Train better, improve your time and reach peak performance

When it comes to endurance, strength and stamina we know what we are talking about. Not only is Tanita a sponsor of IRONMAN, we’ve partnered with them to develop an exclusive range of products designed to help you train more effectively and obtain optimal fitness.

Monitoring your body composition as you prepare for a race and using the measurements to fine tune your training programme can make all the difference to your performance. But don’t just take our word for it. Over the years more and more IRONMAN athletes have moved from monitoring just their weight to integrating their body composition into their training programme to reach optimum fitness or recover from injury. Here's how this can help you too.

Find out what you’re made of

Your overall training objective will be to ensure an optimum muscle-to-body fat ratio in time for your event. But the body composition you need during training will be different to what you’ll need to have for the race itself.

The volume and intensity of your race training when you start will usually be at a lower level and gradually increase. This early phase is also when you might be more focused on weight loss. Sports scientists have calculated that for every 1% loss of body mass, primarily as excess body fat, there could be a 1% increase in running speed. You should be careful not to lose too much weight as this may decrease your lean muscle mass and focus on finding your optimum muscle-to-body fat ratio through regular monitoring.

Keep well fuelled and hydrated

  • Throughout your training, your diet needs to include enough carbohydrates and protein. Not getting sufficient of these can increase the risk of injury and heighten fatigue. Keeping track of your daily calorie intake (DCI) and Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) using a Tanita body composition monitor is the ideal way to stay in tune with your body’s changing nutritional needs.

  • As you add more miles and intensity to your training programme, you should be focused less on weight loss and more on your muscle-to-body-fat balance. Even if you’re not increasing your distance during training, your energy requirements are still high. This is a critical time and losing weight could actually impair your performance, especially if the weight loss is coming from muscle. Remember too that hydration is a significant factor in your pre-race status, so make sure you’re monitoring this.

  • As race day closes in, your focus should be on fuelling well, carefully monitoring your hydration levels and preparing for the competition. Afterwards, you should make sure you eat to refuel as soon as possible and kick-start your body’s natural recovery process.