“Sports nutrition is the quality point for triathlon”.
Yolanda Castillo, secretary of the TRIBIKE Cartagena club, tells us how they prepare to give their best in this demanding sport.
We talk to the TRIBIKE Cartagena triathlon team for women. This federated club is run and made up, for the most part, of women. TRIBIKE began its trajectory as a club in 2015, and already has more than 50 members.
1. How did the TRIBIKE club start?
The club was born from the concern of several of us, who, after practicing triathlon in different clubs, we found that most of them were male, with only 2 or 3 women in the female section. This made it difficult for us to keep up in training, for example in cycling, a sport in which you easily fall behind a male group.
Setting up a triathlon team made up mostly of women made it easier for us to train with other athletes of our level and, above all, to take part in the team competitions for women.
2. What led you to take up triathlon, a sport that involves the three sports disciplines of swimming, cycling and running?
Many of us were basic runners, many of us were trail runners, swimmers or gymnasts. Most of us did one sport in particular. Taking on all three disciplines of triathlon, apart from being more fun, is less damaging in the long run. Every training day is different. Triathlon is usually a personal challenge most of the time, as you often master two of the disciplines with less effort, and why not, you are encouraged to improve in the third one. The media boom of this sport in the last few years has also contributed to the fact that every year there are more and more sportswomen federated in it.
3. What is the most demanding aspect of triathlon for the more than 50 members of the TRIBIKE team?
Training in more or less equal conditions in the three disciplines involves a personal effort in terms of time and investment. It is a sport that requires a lot of dedication and equipment. The personal effort is rewarded by training together as a team, in what we call “get-togethers”, which, although there are so many members that it is difficult to fit us all in, is what gives us the motivation and strength to keep working hard to improve. Doing it as a team makes us stronger, in all senses of the word.
4. What is your usual training routine and how do you organise your training throughout the week?
Although each of us has a different training routine, we give a lot of importance to meeting at least twice a week, especially to do transitions (combining two sports is more enjoyable in company) of running and cycling, and also swimming and running, for example. Many of us have a trainer, and although we train for different goals at different times of the season, we have common objectives as a team, both at regional level, as well as this year we have tried to do at national level. This team unity has to be practised in training sessions together, you cannot improvise on the day of the competition.
As far as personal organisation is concerned, it is quite varied. There are times during the season when just training one sport a day is enough. Other seasons, you have to combine them, and double training sessions on the same day. There are so many factors that we prefer to be guided by good trainers who make the weekly organisation easier and more adapted to what we need, to avoid falling into overtraining.
5. What part or parts of the body suffer the most when doing triathlons? How do you look after them?
We can say that, in terms of muscles, triathlon is quite balanced. Although this does not mean that the knee joints suffer during the race, the back and shoulders during swimming and cycling… we cannot avoid visiting the physiotherapist from time to time. However, in my own experience, I see fewer injuries among us than when I was only running in running clubs.
6. Do you take care of your nutrition to perform at your best? How do you do it?
It is essential to eat a balanced diet, without ultra-processed foods and with nutritious food. Hydration is essential, in swimming you lose a lot of water, without forgetting the salts. Eating daily protein to avoid muscle fatigue, and eating nuts and dried fruit during training sessions (especially cycling and transitions), fast-assimilation carbohydrates, such as fruit and vegetables, the usual healthy food, with supplements when training sessions are more demanding and during competitions to avoid losing energy.
7. Do you also add sports supplements to your diet and what supplements does the team take?
We are very lucky to be able to use natural food supplements from MARNYS SPORTS to help us. This season the 7V Energy Shot and Metal Endurance have been with us in each and every one of the competitions we have competed in, with very good results. They are products with energy charge before and during the race. Easily digestible and absorbable.
After the demanding effort involved in competing, we have taken V-Balanced to take immediately afterwards, in order to recover both proteins and carbohydrates. Post-training for us is almost more important for recovery than what we eat before each training session, and we use recovery products such as COL Recovery, which is very much appreciated by all of us. On very intense days, we use Nigth Recovery, which has also helped us to fall asleep, thanks to its melatonin content, when we are already very tired.
8. What benefits do you get from sports supplementation?
Supplements provide us with an extra supply of nutrients to help us cope with our efforts, thus balancing the food we need without exceeding our calorie requirements. This is essential during a race, and Metal Endurance gives us energy with 10 ml and a pleasant lemon flavour.
Being able to cope with demanding training with, for example, the product PreFormance Nature, supplements the diet which has to be quite light to achieve a good performance.
Sports nutrition is the quality point for triathlon.
9. Do you think it is important that sports supplementation is natural, as it is the case with MARNYS® and MARNYS SPORTS®?
Very much so. We have all taken gels from other brands that have spoilt our competition because they were hard to swallow or caused diarrhoea. Knowing that the composition is natural gives us confidence in taking them.
10. Finally, if someone is interested in joining the TRIBIKE sports club, how can they contact you? Is the club exclusively for women, or are there men as well?
We are not a club exclusively for women, in fact we already have 7 men in our club! We are open to any athlete with enthusiasm and desire to practice this beautiful sport, improve and compete for this club.
The results as a club are important, but we have triathletes of different levels, and each and every one of us is important. We help each other, we teach each other, and we improve together. We have internal rules of wellbeing and friendliness, and beautiful equipment that suits everyone, men and women.