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What are the Best Tips for Ironman Training?

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  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2016
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Ironman training requires a considerable amount of physical, emotional and financial commitment. Athletes who set a triathlon goal can be successful by following some simple tips from seasoned veterans. These experts recommend training with good equipment that will be used on the day of the race and training for the specific type of water and terrain. Ironman training should include monitoring of the athlete’s fitness level as he or she increases the length of training sessions for the swimming, biking and running sections of the competition. It is also important to get ample rest and maintain a healthy diet to successfully cross all three finish lines.

Proper equipment increases the chance of completing an Ironman. Comfortable athletic clothing, swim goggles, bike shoes and running shoes should be used during Ironman training sessions. An unexpected blister or equipment failure during the competition can make all of the physical training fruitless on race day. The athlete might want to practice the transition from one set of clothing to another to decrease the time it takes to switch from one event to the next.

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Balance in all three areas of the race is a key Ironman triathlon training tip. Biking and running put enormous stress on the legs, so workouts should be varied by distance and frequency. Training program length should be increased gradually to prevent injury, and weight training can add muscle strength. Days of rest are advisable to allow the body to recover from the intensive workouts that a triathlon athlete endures for weeks or months before the competition. This is especially important for a beginning Ironman athlete.

A heart monitor keeps track of cardiovascular health and is a necessary tool for an Ironman training regimen. By increasing heart and lung capacities, the body prepares to withstand all three portions of an Ironman contest: the 2.4-mile (3.86-km) swim, 112-mile (180.25-km) bike ride and the marathon, which is a 26.2-mile (42.2-km) run. Cardiovascular strength is just as important during Ironman training as building muscle mass.

Finally, mental preparation is essential. A person involved in Ironman training must mentally commit to devote the time necessary to be successful. He or she must balance the time-consuming training program with other areas of life and find ways to stem boredom with the program. By varying Ironman training locations and finding new ways to challenge the body, an athlete is more apt to stay the course until race day.

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