9 Worthwhile Practices To Become A Better Triathlete

Triathletes are people who usually achieve a lot and don’t like to settle for anything less than optimal performance, so giving up any one of the elements involved in a triathlon is not an option.

This text is discussing how a single-minded focus on training can often lead to a lack of balance in other areas of life. However, it is possible to streamline triathlon training in a way that allows athletes to reach their potential while still nurturing other life responsibilities.

The following six principles, if executed deliberately, will allow athletes to maximize performance gains in fewer hours. The next time you run into time-related issues, try these bits of advice.

1. Emphasize frequency and consistency over occasional big days

You should take advantage of the small windows of time in your schedule for working out, and not reject them just because they are less than an hour. Short workouts help you be consistent and are still beneficial even though they are not as long. You can still fit them into a busy schedule.

Think of your fitness like a savings account. The more you deposit, the more it will grow. Your body will not necessarily give you twice as much for a 60-minute run as it would for a 30-minute run, but it will give you something for running consistently.

If you are on a business trip and only have 45 minutes to spare at the hotel before meeting clients for dinner, don’t spend it lounging around watching TV. Get up and use that time to squeeze in a quick workout instead.

Shorter workouts are just as effective as longer ones in terms of improving fitness, and they are easier to recover from and fit into a busy schedule.

Many athletes try to finish a large amount of training all at once, usually on weekends, instead of spreading it out during the week.

Although having the occasional big day is important, it should not be the focus. The focus should be on having shorter, consistent workouts more often.

Your fitness will improve over time if you frequently exercise. You don’t need to exercise for hours at a time; instead, do it often.

2. Stop obsessing over volume and instead work on executing a balanced plan

Many triathletes train with the focus of maximizing the total number of hours each week. The result is often a haphazard training cycle with little deliberate focus on executing a balanced mix of high-benefit workouts that have specific purposes.

A successful training plan for a cyclist should include a mix of VO2 max, threshold, sweet spot, technique, and recovery sessions. The key is to focus on quality over quantity.

Make sure your workout plan has a variety of different types of sessions, including some that are high-intensity and key to endurance. These types of workouts are usually the most beneficial for improving your fitness.

Ensure that you have time available for these workouts that will not be interrupted by other commitments and try to go into them feeling mentally and physically rested by getting enough sleep and eating well beforehand.

Doing key workouts well will increase important fitness metrics, such as threshold and aerobic capacity, most effectively. These workouts also develop the mental toughness to keep going during racing.

3. Allocate intensity relative to your goals

If your goal is to perform well in a short amount of time, most of your training should be done in upper-intensity zones, which are above zone two.

This means that even though you won’t be spending as much time training overall, a greater percentage of that time will be spent at higher intensities.

Most triathletes, they should put more of their intensity towards the bike part. This is because it is less impactful on their tendons and joints, and it also requires less recovery time. So, it is possible to put more effort into it without being as injured.

Cycling requires more muscular power than running, which is influenced by tendon elasticity and economy. In many instances, muscular strength and power (not cardiorespiratory fitness) are what prevent triathletes from going faster on the bike.

A bike program with a focus on “sweet spot” workouts (zone three, just below threshold) and VO2 intervals (short intervals of 30 seconds to 5 minutes in zone five) will give you the best results.

If you want to be efficient and get faster in fewer hours, riding indoors on a trainer is essential as you can execute workouts at precise intensities without outdoor obstacles such as traffic, stop lights, or weather getting in the way.

Your run fitness benefits more from volume and frequency than intensity.

Triathletes who want to improve their running should focus on increasing their weekly mileage to more than 25 miles. Once they have built up the endurance to handle this amount of running, they can add in harder workouts like interval and tempo runs.

This means that the volume is increased to a reasonable level without also increasing the intensity.

You can run close to your potential using zone two work and strides. This is more productive than focusing on high-load run sessions, which can lead to injury and prevent you from completing key workouts for other disciplines.

4. Train progressively

Triathletes who follow a set training schedule week to week are engaging in what we like to call “lifestyle training.” The only real planning these athletes do is to sign up for races.

The only real change in their training is that they are doing more laps.

The bike and run training for triathletes mostly consists of logging miles. However, some triathletes will go to a track once a week for some specific workouts a few weeks before a race.

If you want to see consistent, long-term improvement in your training, it should evolve from week to week throughout the training cycle.

If you want to improve your fitness, you need to keep your body guessing by trying new things. This way, your body will get used to the need to adapt, instead of getting used to a specific workout routine.

You can’t just gradually increase your training. You need to sequence the different types of training so that your fitness improves step by step until you reach the peak state you want to achieve by the end of the training cycle.

The training can be divided into three sections: a base phase, a build phase, and a peak phase.

During the base phase, you should focus on building general endurance and improving your technique and economy. You can do this by practising technique drills and doing very short, very fast intervals.

The key workouts during the intensity phase should last 60-90 seconds to 3-5 minutes and be very strenuous to improve your body’s ability to get rid of lactic acid and your mental ability to cope with pain.

During the race phase, athletes should focus on race-specific efforts, such as long intervals (12-24 minutes) and challenging long workouts (including bike-run workouts).

5. Train intensively

The intensity of training is the most important variable in how your body adapts.

Within a well-crafted workout plan, every exercise will concentrate on one or two particular intensities. You will repeatedly work out at many different intensities throughout the entire training process.

Only a minority of age groupers actually train beneficially. A lot of triathletes wind up doing too much of their training at a hard-aerobic intensity level, which is not ideal for inexperienced triathletes.

This is the ideal intensity for the longer swims, rides, and runs you do during a race. Most of the “endurance” workouts you do earlier on in your training should be done at a slightly easier intensity to improve your body’s ability to burn fat.

Some workouts should be performed at a very low intensity so that your body can recover.

No more than 20% of your training during the intensity phase should be done at the anaerobic threshold or above.

Each of these high-intensity workouts should last a certain amount of time, with specific intervals and rest periods. This will provide your body with an appropriate level of challenge.

6. Work with technique

Triathlon is a game of efficiency and developing techniques to minimize the amount of energy used while swimming, cycling, and running. Most triathletes, however, do not focus on technique training and as a result, their energy usage is higher than it could be.

There are three main ways to improve technique -One way is to do short and fast intervals -You become more efficient at higher speeds but only when you’re not tired

High knees and bad kicks are effective drills for technique. Doing 3 sets of 30 seconds each once a week will improve your technique.

Spin out – pedal as fast as you can in your lowest gear – for 60 seconds, trying to not let your bike bounce in the saddle.

After your warm-up, do 200-400 yards of drills such as the catch-up drill and the count stroke drill.

One way to improve your technique is to focus on your form while you swim, bike, and run. If you have a coach or physical therapist observe you and give suggestions on how to improve, it will be easier to practice.

7. Don’t ignore your weaknesses

Many triathletes train the hardest in the discipline they are strongest in, and only half-heartedly in their weakest discipline. However, if the goal is to maximize improvement as a triathlete, this inclination needs to be defied for some time.

The best time to work on improving your weakest sport discipline is during the off-season. During this time, add in one or two extra workouts each week that focus on this discipline. At the same time, cut back on the number of workouts you do for the other two disciplines.

You will see a rapid improvement in your activity if you do well-structured workouts with your best effort and don’t neglect technique work.

8. Recover intelligently

One of the benefits of training with low volume is that it allows you to focus more on recovery.

The more intense your workouts are, the more important it becomes to take time to rest afterwards. Your body gets stronger when you’re resting, not when you’re working out.

If you attempted to do your best every day, it would be a recipe for disaster. Your endocrine system would go wrong, your mood would drop, and your performance would get worse.

There is a very thin line between being a high performer and burning out. Therefore, it is important to take your recovery seriously. Get enough sleep, eat well, and keep your easy days easy.

Many athletes try to push themselves too hard during their recovery sessions. It takes courage to back off the intensity when the plan calls for it, but this will help you do the challenging key sessions more effectively and make more progress.

9. Get enough recovery

Most triathletes train moderately hard every week except during race weeks. They “taper” during race weeks so they can be well-rested for competition. It’s better to regularly insert recovery weeks throughout the training process.

If you want to avoid fatigue during a long training program, you should plan your recovery periods. This will also help you gradually build toward a fitness peak. The more gradual the process, the higher the peak will be.


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