Judith Corachan Vaquera is a professional triathlete from Spain who has scored some stellar race results in both Ironman and Half-Ironman events over the past few years, along with numerous titles in triathlon events in her home nation and abroad. She is also a coach and trainer, and is known for her love of triathlon and dedication to helping others improve every aspect of their swimming, cycling, and running. As with so many others, the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic forced Judith to reevaluate her goals for last season, and she’s spent countless hours honing her training program and refocusing her mindset on some competitive success in 2021.
As she prepares for what will hopefully be a full calendar of racing this season, we asked Judith for a few words of wisdom about how beginner triathletes can start off their triathlon journeys on the right foot, as well as some insight into her favorite workouts.
1. Hire a coach. This may not be possible for all triathletes, especially those just getting into the sport. But if you’ve already developed a strong passion for triathlon and are confident that it’ll be a significant part of your life moving forward, then the best way to set yourself up for future success and attaining your personal fitness goals is to hire a reputable coach. This is because every athlete is different, and what works best for one athlete may not be right for another, depending on their athletic background, individual goals, nutritional needs, available training time, and other factors. Having an experienced coach will ensure that you can start training in the most efficient manner possible from the very beginning of your journey, as well as start immediately enjoying the process by going about your training the right way. If you’re unable to hire a coach due to cost or other factors, make an investment in researching training plans that will work well for your body and goals. Tap into whatever resources you can, such as your local triathlon club, local bike shop, and various information that’s readily available online.
2. Set some short-term goals that are easy to achieve. Triathlon is hard, and that’s why we love it. It’s the most unique sport in the world, and it often demands so much from our bodies, our mental focus, and our time. But it always gives back much more than it demands, and that’s why it’s so rewarding. For those just starting out in triathlon, make sure to set some goals—this will give you something on which to focus your training efforts. But make sure those goals are realistic. Keep them simple and attainable. Doing so will make sure that you can meet your challenges and stay motivated to continue reaching towards increasingly challenging goals. Too often, new triathletes set lofty expectations for themselves and become discouraged when they’re not able to complete a long triathlon right away, or they’re not able to compete alongside others in their age group. Again, triathlon requires time, as well as patience, focus, and determination. So pick a reasonable goal such as completing a short triathlon, and then build on that by setting a new goal of achieving a faster finishing time. Remember, triathlon is an endurance sport—and that’s not only true for the competition itself, but also for the training, the preparation, and everything you’ll put into it.
3. Be mindful of your nutrition. When it comes to any athletic endeavor—and especially in one as demanding as triathlon—your dietary and nutritional health is just as important as your training. Always consult with your doctor before starting any new workout regimen or nutrition plan. Then make sure you educate yourself on the benefits of eating healthy and properly fueling your body as you integrate workouts into your daily routine. Remember, everyone’s body is different, and everyone’s nutritional needs can vary based on myriad factors. There are countless nutritional products designed for athletes on the market, so you’ll need to spend some time determining what is best for your body and dietary needs. If you don’t fuel your body properly, then you won’t ever get an effective workout. In this regard, triathlon is so much more than just a sport—it’s a lifestyle, one that can elevate your overall health and happiness, and one that can be very transformative for both body and mind.
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