Many, many years ago when I was at school, I did the usual sports, and I always seemed to hit the proverbial brick wall at some point when I was pushing myself as hard as I could and I ended up feeling terrible. I often got the shakes and a lot of the time had to sit out of the session. Admittedly, this never happened during competitions or games, but because I’m the nervous type, I was probably hyped up on adrenaline before big events which meant that I didn’t have the chance to become too worried.
I have to admit that this never seemed to happen during an actual competition or game, but probably only because I am the nervous type before any event, I think I was more than likely fueled on adrenaline and nervous energy. It might also have been because I didn’t often do a big scary competition, or anything even close to a triathlon.
We didn’t have a lot of money to spend on food when I was growing up, so my diet was unpredictable at best. My mom did her best, but she’s definitely not a nutritionist. I might have had takeout, or fries and burgers, or on some nights just something like mashed potatoes and sausage. I didn’t really eat breakfast, and that’s because I was on a paper route, or if I wasn’t on a paper route, I just didn’t really fancy anything. Because my diet was so all over the place, my energy was all over the place too. As I got older, I knew I had to start eating properly so that I could start feeling a little bit better. The same principle applies to sport: when you put something good into your body, you’ll get something good out of it.
Thinking about the three things that you should be doing, if you want to compete like a triathlete – or if you just want the body of a triathlete – food is the number one most important thing. You need to put the right nutrition into your body in order to get the most out of it, whether that is performance or fat burning.
Although a “healthy diet” in general will do wonders for your overall health, and for changing the shape of your body, even the smallest of changes and tweaks can have a huge impact on how you look and feel. Eating more protein and vegetables will help you to build muscle and burn fat – perfect if you’re planning on training for triathlons. Introducing foods with omega-3s will aid joint movement and help prevent aches and pains. Keep in mind too that even if a famous athlete is advertising a certain type of sandwich from a certain store, it doesn’t mean that that sandwich is good for you. Far from it, for the most part. Eat clean, and you’ll feel like a million dollars.
Thirdly and finally, the exercise. Increasing evidence suggests that high impact exercise is far more beneficial and can burn off far more fat than long stretches of time pounding on a treadmill. High impact exercise or high impact weight training, where you push yourself as hard as you possibly can for very very short periods of time (30 seconds) followed by a 10 second break, for five minutes at a time, up to three or four times a week. Overall, you’ll be spending far less time exercising, but it’ll be much more efficient.
My last bit of advice? Don’t push yourself too hard, especially if you’re new to exercising. Build up the exercise gradually, and take the advice of your doctor. Eat well, nourish your body, and never “forget” to eat, especially whilst you’re exercising. Keep at it, and you’ll get the body of a triathlete – and soon you could be ready to compete, too.