Open Water Swimming VS Pool SwimmingAre you getting lean for triathlon? You might be wondering why to lose weight at all for triathlon, especially if you perceive yourself to be fit and healthy, and you train most days. So why should you lose weight?

Would you like to make your triathlon easier?

Then you are not alone, and if you are training for your first triathlon, you have done a triathlon and found it difficult, or the bug has bitten you and you want to increase your triathlon distance, then you’ll want to follow these three steps to getting lean for triathlon.

Body composition is n essential factor affecting how well you do in your triathlon and how much you enjoy it. From comfort on the bike to power-to-weight ratio on the run, excess body fat hinders it all.

How does getting lean for triathlon make it easier?

Would you choose to swim, bike and run a set distance with a sandbag on your back, or would you rather not carry the extra weight? Well, even if you carry only a few kgs of excess body fat this is what can be described as non-functional mass for it does not assist you in life, and hinders your triathlon (especially up hill!) and health if you have too much of it.

Essential Fat

Now don’t get me wrong. Fat is essential and too lean is equally destructive to health. With approximately 4% body fat being essential for life, elite triathletes do well with around the 7% body fat mark (men) and 19% (women). However, everybody is different, but I can guarantee one thing – if you are a little bulgy at the belly, love handles, hips and butt, then your triathlon will be easier if you lose the excess fat.

How To Lose Body Fat?

Are there other ways to lose weight? What are the alternatives? Well, weight is either functional for sport, or not. The weight you want to lose is the non-functional weight. You may well see your body weight fluctuate if you weight yourself regularly. Here is what happens:

  • Hydration levels fluctuate – water and hydration is essential for performance by the way so keep hydrated for sport!
  • Menstrual cycle – women
  • Bowel movements – sure you can lose a bit of mass by going to the toilet before your event and this is a good idea.

Expensive Kit choices?

Many people love to spend money on the lightest kit, the fastest wheels, or the shiniest aero helmet. This is great if you can afford it, and personally I love spending my money on equipment for my hobby.

However, this is not the answer to making your triathlon easier. Consider a £1000 set of wheels may shave 40seconds off your triathlon if your average speed is high enough, but for the beginner triathlete this really is not the most effective way to make your triathlon easier. If you do carry excess fat mass then the most effective way to make your triathlon easier is to lose the fat mass.

3 ways to reach your ideal triathlon weight

I know what little time you probably have to read in depth about this topic so here are three ways to lose excess body fat. This is not an in-depth review, but 3 practical tips that will help you lose fat.

  • Get your body composition analysed, your circumferences measured and track any changes to these. Set an appropriate weight loss goal that is achievable and define success.
  • Nutrition for weight loss and health. Increase your unprocessed foods and decrease your processed foods. Eat nutrient dense and calorie sparse foods and try to include fat and protein at every meal.
  • Only eat carbohydrates at the right times – during and immediately after exercise, and stay away from the carbs during your sedentary day. You may find you do well only eating carbohydrates during sessions in excess of 1 hour duration.

What to do next:

If you would like to make your triathlon easier then take action today.

  1. Plan your nutrition
  2. Set your goals
  3. Implement your plan

Before you know it you will be so much more comfortable during your triathlon, especially going up hills. Everybody has weight fluctuations but by following these steps you will be in control of your weight for your sport. If you want further advice please do get in touch or, redeem your triathlon training guide.

I hope you found this post useful. Happy training, Nico.

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