Triathlon for Beginners

Different people have different ways of losing weight – while some go for diet pills others opt for certain restrictions in the diet. But, running is perhaps one of the safest ways to get those extra pounds off your body. And if you want to pursue running as a professional does, nothing works for you as well as triathlon running does.

Most starters obviously have the drawback of not having any prior training but all professionals would tell you that they have had to go through rigorous training to ensure perfection in the sport.

Apart from some primary training, starters also need to see to it that some basic aspects are taken care of including the proper fit of the running shoes, avoiding running on concrete or any extra-hard surface (running on concrete or asphalt increases the chances and actual occurrences of injuries), creating a warm up session comprising five minutes of walking and stretching (this ensures proper flow of blood to the muscles which, again means injuries will occur less) etc. But that is not all. An amateur runner also needs to formulate a correct cool- down routine so that the body gets ample time to recover after heavy workout.

For everyone who has now got interested in triathlons, here is a quick take on what triathlon events are all about. While participating in a triathlon event you will have to do three things at one go- swim, cycle and also run. There are certain standard distances measured at triathlons- Enticer: where you need to swim 250 meters, run 2.5 kilometers and cycle for another 10 kilometers; Sprint: Where you need to swim 500 meters, run 5 kilometers and cycle for 10 kilometers.

Apart from this, you will have a tougher time with Olympic, Half- Ironman and Ironman events where you need to do all three activities, each for a longer distance. From this you can get a clear picture of what you need to do before being a part of such an event.

Most professionals are of the opinion that swimming is actually the hardest part in an entire triathlon event. And it is in this aspect that people from cycling and running backgrounds have a drawback. But the good news for starters is that if you are technically sound in swimming after the initial fifteen minutes the challenge will seem to be a lesser burden.

During the training period a beginner needs to perform really well in the sphere of swimming, which means if he is supposed to appear for a 500 meter race, in the training session he has to perform with the intensity of a 1000 meter competition. Cycling is comparatively easy for everyone but in this case, too, beginners need to gear up right from the start of the training session.

Running is quite difficult for most people in a triathlon event because it comes at the end, after you have swum and cycled for long. You tend to have a feeling that your legs are giving away and the best way to ensure that you stay ahead is to create a style of your own and follow certain techniques.

Use of Compression Clothing by Runners

The use of compression clothing such as stretchable shorts and vests has been in vogue for some time now and is preferred by many athletes. Even sports enthusiasts, today invest in compression clothing but it must be noted that different people have different reasons for use of compression clothing. For example, one athlete may be concerned about saving himself from unnecessary injury while another may be more worried about his style quotient.

Whatever the reasons are, compression clothing serves all kinds of athletes. Early studies in this regard suggested that compression clothing actually has the power to help athletes avoid problems and conditions like venous thrombosis. This problem was taken care by compression clothing due to its property of channelizing the blood flow to the lower part of the body.

In the past few years, several studies have been conducted to find out how compression clothing can influence the final performance of an athlete and it has been found that in various sports, the use of compression clothing has enhanced performance levels. Though optimization of output has little to do with compression clothing directly, runners have been observed to resist tiredness more effectively while wearing compression clothing.

More recent studies have strived to find out how compression clothing affects the output of sprinters and it has been discovered that such clothing facilitates easier hip angle changes and enhances hip movement which results in more frequency of strides. The overall positive change resulting from wearing compression clothing is that the runners perform more effectively when the clothing keeps the body firm.

Apart from the advantages mentioned above, other researches have also proved the fact that athletes can actually recover faster wearing compression clothing. Elastic clothing also helps in greater lactate removal at any given point of time. In a certain study, a few untrained women were asked to wear a compression sleeve while undergoing strength training.

After the session it was inferred that women who wore compression clothing had suffered lesser swelling (caused due to the strain of the workout) compared to those who had not. Wearing compression clothing athletes, in general, suffer least muscle damage which means that they are rendered less susceptible to injuries.

Compression clothing also decreases oxygen costs by a considerable amount. Moreover, athletes using compression clothing are seen to perform better during exercise sessions since this type of clothing reduces the effect of humidity on their bodies.

Any kind of rigorous training exerts immense strain on athletes and each one is seen to respond differently to fatigue and injuries while each has his/her characteristic energy reserve. However strenuous a certain sport is, the area of focus should always be to restore the original metabolic balance to an athlete and see to it that the process of recovery begins as soon as the period of workout is over.

In such cases, compression clothing seems to be the most practical alternative of easy recovery after strenuous training or performance. It must be mentioned though, that recovery is accelerated only when compression clothing is combined with a different recovery method.

Training for runners

For an athlete to perform to the best of his abilities, it is essential that a couple of areas are concentrated upon – firstly, a cent percent fitness level and secondly, training that taps and brings out the hidden potential of the athlete.

Many runners are often known to lose out in a race despite being at their healthiest best. So what might be the reason behind this? The most probable explanation to this phenomenon could be that these runners do not have the advantage of good and planned training that can turn the probability of winning into reality.

As a rule it is known in sporting circles that without acceleration, a sportsman stands the minimum chances of winning. In most sports, acceleration is regarded to be an aspect that one needs to fall back on, so that a peak performance can be achieved under any circumstances.

There are various training methods to achieve perfection in this aspect. Most runners make the mistake of treating the top speed as a problem area. While deciding upon suitable training methods, it is important to formulate a plan which will help the athlete attain top speed and quick acceleration before the competition does. Attaining top speed before the rest of the competitors is definitely an area that demands attention and any trainer should make sure that this aspect is the centre of focus while training.

It was always the case that greater acceleration demanded a greater number of foot- ground contacts. In fact, the more the number is, the more are the chances of winning for any athlete. But in a recent study it has been shown that perfection in acceleration is actually achieved by faster foot ground contacts and not really the number of times they occur.

Different trainers have different ways of handling this aspect though. While some are of the opinion that the back should be moved in a certain way allowing the runner to fulfill his acceleration requirements, some others advocate that the entire body should be used equally to achieve top speed.

Frank Cardia’s 12 Commandments of Sales

There are only three ways to sell more. Do more right. Do less wrong. Or, do both. Every successful software salesperson knows that there are many skills and attitudes that contribute to their success, but there are twelve critical attributes that the sales super stars have integrated into their overall sales strategy. The following are in no particular order, but if you want long-term consistent success you will embrace and incorporate each of them into your routine sales attitudes and behaviors.

1. Make a sale, you’ll make a living. Sell a relationship and you can make a fortune: Poor salespeople focus on just closing the sale. Successful salespeople focus on closing the sale and the relationship. Which is your approach?

For many salespeople, the close of the sale, typically comes at the end of the sales presentation. It represents for many, the final act in the sales process. It is unfortunate that these poorly informed or trained salespeople, lack adequate understanding of the role of selling in today’s competitive world.

Selling is not about only closing the current prospect on a particular product or service that solves one of their pressing problems, needs or desires. It is about building a trusting relationship and partnership with them, by becoming a resource, and helping them solve their on-going problems, or satisfying their continuing and evolving needs and desires. Super stars know that the lifetime value of a client is far more than the value of one sale or transaction. They take along view of the relationship. It is not just about this sale but future sales, referrals and customer trust and loyalty.

2. People buy when they are ready to buy not when you need to sell: One of the critical concepts that sales super stars know is that their role is to help people buy and that just because they may be behind in their sales quota is not a reason why a prospect should buy from them now.

You don’t change people’s buying habits or circumstances. What you can do is accurately discover them and then attempt to create a sense of urgency. A lot of buying is done due to momentum. It is important to discover those ‘real’ reasons or circumstances as to why a prospect would buy now, later, not at all or never. Once you have discovered their real issues the sales super star tailors their appeal to those specific needs, desires and buying circumstances.

3. When you sell price you rent the business. When you sell value you own it: Most poorly trained salespeople tend to lower the price when they receive price resistance. Any price, no matter how low, will always seem high to a prospect or customer if their perceived value is low. The key to effectively handling price resistance is to understand this simple, yet profound, concept.

Prospects and customers say they want low price, but what they really want is low cost. What is the difference? Price is what customers pay for your product or service now. Cost is what the customer pays by buying late, not at all or wrong. It is their overall cost over an extended period of time. In most cases we get what we pay for. Buy cheap and you get less value or higher cost. Buy expensive and you get higher value or lower cost over time. This is not always true but tends to be true most of the time. The sales super stars sell value and don’t defend price. In the long run, it is much easier to justify high price if the value is there, than poor quality and constant product/service problems.

4. Your prospect will tell you what you need to tell them to sell them: Accurate and timely information is the key to success in selling. One of the biggest mistakes poor salespeople make is that they give information before they get information. In other words they talk too much. If you practice this approach, you are going to make one or all of the following mistakes. 1) You will give too much information (more than is necessary to make the sale). 2) You will give the wrong information (based on the prospect’s needs, wants, desires or problems). 3. You will give information that could sabotage your success either in the short or long term.

The sales super stars understand that their job is not to sell their software or services but to help the prospect become comfortable with buying their products or services and giving themselves permission to buy now. Information is power and successful salespeople are masters at uncovering needs, problems, prejudices, concerns and desires in a timely and truthful way.

5. If two people want to do business together they won’t let the details get in the way. If two people don’t want to do business together they will let any detail will get in the way: Some people actually know that when they are making a commitment to you to buy that they have no intention of following through. Why? Maybe they are just subtly telling you that they are not really a prospect for you. Maybe they have an inflated view of their authority or power within their own organization. And maybe, they just lie a lot. Who knows. If two people want to do business together they won’t let any details get in the way. If a prospect doesn’t want to do business with you they will let even the slightest detail get in the way. We are talking here about intent. Sales super stars know how to identify the prospect’s real intent or their purpose. They are not easily misled and tend to probe deeper when they feel they are not getting the real truth from the prospect or customer.

6. They need to work as hard to keep the business as they did to get it in the first place: Many salespeople make lots of promises or benefit statements while trying to sell a new prospect. Most people like to buy, but resist being sold to. A key concept to keep in mind while selling is that the close of the sale is not the end of the sales process, but the beginning of the sales relationship.

The purpose of the sales process is to discover how you can help a customer or prospect with a need, problem, desire or challenge, and then position your product or service in such a way that the customer discovers in his mind the value necessary in order to justify a purchase. Once the sale has been closed and the prospect accepts your promises, commitments or features as ones that will benefit him, he or she now moves into a sort of limbo mode. They wait patiently to see if you meant all of that sales stuff or were just trying to get another deal. They observe and monitor your behaviors, actions, follow-through and communication consistency. Most don’t do this consciously but nonetheless they are doing it.

After-sales service is the key to keeping sales closed and keeping customers satisfied and buying again. It can often be a subtle test to see if you can really deliver. One of the keys is to promise a lot and deliver more. In other words, exceed customer expectations – wow them with service. Poor salespeople continuously promise a lot and deliver less, or promise a little and deliver next to nothing. Sales super stars know that to ensure repeat business, customer loyalty, positive references and qualified referrals that their after sales service must be one of their strengths.

7. To sell more every year, they get better every year: Over the years, one common denominator I have observed in sales super stars is their willingness to invest in the continued improvement of their skills, attitudes and philosophy.

Life is an interesting relationship between paying the price and winning the prize. Between self-investment and rewards. Between investing time in personal development and your ultimate success. It is never too late to begin an aggressive on-going self development program. There are hundreds of books to read, audio CD’s to listen to and seminars to attend. Sales stars don’t wait for their organization to invest in them and their future value. They take full responsibility for the quality of their life and learning. They are pro-active in seeking out learning opportunities. They use professional coaches, have mentors and belong to mastermind groups. They are constantly taking advantage of networking opportunities looking for all types of people who can help them improve. They create strategic alliance relationships that are mutually beneficial.

8. They manage their time and territory effectively: Each of us gets 24 hours to do with what we will. Some salespeople wish they had more while others wish time would pass a lot quicker. Some salespeople act like they have an unlimited time bank available to them and that their prospects or clients will see them whenever the salesperson would like. The sales super stars understand the importance of using every available selling minute to its full advantage.

Before you can improve your use of time to sell you need to get a handle on how you are spending your time and how you are abusing it. Most of us tend to waste the time we do in the same old ways, day after day, year after year. For one week carry a stop watch and start it when in the presence of a prospect or customer to sell only and then stop it when you leave. After the sales visit don’t reset the clock but keep a running accumulative total of time spent selling in one week. You can do this with every sales activity for example; how much time you spend on the telephone prospecting for new business, travel time, doing paperwork, in meetings, how much time you spend doing research or solving client problems.

With this simple exercise you will get a fairly accurate picture of where you need time and territory management improvement. Yon can’t change or fix what you don’t know is wrong. So before you launch into some sophisticated time management program remember, you can not manage time. It passes with or without you.

9. The close of the sale begins when the prospect agrees to see them: People don’t like to make decisions. The main reason is they don’t want to make a poor or wrong decision. Traditional sales closing methods asks people to make a decision. For example. Do you want it in green or red? (Alternative choice) Do you want to use your pen or mine? (Action close) Can we write up an order now? (Direct close) Each of these closing techniques, even though they do work, have two fundamental problems. 1) They ask the prospect to make a decision. 2) The average salesperson is uncomfortable using them.

Few salespeople have a closing strategy a process that they follow with each and every real sales opportunity. They tend to ask a few questions, jump into the presentation too soon, try and overcome a couple of the prospect’s sales objections and then prematurely go for the close – usually unsuccessfully. The sales super star knows the outcome long before they get to the end of this routine process and they do it by ensuring that; they have a well qualified prospect, they know the prospect’s dominant buying motives, they have identified all of their potential objections before they are even expressed, they have carefully observed the various buying signals from the prospect and they have given an effective and interactive presentation. They know long before they ask their closing question what the answer will be. How? By being effective at people reading skills, by asking intelligent, effective and appropriate probing qualifying questions, by being good listeners and by asking a variety of trial closing questions throughout the sales process. They don’t try an force a fit. They discover the prospects sense of urgency or they create it.

They are in the prospect’s presence to sell not educate. They are there to do business. From their opening remark to their final closing statement their attitude is I am here to sell. This does not mean that they are applying pressure or hard-selling. It means they are serious about helping the prospect solve their problems or take advantage of opportunities.

10. They never give up control of the sales process: A common mistake poor salespeople make is that they lose control of the sales process at some point. There are many ways they accomplish this and here are just a few for your consideration:

They quote price before they have had a chance to build value.

They don’t ask enough questions early in the sales process. They just ramble on.

They send out literature when asked, without first qualifying the prospect’s agenda or reasons for requesting it.

They send people to their website without first getting some basic qualifying information and having a follow-up strategy after the prospect has perused their site.

They don’t get advance deposits on services or products.

They leave ‘will calls’ when calling a prospect.

Control of the sales process is one of the key strategies of the sales super star. They understand that control is not manipulation, but is in the ultimate best interests of the prospect or client. When the salesperson controls the sales process they are never broad-sided with a lost sale they thought was in the bag.

11. They never project their buying prejudices into the sales process: The objection that you will tend to have the most difficulty answering successfully is that objection that is the most consistent with your own value system.

If you are a price buyer and your prospect objects to price you will tend to accept their objection. If you are the type of buyer who tends to think decisions over before making a purchase and your prospect says to you, “We need to think this over.” Again, you will tend to go along with their objection as rational or making perfect sense (because that is the way you buy.)

This simple act of accepting sales objections that resonate with you because you can relate to them is nothing more than projecting your personal attitudes, opinions, judgments or biases into the sales process. When you project your personal beliefs into the sales process you are assuming that everyone who buys, buys the way you like to buy and often for the same reasons. You are also tending to assume that when they don’t buy for a reason that is similar to one of yours that it makes perfect sense to you.

The sales super star leaves their personal biases, prejudices and opinions at home.

12. They never lose their passion: Passion is the great equalizer. It can make up for a lack of experience and knowledge. I am not suggesting that you not develop your knowledge or experience – only that until you do, your passion will be interpreted by others as a strong belief in yourself, your mission and your purpose.

Passion is different from enthusiasm. The old outworn cliché says “Act enthusiastic and you will become enthusiastic.” I have never subscribed to this philosophy. The reason is that if enthusiasm is an act which you use when things are going well, how do you behave when your life is falling apart? Are you just as enthusiastic about failure, more problems than you deserve and any number of disappointments, frustrations and adversities?

Passion is not an act. It is a way of believing. It is woven into your cellular structure just as much as your DNA. Passion – real passion for who you are, what you are selling, who you are becoming and what you believe in. It shouts to the world: “I am here to stay, I am here to make a difference, I will leave my mark in this world. It may take me my entire life, but I will not give up until my purpose and destiny are realized.”

Are you in love with where you are, where you are going, who you are becoming and what you are selling? Or, are you living like more than 85% of the population with the attitude, “Same Stuff, Different Day?” If you have lost or are losing your passion for your career do whatever is necessary to get it back.

Now get out there and sell something.

Frank Cardia

How to Generate Sales Referrals

Generating sales referrals and repeat business is necessary to expand your business and ensure the success of sales professionals. At times, the importance of sales referrals is often overlooked or not emphasized enough. This can be the difference between top producers and over performers versus under performers and those who comes close to attaining their goals.

It is important to acknowledge and recognize your clients regularly especially those that gives you the most business. These clients can be referred to as your ‘gold clients’ and should be given attention and treated with care (all clients are important).

If customers are satisfied with your products and services then they will tell you. They will also tell others they know since people have a natural tendency and impulse t spread good experiences. Also, by asking or referrals these clients will be more than happy to provide you with referrals because they would feel comfortable doing it.

Many sales professionals are simply afraid to ask for sales referrals for whatever reason they could justify. To overcome this fear think of the referral process as having no less importance than asking for the order.

If you are not in direct sales then you may consider using customer surveys to find out what did correctly to satisfy the customer and repeat such performance in future prospecting. You should strive to equal or surpass the level of service which will result in more referrals. When asking for referrals you should have a sense o balance and use your discretion.

Finally, it is recommended that you show appreciation for referrals given to you by existing customers. Let your referral know who referred them to you and get as much information from your customer about the person being referred before actually speaking with them.

This networking will make new referrals less likely to bail out and they might stay with you for a long period of time. In addition you may send a handwritten thank you note to the customer that gave the referral.

By utilizing these techniques you will be able to generate a lot more sales referrals.

Now get out there today and get some referrals!!!

Frank Cardia

Frank Cardia’s Tips Before Your First Triathlon

BEFORE YOUR FIRST TRIATHLON

  • When training for your swim, make sure you go a little farther then your needed distance. You will definitely have confidence then. Swimming can be scary – especially if one can’t touch or see the ground.
  • Remember, you can resort to your ‘easy’ swim stroke if need be such as the side or the breast stroke.
  • Do some open-water training if possible. At least 1-2 times prior to racing. Open water swimming will be more challenging. Just make sure you have somebody looking out for you if you get into trouble.
  • Like the swim, do a few bike or runs over the distance needed. Confidence again. Try racing a duathlon (even though it is a lesser challenge…I know I know…haha!!!) OR race a 5 or 10K run.
  • Make sure to do a few ‘brick’ workouts several weeks before your first tri. These will help you immensely for the bike to run (T2) transition.
  • Try to get familiarized with the course. If you can, obtain a map of the course days beforehand. Optimally, train on the different parts of the course before the event. Don’t do all the events on the same day, but separately. If you can’t train on the course before the tri, then at least drive and walk most of it. Just being familiar with the course will rid you of a lot of butterflies.
  • Either at home or at the course, try to mentally visualize your set-up at the transition areas and how your sequence of doing things in each transition area. This is key or you will blunder through the transitions losing unnecessary minutes. Write your transition steps down on paper will help you.
  • Don’t train hard the last two weeks before the race. It’s too late for improvement. Get plenty of sleep several nights before. (You should always be doing this though)
  • Do not change your diet before your first triathlon. Keep things exactly the way they were during training. Some people ask me if they should carbo-load a few days before. NO! Eat like you always do. Do not try to pull a change-up to your system. You are doing a Sprint or Olympic distance triathlon. You should have plenty of energy reserves so long as you haven’t been starving yourself. When you move up to Half or Full Ironman, then you might consider a pre-race diet.
  • Check out the USAT rule book. Very detailed, probably a lot won’t pertain to the beginner BUT has some good ideas. Probably would be a good idea to get a rule book for your particular triathlon (if not a USAT sanctioned event)
  • Above all, REMEMBER: If it is not broke, do not try to fix it.

HAVE FUN !!!!!!!!!

Frank Cardia

Competitive Running Training

It is a known fact, especially in today’s world, that while most run for fun, some do not. The sport of running is their profession and at every stage, they try to excel and be better than their competitors. While the level of personal fitness counts to a great extent, the value of sport specific training cannot be undermined.

In fact, it is proper training that gives a competitive runner a special edge over others performing at the same game. Now that the area of competitive running has gained more significance than before, training is taking off from the traditional kind to the more practical and unconventional kind, because trainers now understand the importance of giving each athlete something in terms of training that will serve to heighten the level of performance during an actual event.

But conjecturing about the best ways to train an athlete will not help in any way. Such a course of training needs to be formulated that serve to improve overall fitness initially, consequently giving rise to greater potential to perform in any given athlete.

If observed properly, most runners are seen to be doing the wrong kind of training altogether. What is required to propel the body to achieve the best results during a real event is to train body parts in such a way, that they move to their fullest potential.

Thus during training replicating body movements suited for an actual performance is absolutely necessary. It is also to be noted that training can bring out the best from an athlete only when the program is created matching his specific needs. Most athletes are seen to be misguided by what they hear from colleagues or read in health magazines.

Creating a sole yardstick for everyone will not help as every individual has a different set of requirements. While most runners take to gymming at the very first instance, experts of the day are of the opinion that the former should focus on specific body part training initially and when perfection is achieved over this aspect they can proceed towards strength training.

An important thing that athletes do not consider to be so important is finding out what kind of training suits their respective body types the most. As a result, a majority of runners tend to fall back on common exercises to maintain fitness levels.

But in the process of following a common set of exercises, athletes lose more than they gain. For example, most runners think that squat exercises are perfect to gain knee-extension power. On the contrary, such common exercises are absolutely low on perfection where runners are concerned as the way they work their quadriceps muscles is much different from how non-runners use theirs.

In other words, an athlete running during an event suffers more strain than a common man going about his daily chores! The key to a great level of fitness and great performance is the utilization of all parts of the body required to run, in tandem with one another.

Frank Cardia does his 3rd Ironman Triathlon

The morning started at about 5 am. You’re just sitting around waiting and waiting and waiting for what seems like hours. I finally got down to the race site at 6 am to get my last minute things together. Make sure all my bike and run stuff was all situated and that I had everything I would need for the day ahead of me. It’s all there so I head to the beach.

Its now about 6:55 am and 2,200 people are just standing on the beach in wet suits staring at each other and the ocean. It’s a pretty amazing sight to see this many people laser focused on the journey they are about to set out on. At exactly 7 am, the gun goes off and 2200 people jump into the ocean like maniacs. As big as the ocean is, there seems like there isn’t any room at all to move. People are kicking and pushing and an occasional shot to the face is not uncommon. The swim is 2.4 miles– and let me tell you, it ain’t easy. But 1 hr and 26 minutes later I successfully make it out of the ocean. On to the bike.

The bike ride is 112 miles and it is nearly 80 degrees down there. So I don’t have to tell you, but that is pretty hot. The bike took me 6 hrs and 17 minutes, which was 10 minutes faster then last year for me. And for just about the whole time your on that bike your leaning forward on the aero bars, basically resting your weight on your forearms. Completely stretching out your back and your stomach is almost always tight as it could possibly be. And if your wondering if is it uncomfortable, let me clear that up – Yes, it is!

Onto the run. Now running a marathon ( 26.2 miles ) by itself is a feat. But to have to do that after swimming in an ocean for nearly 1.5 hrs then biking for nearly 6.5 hrs. you’re talking 8 hrs of pushing yourself to the max and now a comes a run. That really sucks. I did the marathon part of the Ironman last year in 5 hrs and 32 minutes so I was very focused this year on crushing that time. Long story short, I did the marathon in 4 hrs and 54 minutes and my total time for the day was 12 hrs and 55 minutes, crushing last years time of 13 hrs and 48 minutes. And yes, I will be in pain for the next few days, but its worth it..

Its not about the actual race of Ironman. It’s about being the person you need to be in order to do something like this. It’s about being so committed towards a goal that nothing can stop you.

Well, I live to race another day

Frank Cardia’s Schedule To Recovering From Ironman

Week One: As the initial days pass, you actually feel better. You are psyched about your Ironman finish and excited about the future. Maybe you even signed up for next year’s race. Whatever is on your mind, chances are — exercise isn’t. And that’s a good thing. Your biggest workout right now should be some quality walking with one or two very short swims.

Weeks Two and Three: This is the Honeymoon Phase, where you feel good enough to work out, but really shouldn’t. If you actually push yourself here, you’ll find that after 45 minutes to an hour, you simply run out of power. Your heart rate will drop and no amount of food or coffee will revive you. Exercise in this period should be no longer than an hour and should be done at a very light intensity. Overdoing it here can really set you back later in your year. Extended swims and light cycling should compose the majority of your program.

Week Four and Beyond: This is the Transition Phase. If you have been recovering well and have felt good enough to include some consistent aerobic activity, then you could be ready to transition back to your regular training. A key test to see if you have made the transition is a 90 to 120-minute ride with some intensity/intervals. If you are able to hold a solid effort/wattage on multiple intervals, and you are able to recover the next day with no minimal aftereffects, then you are back. Some lighter running can also be included at this time.

Managing your recovery post-Ironman is almost as critical as preparing for the event itself. Be sure to take the time and savor what you have accomplished…the pool and the roads will still be there when you are ready to make your comeback!

Be smart and don’t try to come back to soon !!!!!

Live to Race another day,

Frank Cardia

Nutrition for runners

In the field of athletics, nutrition holds a very important place and any athlete would need to ensure that he or she consumes proper nutritious food that could naturally enhance or optimize his or her performance.

This being a fact, it has been observed that several athletes, especially runners, are seen to depend more on food that are not of much help in enhancing or optimizing their performance. So, the question is what can be and is the finest nutrition for runners? Many people who belong to the world of athletics do not have a good understanding about the right and balanced diet and they end up popping so-called health pills one after the other.

This lack of understanding has more of an adverse effect on performance. Thus, what a runner requires to do is to gain pertinent knowledge about the right food and dietary habits that can actually make him perform better and excel at his or her sport.

Now that the question of a suitable diet is doing the rounds in everybody’s mind, irrespective of whether the person is an athlete or not, this obviously means that the former, being a constituent of the world of sports, should pay a much greater attention. A number of experts are of the opinion that an energy diet is the most appropriate that an athlete can make the most of.

In other words this kind of a diet is also known as a performance-enhancing diet or an egrogenic diet. The US Department of Agriculture’s food pyramid suggests that there are five basic types of food namely, fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and foods rich in protein that make an egrogenic diet. In addition to these food items, if one consumes sugars and fats, extra calories pile up resulting in weight gain.

Extra fats are unnecessary for athletes and can actually lead to disastrous performances. Deriving calories from a number of foods ensure that the body fulfills its want for micronutrients that consist of vitamins and minerals and macronutrients involving carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

If athletes introduce a lot of carbohydrates into their diet, it will help their muscles to absorb and store more energy which results in good overall performance. But an important note here would be to consume at least 75% of the calories through carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, cereals, grains and fruits. Different carbohydrates have differing ways to affect a runner’s energy levels which is why only those foods should be chosen in the carbohydrate segment which have a high glycemic index.

Such foods accelerate the flow of energy into the bloodstream and can help a runner regain their original energy levels after workout. Fats, when included in the diet of athletes involved in low-intensity sports, can work wonders. Such nutrients are however not the perfect solution for athletes engaged in activities of high intensity. Fats consumed should be only in the unsaturated form like fish oils. Proteins also form an important part of a runner’s diet as more than 5% of the energy required during workout come from proteins.

A runner’s diet should include at least 0.4 pounds of chicken per pound of body weight. The best protein sources are fish and chicken. Apart from the above mentioned nutrients, vitamins and minerals also play a major role. Most runners must include supplements of iron and calcium to increase their Basal Metabolic Rate.

An important aspect to be noted here is that, all nutrients fail to perform if the body does not get its quota of water. A minimum amount of thirst suggests that the body is dehydrated, as a result of which the levels of performance get diminished.