Unived Athlete & triathlete Nihal Baig is currently training for the Ironman World Championship 70.3 happening this September in Nice, France. We caught up with him back in April after he had qualified for the World Championship. Here is your opportunity to get an insight on Nihal’s triathlete journey and how he is preparing for the World Championship.
Unived: When did your journey as a triathlete start and why?
Nihal: I was part of the Institute Athletics team in my college. Being involved in sports for 5 years, I was fascinated about doing a triathlon. When I graduated I picked up cycling, initially for leisure riding and commuting. Later I heard about the Half Iron triathlon from one of my seniors. That’s when I started to learn swim and began my journey into triathlon. I did my first triathlon in Hyderabad Triathlon 2017 (Half Iron distance)
Unived: Do you have a coach or are you self trained?
Nihal: I have self training myself throughout my journey into triathlons. I prefer it that way, gives me a better control over the things and it also helps for me to understand the sport better
Unived: How do you manage to fit your training into your schedule?
Nihal: So my office timings are from 2pm-10:30pm. I get ample time in the morning to do all my workouts on weekdays. On weekends, I usually do long workouts- Saturday morning/evening and Sunday morning
Unived: What was your first thought when you found out that you had qualified for the Ironman 70.3 championships?
Nihal: I was so delighted and I couldn’t believe for few hours that I had really qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. I mean this was always there at the back of the mind that I need to qualify for it but the moment you realize that you did it makes you feel amazing. And it’s not just to cherish the moment but also to work harder and perform your best at the Championship. Having enough time for the competition I’m working towards my weaknesses and will build up on my strengths.
Unived: From your first triathlon to Ironman 70.3 Colombo, what training, equipment, and nutrition changes have you made?
Nihal: I did the first triathlon just for sake of completing it in a decent time. But later after that I had really worked my swim technique and focused bike training. Run was always my strength, so I only had to build on it. Just 2 months before IM 70.3 Colombo, I made several changes: Nutrition wise I started using Unived products (mainly the RRUNN gels, hydration mix and recovery mix) to suffice my during and post workout needs; Equipment wise I got a bike trainer for Indoor power-based training and I also moved from road bike to Triathlon bike to get more aero.
Unived: When is the Ironman 70.3 championship?
Nihal: Ironman 70.3 Championship is on 7th-8th September in Nice, France. 7th for Women and 8th for Men.
Unived: How do you plan to structure your training and nutrition as you prepare for the championship?
Nihal: Since I have about 5 months before the competition, I would focus on strength and base build up for next 3 months, before the start peaking for the race. In the initial 4 weeks of the base period I will work on some techniques for Swim & Run. And on bike I’ll work towards getting my power higher.
For nutrition I’ll stick to Unived products (Gels, Hydration and Recovery mix) as it is working well for me. In addition as I am focusing on strength training as well I will taking Unived Pea Protein Isolate.
Unived: Which Unived products will be essential in your training leading up the championship?
Nihal: Unived RRUNN Hydration mix, RRUNN Endurance gel and RRUNN Salt Tabs during the workouts. RRUNN Recovery mix and Unived Pea Protein Isolate for overall recovery.
Unived: Which is your favourite Unived product and why?
Nihal: RRUNN Recovery Mix [a new formulation of our recovery mix will be out by end of August]. I do lots of back to back intense workout and my body needs to recover well before my next workout, so I rely on recovery mix for faster muscle repair and building.
Unived: Any goal in mind for the Championship?
Nihal: No goal times in mind at this point. I need to see how much better I get in next 3 months and then decide on a goal time. Currently my focus is just to improve as much as I can so that I can go there and compete with world’s best age groupers and give my all in.
[We will be launching our new endurance fuel products this month, please stay tuned].