Exercise & Fitness

5 Kansas City Triathlon Tips

With the 6th annual Kansas City Triathlon quickly approaching, we caught up with professional triathlete Emma-Kate Lidbury to get some tips on how to prepare for race day.

I took part in my first triathlon almost 10 years ago when I was an out-of-shape newspaper journalist. And I honestly wondered whether I would complete the 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run. Not only did I make it to the finish line, I fell in love with the sport, and it changed my life forever.

That was back in summer 2005, and by fall 2008, I had resigned from my full-time job in the newsroom to follow my dream of becoming a professional triathlete. The next few years were not always easy, but by 2011, the fruits of my labor began to show, and I won my first three Ironman 70.3 titles. 70.3 refers to the total number of miles covered across the three disciplines in a race: 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run.

Last year, I left my native UK to move to Los Angeles where I now live and train. I’ve added another three 70.3 titles to my resume and continue to chase my dream of being a world champion.

I’m only too proud and thrilled to be working with Anthem Media Group and have seen firsthand how passionate, motivated and dedicated CEO Brian Weaver is to this sport. Brian and I are both coached by Matt Dixon of Purplepatch Fitness and have trained and raced together around the U.S. I can just about hold my own against him!

The Kansas City Triathlon — established by Sandy Cohen and later acquired by Brian — is fast becoming one of the most popular events in the region. Now in its sixth year, it offers both sprint and Olympic distance options.

The sprint distance course includes a 500-meter swim in Longview Lake, a 20-kilometer bike course along the scenic roads around Longview College and finishes with a 5-kilometer run through the trail system of Longview Lake.

The Olympic course consists of a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 40-kilometer bike and a 10-kilometer run through the same areas as the sprint course. There’s something for everyone, and if you haven’t already signed up, I urge you to do so!

With about one month to go until race day, here are my top five tips to ensure you have a fun, safe day at the Kansas City Triathlon:

1. Preparation

Continue with your training right up until race day, but be sure to taper down in the last five to seven days before the race. Essentially, this means you should train less and rest your body more so that you are fresh on race day. If, however, your training has been a little sparse, don’t panic! Now is not the time to try to gain sudden fitness. It just doesn’t work that way. Focus on what you have done and stick to what you know. Don’t try anything new on race day.

2. Kit and Equipment

There’s no denying that triathlon is a kit-heavy sport, what with your bike, wetsuit, helmet, run shoes, bike shoes, tri suit…the list goes on. There’s a lot to remember, so it’s often smart to have a checklist to ensure you don’t forget anything. Allow plenty of time to reach the race venue on race day and always allow extra time for parking, bathroom lines (they are always long pre-race) and the inevitable mishap. Smile – it’s all part of the race day fun!

3. Diet

Now is not the time to try to lose weight, but you should be mindful of what you eat and drink. Try to avoid processed foods wherever possible and eat a diet that is rich in fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meat and fish. Eat and drink well in the days leading up to the race and avoid heavy, spicy, fibrous or processed foods. Ensure you always eat some form of protein immediately after a workout and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and electrolytes (e.g. coconut water). Over time, triathlon training combined with sensible eating can make radical changes to body composition, but it isn’t something that can be done one month before a race.

4. Mind Games

A lot of what we achieve is down to what we BELIEVE we can achieve. If you believe you can do it, you will! Adopt a positive mental attitude before and during the race, and you’ll be amazed at how much it can help you.

5. R&R

I always like to rest and relax as much as possible before a race. The days preceding a race are not the time to rush around, catch up on errands and spend lots of time on your feet. Relax! Prepare your body and mind for the fun that awaits!

Don’t forget! The Kansas City Triathlon will take place May 18 at the scenic Longview Lake in Jackson County.  http://www.kansascitytriathlon.com

You can find out more about Emma-Kate via her website at www.eklidbury.co.uk and follow her on Twitter @eklidbury and AMG’s Yammer.