydration and other potentially life-threatening conditions, you should always fuel yourself with lots of water and sports drinks. Select a good brand of sports drink that contains enough carbohydrates, electrolytes, and protein, and have it on hand at all times when you train. Hydrate during and immediately after your workouts, as this will greatly enhance your results.
Overexertion is common among triathletes. In order to avoid this, constantly stretch the muscles that may have been shortened, such as your calves, hamstrings, back muscles, et cetera. It is also important not to raise your training intensity too dramatically each week. Be consistent in your increases, and always do so in a gradual manner, as your body needs time to adjust to the harsh physical conditioning that it is undergoing.
Injury-prevention: Warm up and cool down
Always stretch and warm your muscles up
thoroughly before starting any workout, no matter how little you have planned for the day. Specifically, you should work on your hamstrings, as such injuries are the most common among athletes who do not do proper warm-ups. After exercising, you should also allow your body time to cool down as well.
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