19 Top Triathlon Tips For A Happy Endurance

At times, to make it as a triathlete, you have to bend the guidelines.

It’s clear that we sometimes forget the most basic facts when training and competing in triathlons; we are doing it because it is something we decided to do.

No matter why or how it started, taking up a triathlon was a conscious decision you made. Nobody is forcing you to do any triathlon training or compete. You could terminate the entire triathlon event if you wish at this moment.

You most likely had an upbeat attitude when you began competing in triathlons and the experience may have been both advantageous and a source of motivation. This has become the norm – repeating day after day in the same manner.

Swim, bike, run, repeat. Lift weights, stretch, repeat. Eat carbs, eat protein, drink water, repeat. Apply IB Relief cream to the shoulder area of ice, heat pack the lower back, and then repeat the process.

Wake up early each day, get through your strenuous exercise program, head off to work, begin to tire out at 7:30 in the evening, and keep going; and don’t forget to do additional things on the weekends.

You may be suffering from a severe case of the triathlon doldrums if you have any of the following signs

  • Your blood pressure spikes when someone in the gym starts using a piece of equipment you were headed over to use.
  • Your whole day is ruined because someone asks if they can share your swim lane at the pool.
  • You start praying for severe storms or tornadoes to supply a justifiable reason for missing your planned biking session.
  • You have repeated dreams about eating greasy hamburgers and DQ Blizzards.
  • You daydream about new hobbies such as bird watching, scrapbooking or stamp collecting.

It’s time to give yourself a break from your rigorous triathlon regime and make the experience more enjoyable.

You might have to discard one of the unquestioned principles of triathlon training, which is that preparing for a triathlon is a scientific enterprise.

Triathlon Training Is Not A Science

It has been established that, hidden away in Arizona, lies the International Triathlon Science Center. Here, researchers are busy conducting experiments, evaluating the effects of varied compounds, and constructing detailed strategies to help athletes reach higher levels of fitness and success in triathlons.

Who in their right mind would overlook the proven and unquestioned guidelines of the three sciences these intellectuals educated at MIT created? The gurus say triathlon training is a science. The three deities in the sky are watching and ready to punish you if you don’t follow through with the plan.

There’s More Than One Way

At this point, you have likely realized that following a set triathlon training schedule and timeline does not always fit with actual situations that come up. Here’s what often happens to a triathlon training calendar or schedule:

  • Saturday is supposed to be a 2-hour run, but you’re trashed because you were up all Friday night with sick kids.
  • Monday is supposed to be a light day with a 15-minute recovery swim, but you feel like you could keep going for another 30 minutes or more and you’d be fine.
  • Wednesday, a 50-mile bike ride is scheduled, but 20 miles into it that chest congestion flares up again and turns into a nasty cough.
  • Sunday was meant to be a run day, but Saturday night a friend calls to invite you to join his triathlon club for a bike ride.

When these events occur, the triathlete is overwhelmed with tension and worry because they have a strategy in place.

The Truth About Training Plans

It is factual that in some cases, even the originators or proponents of plans have not and do not adhere to the schemes themselves.

Sometimes a training plan can lead to significant problems.

When a triathlete attempts to do too much, they are more likely to be prone to injury or become mentally/physically exhausted. A triathlete is apt to disregard the signals their body gives off if they constantly stick to an established plan.

When the first signs of an injury appear on an automated triathlete, the plan can still continue until the injury progresses more severely.

Enthusiasm and excitement impel them as they take part in the sport, motivated by new aspirations and aims; however, they then become bondage to the triathlon, rigidly executing the regime like robots to placate the triathlon gods.

They wander with anguish and nervousness and are constantly at risk of exhaustion and harm – all for the cause of science.

Training Is More Of An Art Than  A Science

Perhaps it is high time to liberate yourself from the strict plan and start considering the training for triathlon competitions as a creative practice more than a methodical discipline. Here’s how to experiment with a more creative and freer approach in your training:

1. Listen to your feelings

Take your feelings about the triathlon sport into account when thinking of your success in the future. Few people are likely to stay committed to a strenuous activity like a triathlon when feeling consistently anxious and unhappy due to it.

“Going through the motions” is not a solution that will resolve this. It is widely understood that triathlon requires a great deal of physical and mental strength; it is not a sport meant for those with a feeble spirit. Regular experiences of apprehension, worry or dullness are indications that something needs to be modified.

2. Personalize your plan

There is no one-size-fits-all triathlon training plan.

A formula found in a book or on the web won’t account for the many distinguishing characteristics that make you a special triathlete.

Your talents and limitations, chronological age, current fitness capacity, individual characteristics, daily routine and financial resources, and any particular wellness requirements or circumstances. All of these play a part in creating a triathlon training program that is tailored to you.

As a starting point, ask yourself this question:

What are the key aspects that make me stand out as a triathlete, and how do they affect my triathlon training routine?

Many triathletes form a collaboration with a triathlon coach to design a more tailored training plan. A competent triathlon trainer will assist you in constructing a plan tailored to your particular requirements and objectives.

3. Prioritize your training sessions

If you would like to have more independence when it comes to your strategy for triathlon training, calculate your weekly distance or mileage aims in each endurance field and what your power and stretching necessities are.


Design two sessions during each week that require maximal effort and focus to accomplish the planned objectives. Examples of a breakthrough session might be:

  • a long run, swim or ride
  • a threshold-type high-intensity training session
  • a “brick” session where you are combining 2 of the disciplines together — a swim/bike or a bike/run.

Finish off your total or mileage for the week at a low- to moderate-level paced rate in any way you prefer.

4. Incorporate “wellness rewards” into your weekly training.

A non-training aspect that is meant to improve your satisfaction and capability as a triathlete is called a wellness reward.

We don’t tend to maintain the same rigorous adherence to these matters as we do to our workout regimens. Come up with your own wellness prizes, and make sure to include one each week.

Some wellness reward examples would be:

  • Getting a massage
  • Sleeping in
  • A dessert splurge
  • A coffeehouse visit for java and to read an inspiring book.

Swim Happy

Taking certain steps before getting in the pool can help ensure an enjoyable swimming experience.

1. To prevent leakage, take good care of your wetsuit to ensure a comfortable swim by avoiding any scratches or tears from fingernails. When putting on your suit, use thin fabric or latex gloves to prevent damage to the neoprene material.

2. Add an old, unused pair of socks to your travel bag. It will be effortless to slide your feet into the wetsuit due to these shoes, and they’ll even keep your feet warm up until you jump into the water at the start of a cold morning event.

3. Guy Crawford, a professional triathlete who works for wetsuit producer Blueseventy, emphasizes the significance of correctly putting on your suit.

It is essential to make sure to pull the sleeves up to your shoulders; if they are not at that height, the neoprene can bunch up underneath your arms, thus causing more drag while swimming.

4. A helpful suggestion: Do a proper warm-up before the start of the race to avoid gasping for air when you take the plunge into cold water. It is advisable to adapt to the cool water before the beginning rush, as stated by Mary Beth Ellis, an Ironman champion who has experienced swimming in 59-degree waters at the renowned Alpe d’Huez Triathlon, when temperatures are especially low.

Get in and swim to warm up. If swimming before an event is not possible, it could be beneficial to buy elastic bands to use as a warm-up on land.

5. Don’t stress out too much about your lap times, especially when it comes to the swim, since the route of it can vary greatly. If you take 10 minutes longer to finish the Ironman swim than expected and feel disappointed, that feeling will stay with you throughout the day.

Let your swim be the foundation of your race, and don’t worry about how long it takes. Build the remaining parts of your race from there.

Bike Happy

The importance of having the right equipment is particularly significant for the cycling component of a triathlon.

6. Acquire the fundamental knowledge of bike repair to steering clear of the pressure of not having the skills to assist yourself if something happens during a competition. At a minimum, a triathlete should be able to rapidly switch out a flat tire and do slight derailleur adjustments with assurance. Find out how to do something in your local bike shop or search for it on YouTube.

7. Suggestion: Joanna Lawn, a seven-time winner in Ironman New Zealand’s hard terrain, usually prepares quick repairs of self-induced punctures after long bike rides – this is a mental and physical practice for any emergencies that may occur during competition.

8. Be sure to book a preparation session before your key race, and make sure your tires are in perfect condition.

9. A contented cyclist brings contentment, and including several important pieces of equipment will ensure a more pleasurable biking experience. Pick a race kit that has both nice aesthetics and is comfortable to wear– be sure to observe any seams in the padding area that could irritate your skin.

It is essential to experiment with different saddles to determine which model is best for you, as an ill-fitting one can impede your enthusiasm for biking as well as affect your anatomy adversely. Try out some different types of saddles while you take a long ride. And don’t forget to use chamois cream for extra comfort on your ‘saddle area’.

10. Get yourself a bike plus all the important gear and extras, as well as make sure to get a professional bicycle fitting to make sure everything is properly adjusted. Retul.com created the definitive guide to proper bicycle fitting and a qualified Retul technician can provide assistance in finding the perfect mixture of comfort, energy, and aerodynamic rider positioning.

Run Happy

It is important to wear the right kind of shoes and have healthy feet when running; however, to finish the race successfully, it is essential to maintain good form and a strong mentality.

11. Lots of sports players–from professionals to those competing in age groups–attach pictures of people they care about on the front end of their bikes or make notes of powerful names, expressions, or words of motivation on the backs of their hands or arms.

12. Most triathletes need to be careful not to push themselves too hard when competing in any race other than one Olympic distance, as going all-out would be an excessive expenditure of energy. Concentrate on the speed you can maintain, rather than worrying about what the other competitors are doing. Remember to eat and drink to keep up your energy and electrolyte levels during the race.

13. Runners’ toes are notoriously nasty. Have a go at making our DIY footbath (check out the instructions here) and make sure you cut your toenails routinely. It is not advised to get a pedicure near the time of a race as even a small cut can be troublesome during the game.

14. FORM IS IMPORTANT: Your arms are more important to your running performance than you might expect.

At a bilingual RaceQuest Tri Camp in Costa Rica, Ironman champion and coach Michael Lovato insisted to athletes that they should concentrate on running with their arms. He stated that they should “put everything into their arms” and reminded people to focus on driving their elbows back and using the fast cadence of their arms to propel their legs.

15. No matter how tired you are, put on a happy face. Achievement while on the go can be as plain as grinning. Try to trick yourself into feeling good by putting on a happy face.

This will not only make your body visibly perk up, but the support from the audience in the form of encouragement will also assist you in faking your way back to feeling satisfied.

16. One useful suggestion: It is impossible to completely keep away from difficult times, particularly in the final stretch of the run.

Julie Dibens, an Ironman champion, suggests counting as a distraction from the discomfort you may be feeling during tough times. This simple exercise can help you to focus on something basic instead. Stick with repeating sequences of numbers from one to ten, rather than more difficult counting systems, if circumstances seem particularly bad.

Recover Happy

Recuperation is more than just putting on compression boots and eating or drinking something quickly in thirty minutes. The psychological aspect of post-race activities can be just as vital as it is during the race.

17. Allow yourself a day of grief after a disappointing race event, but then make sure to pick yourself back up and look ahead.

18. Michellie Jones, the Ironman world champion and Olympic silver medalist, suggests to the athletes she mentors that they set up a different event right after a significant race ends. Knowing that there is a future starting point in the distant future can be highly beneficial in combating post-race depression, which can still exist even after a great race.

19. Be sure to reward your efforts, too. Fried potatoes, frozen dessert or a pair of chilled beers are appropriate treats after a race.


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