1. ‘Consistency to a purpose’

My personal motto. Waking up with a direction and purpose to work towards is the key to achieving a goal.

2. Rest is your friend

It’s very easy to get caught up in the “more is better” approach, but the body only becomes stronger, fitter and faster when allowed to recover adequately from the stress of training. Don’t be afraid to take a day easy or completely off when run down.

3. Specificity

It’s not a practical use of time to practice rock climbing when a triathlon involves swimming, cycling and running. The more you work at your sports, the better you become at them.

4. Run Forest, Run

When you’re time poor, running offers the best bang-for-your-buck for fitness and energy expenditure out of the three triathlon sports. So if you have to make a lunchtime decision to train, grab the runners.

5. Sleep!

It’s not rocket science, but a good sleep allows for the best recovery from training. I aim for at least eight hours a night. Miss sleep? Grab an extra nana nap on the weekend.

6. Lift

No need to go overboard, but a stable core and staple strength exercises create a great platform to swim, cycle and run efficiently and limit the chances of an injury occurring. This becomes more important as our body ages. Squatting, dead lifting and single leg exercises are all part of my weekly gym programs.

7. Consume plenty of vegetables

There’s a heap of products marketed as “better health”, but simple is often best. I juice carrot, celery, cucumber, ginger — and pineapple gives a bucketload of anti-oxidants, has an anti-inflammatory effect, and helps with positive hydration after exercise.

8. Train on water, race on carbs

When I have an easier session first thing in the morning, I don’t eat till afterwards. My goal is to teach my body to optimally utilise fats as fuel and not rely on sugars. But when it comes to hard sessions or racing, consuming fast, quality carbohydrates helps me go longer and faster.

9. Yes, sir. More caffeine please

Research confirms that caffeine before and during endurance exercise is beneficial to performance.

10. Train right, eat right

I need to race light but remain strong. To achieve this there are no shortcuts. I train constantly and eat a healthy, balanced diet with good variety and sensible portions. Biscuits are my weakness, but I figure when putting myself through that much training each day, I deserve a break … I just try to have it straight after training to utilise the extra calories for the body’s recovery.


Originally published on news.com.au as Courtney Atkinson’s 10 Top Tips to live like an Ironman


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