Many triathletes ask me the same questions about what they would like to achieve in the forthcoming season.  They are usually linked to the triathletes holy grail: How to achieve the 3 F’s – Get fitter, faster, and finner.

After years of self-experimentation I can now reveal the top ten tips I use to help me get:  finner

  1.  Ask, realistically what can I achieve?  There is no point in setting a goal to be 60kg when I currently top the scales at 80kg.  (That’s not what I weigh it’s just an example).
  2. At its simplest getting lean is about calories in v calories out.  Firstly I need to calculate how many calories I need per day to maintain my weight.  For me given my height, age and general activity it’s about 1200 calories.  We are all different.  A calorie deficit of 3000 calories means approximately 1kg decrease in body weight.  Reducing my weight by about 500g per week is realistic and sustainable which is a deficit of 1500 calories or 300 calories per day including lapses. Most of us have a heart rate monitor which will measure how many calories are used on a ride or run. This means including exercise I need to consume 300 calories less than use in order to reduce my weight by 500g per week.  That’s realistic.
  3. There is research which suggests that weight and resistance training builds muscle which burns more calories.  This means I will need to include some resistance training and intervals in each training week.
  4. Eating the right stuff is important since my body eats to live.  Fulfilling its requirements for minerals, vitamins etc. through fresh food means not trying to acquire it through processed food and pies. I probably need to eat a lot of pies to achieve the good stuff my body needs. Note to self – eat fewer pies.
  5. I have a plan written in my training diary. This will enable me to hit my racing weight by start of the season.
  6. Keep track: measure round your middle, on scales, and by looking in the mirror.
  7. I don’t worry when I lapse.  When this happens I will just start again.
  8. Make a public declaration of intent.  Tell everyone.  It’s surprising how many people will help. Hence this blog.
  9. Don’t overdo it.  Gradual seems to be the best policy, after all we increase our weight this way.
  10. To paraphrase an old saying: ‘read  everything with a pinch of salt’. If advice on diet, a supplement or technique seems too good to be true, then it probably is.  Reading this blog included, but preferably not with the salt…back to Qi Tri

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