As Arab triathlon ambassador Omar Nour counts down to next week’s sell-out Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, he’s sharing valuable race week tips for all competitors.
The Egyptian is a huge advocate of exercising and healthy living. Having once tipped the scales at over 100kg he’s now one of the region’s most well-known triathletes and on March 15 will tackle the race for the second time.
“Eat a well-balanced diet and do not carb load before the event. Just follow your normal eating routine and the last thing you want to do is mess your body up and consume a lot of carbs the night before the race. Just make sure you’re getting enough vegetables, carbs and proteins daily and you should be fine. Also, hydration is key, and I would encourage all participants to drink a healthy dose of water and not wait until a few days before the race to hydrate properly,” shared Omar, who’s spent all three months of his winter training in the UAE capital.
The 34-year-old triathlon fanatic also believes that consistency is key and warns against trying new foods pre-event. “Breakfast on the day should be what you would usually have before a workout. My favourite breakfast and what I plan to have right before the race, is a bowl of oatmeal with berries and honey. Don’t overdo it or try anything new, especially closer to the race as you don’t want to experiment and shock your body by eating too many carbs or just eating too much.”
Omar places high importance on mental training during race week – keeping anxiety down to a minimum and trusting your training. “Relax and don’t stress out during race week. We all get butterflies, especially the night before which is completely normal so don’t let that paralyse you or affect your performance.”
And Omar says enjoying the race is paramount! “This is especially important for pros and amateurs on race day – live in the moment. What I mean is don’t worry and overwork yourself mentally thinking of what am I supposed to do next or what if my water supply finishes before I am done or what if I take too long in transitions. If you’ve taken too long in transition it’s not a problem, relax and just do your best without being too hard on yourself. Remember at the end of the day triathlon is all about having fun and enjoying your time doing it,” added Omar.
The Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has three course distances; the 223km ‘long course’ (3km swim, a 200km cycle and 20km run), the half-length ‘short’ course (1.5km swim, a 100km cycle and a 10 km run) and the sprint course (750m swim, a 50km bike and 5km run). Both the ‘short’ and the ‘sprint’ can be run as a team relay.
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