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    How to Train For a Long Distance Race.

    How to Train For a Long Distance Race.

    Long-distance training requires discipline, dedication and a proper training plan. A well-designed plan will improve your performance and reduce your risk of injury. It is essential to make sure you include strength, flexibility work, the appropriate mileage and even recovery days to maximise your long distance ability. .

    We have discussed with a few experienced long distance athletes on tips for training for a long distance race.

    Train Long
    Long-distance races require endurance. To build your endurance, it's necessary to include a weekly long swim, cycle or run. Not only does long distance training improve your fat metabolism it helps the body get used to competing for long distances. To incorporate a long distance training session, take your current longest weekly workout and increase it by a certain distance each week. For a run that might be a mile or two, a cycle a couple of kilometres per week and a swim maybe a few hundred meters each week. During the fourth week, reduce your distance by 25 percent to allow for recovery. Continue following this four week cycle until you reach your desired distance.


    Planning
    
As mentioned above, a training plan is an essential part of maximising your long distance training. Without a proper schedule for all your training efforts you may lack consistency and may forget to train equally across all triathlon disciplines. “Planning in advance” is an essential part of the process for Iain Glanville a British AG triathlete (iain.glanville) He says “If you are not sure how to plan, then working with a coach or an experienced training partner can be a great way to create an effective training schedule”


    Train Fast
    In order to race your best, your weekly training needs to include at least one quality workout where you run, swim and cycle faster than your normal pace. Practicing to go harder in workouts will translate into running, cycling and swimming a faster overall pace for your long-distance event. Examples of this include, track intervals for running, tempo swims and cycle hill repeats. These faster-paced workouts are taxing to the body and can lead to injury if performed too often. Beginners should include just one quality workout each week, whereas more experienced athletes can do two or three weekly quality workouts. Antoine Scortatore (iron_toinou) A French triathlete and runner explains "It is about not sacrificing quality for quantity when it comes to working out" 


    Build Strength
    Strength training is important for long-distance athletes because it can reduce your risk of injury, improve your efficiency and help your body withstand the rigors of training long distances. You don't need to lift like a bodybuilder to gain the benefits of strength training. Performing 15 to 30 minutes of strength work three days a week is enough for most long distance athletes. Check out our 12 minute workout if you are looking for some ideas for a circuit workout that will strengthen the entire body. 


    Work on Flexibility
    Stretching is an important component of long-distance training because it reduces the risk of injury, speeds recovery and helps improve your efficiency. Yoga is a great addition to add to a training week and can be done with relatively limited time and space. Stretching should be performed after your workouts as well when your muscles are warm.


    Take a Break
    Rest and recovery are just as important to your long-distance training as the training itself. Your body adapts to the stress of training during rest and becomes stronger in the process. You risk injury and over-training if you do not allow your body this chance to adapt. Sleep is essential for recovery and it is something Sarah Clement (Sarah_run_tri_mom), an experienced triathlete and long distance runner feels is crucial in achieving the most out of any training programme. People new to long distance training need at least two days off from training each week, whereas more experienced athletes may only need to rest one day every week to two weeks.

    If you have any other great tips please let us know!

    5 Tips for Balancing Triathlon Training with Every day life.

    5 Tips for Balancing Triathlon Training with Every day life.

    Trying to squeeze in training and competing around work, family and social commitments can be a tough task. However we have spoken to some athletes that balance all these things with trying to achieve podium spots and here are some top tips for balancing triathlon training with every day life:

    1. Get it done first thing in the morning

    We’re not all alike on this front, but getting it done before most people have even started their day can be hugely advantageous. Even if you are not a morning person - getting out of the bed and shaking out that bed hair first thing and getting in a 30-40 minute run or swim session will kick start your day off in the right direction.

    The ‘first thing in the morning principle’ limits the chances of other things in life getting in the way of training. Plus at the end of a long work day theres always the temptation of getting sucked into the sofa.

    2. Make a schedule

    
Sit down and write out what you do and when you do it in a typical workday. Look for any waste or excess that can be addressed to create more training time. Suppose your schedule reveals that you currently watch two hours of TV in the evening. Why not cut that back to 90 minutes and squeeze in a 30-minute workout?
    Create a new schedule with the waste and excess cut out and the extra training time added and it will be a lot easier to stick to.

    3. Choose ‘manageable’ goals

    Most athletes are highly goal orientated people. For many of us, attempting regular training without a goal leads to nothing really happening, whilst training with a goal tends to result in full on commitment. The problem with the ‘full on commitment’ thing is that when you choose a complicated, long and hard event (like an Ironman for example), the preparation required has the potential to cause difficulties in finding time for family and other day to day responsibilities. Setting realistic and manageable goals is the key. If you have never trained for a triathlon don’t set yourself up for failure by entering an Ironman - sign up for a sprint triathlon event and see how you manage the training for that.

    4. The 15-minute rule

    Something that took me a very, very long time to come to terms with was the idea that you really can do a meaningful training session that lasts for half an hour or less. When I was putting in 20+ hour training weeks, the only 30 min sessions I did were recovery ones, most were 90 min or more in length. I now regularly tell myself that even a 15 or 20 min session is worth getting in, if it’s all you’ll do during a particular day. For me this means that a hard 2 or 3 mile run with a very brief warm up and cool down is a session in it’s own right.

    5. Be consistent

    Consistency is the most important characteristic of an effective training regimen. So if you don’t always have time for what you consider a “full workout” every day, then at least try to do more than nothing every day. As mentioned earlier if you can squeeze in a shorter workout then it is always better than doing nothing. That consistency in keeping on track of training is what will ay the difference when it comes to the next race.

    If you have any other suggestions for balancing triathlon training with every day life then let us know!

    Thanks

    #TeamAirofin

    What You Need to Know About Nutrition For Performance

    What You Need to Know About Nutrition For Performance

    Sporting success can be attributed to a number of factors. One of the most fundamental reasons a person is successful in sport though is their ability to supersede their competition through improved and more efficient training. In order to get the most out of a training session and be ready to go again in a short period of time, is the effectiveness of the recovery process. Recovery is hugely effected by a number of variables, including but not limited to - the amount of sleep, the nutrition to re-fuel your body amongst other factors.

    Taking into consideration that nutrition plays a huge part of an athletes recovery it is one of the most underrated aspects in amateur sport. Here at Airofin we love learning about nutrition and feeding our body for sport. We have read and watched so much in this area over the past year and thought we would recommend 5 of the top documentaries on Health and Nutrition on Netflix which give a great overview on nutrition for the body which can have a hugely impactful effect on sporting performance.

    Forks Over Knives



    This is an American advocacy film that advocates a whole food plant based diet as a way to avoid or reverse several chronic diseases. It is definitely an interesting watch and one that puts some strong case studies forward about the benefits of a plant based diet. Obviously looking at this from a sporting aspect - if you have fuelled your body adequately to fight off diseases then you will be able to stick to a more effective training plan. 

    Food Choices



    This is a feature length documentary that explores how food choices impact our health, the health of our planet and the lives of other living species on earth. It features Rich Roll - the 50 year old Vegan Ultra Ironman who has been named in Mens Health as one of the top 50 fittest men in the world and has completed in a number of triathlon and ultra distance races. As well, there is Anthony Evans featured who is an inspirational cancer survivor who has gone plant based to help him recover through cancer.

    What the Health

    What the health is a documentary film which critiques the health impact of meat and dairy product consumption and questions the practices of the leading health and pharmaceutical organisations. The film has been criticised by some scientific skeptics stating that they have cherry picked some of the data - however they all agree that supporting a diet which includes more plant based food would play a crucial role in improved human health.

    Vegucated


    This focuses on the challenges converting to a plant based / vegan diet. Following 3 meat eaters who agree to adopt a vegan diet for 6 weeks. Again a really informative and informational film. Take a watch on this to see if they stick with the Vegan diet after their trial is over....

    Fed Up

    This documentary is another great one to help kick off your health and nutrition goals. This explores the causes of obesity in the U.S presenting evidence that large quantities of sugar in processed foods are an overlooked root of the problem. This one really makes you think differently about the amount of processed sugar we consume on a daily basis.

    Benefits of High Intensity Workouts for Triathletes

    Benefits of High Intensity Workouts for Triathletes

    High intensity interval training (HIIT) can be really effective for triathletes for a number of reasons. If you are looking to improve endurance, speed and cadence then taking into consideration some HIIT could be highly beneficial. One of the most obvious benefits of high intensity interval training is the ability to achieve higher quality training levels in a shorter period time; And as triathletes we know that there is a lack of time in the day as it is. High intensity training will also boost metabolism, aid in weight loss and, most importantly, an increase in anaerobic threshold.

    If you are a triathlete considering incorporating high-intensity interval training into your swimming, cycling, and running workouts, or even during strength training sessions, here are a couple of the major benefits of HIIT.

    Increase Anaerobic Threshold (aka Lactate Threshold)

    To compete at sub-threshold intensity, it is necessary to train far above your anaerobic threshold. As it is not possible to remain in an anaerobic state for a long period of time, one of the principle benefits of high-intensity interval training is its ability to increase your anaerobic threshold. High-intensity interval training is based on the interval training philosophy of “test and rest,” or interspersing brief periods of maximal effort with those of lower intensity. After working with a HIIT regimen, you will be able to increase the length of time of your efforts, thus raising your anaerobic threshold and in turn improving your athletic performance.

    Create Larger and More Abundant Mitochondria (Found in most cells, in which the biochemical processes of respiration and energy production occur)

    High-intensity interval training also enhances your mitochondrial profile. Mitochondria break down fats and carbohydrates in order for you to gain access to energy. The greater the capacity and larger the size of your mitochondria, the higher the speed you will be able to reach before hitting a point where anaerobic forces slow you down. Having larger and more numerous mitochondria also allow you to recover more quickly from intense, lactate-accumulating efforts. While longer, lower intensity exercises will initially build up mitochondria, you will eventually reach a stage where mitochondria no longer build in density.

    So how should you pace your high-intensity interval training efforts?

    Based on research we recommend between 20 seconds and 4 minutes worth of work with 10 seconds - 90 seconds rest.

    On a bike, this should be 120% or more of lactate threshold power output. Alternatively, you can choose to train at 92% or greater of your 5K race pace, or 75% to 93% of your average for a 100-split from a 400-meter swimming time trial.
    Whatever interval training method you choose, remember to set aside time for rest and recovery. If you cannot rest the following day, you should complete a workout no more challenging than an endurance ride or swim or light workout session.

    If you are looking for a High Intensity workout to try at home give our 12 minute HIIT session a go.