Endurance, strength and determination.
Most folks believe these are the three most important qualities of a successful triathlete. But it’s a mistake to assume that strength, determination and endurance is enough. Without proper preparation and training even the greatest determination won’t be enough.
Want to up your game and tackle a triathlon with the confidence and ability of a seasoned pro?
These 10 triathlon tips will elevate you above the competition. Of course, what triathlon guide would be complete without cutting-edge tricks and techniques? Continue reading and watch your performance rise to unknown heights.
What if you’re new to triathlon?
Well then you need to learn the ropes before fine-tuning your technique. Start with my Introduction to Triathlon for Beginners article. Its an excellent resource for those just beginning their triathlon training.
The Triathlon Training Period | Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
Whether you’re approaching your first triathlon or your 15th, your training technique is key. Remember the saying, “Practice makes perfect” – this is incorrect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
Tip #1 | Training is Not a Race
According to Scott Berlinger, of Full Throttle Endurance, training too hard for days on end does not make you faster and stronger. The opposite is true. Throughout training days, focus on endurance and technique.
Remember, this is not the race – so don’t treat it as one. Concentrate on small goals. Like fine-tuning your aerodynamics in swimming or finding the ideal stance for long-distance biking. Large success is the direct result of achieving smaller goals.
Tip #2 | Train Supportive Muscles
What’s the most common mistake newbie triathlete make? Focusing on general endurance training with little focus on supportive muscles. Focus on training your secondary, or stabilizing, muscles.
Want to ward off potential running or cycling injuries? The secret is a strong butt. A strong backside supports your pelvis and prevents common injuries. Stop working on your distance training and instead focus on developing strong supportive muscles.
Not sure where to begin? Book an appointment with a physical therapist to uncover the best exercises for you.
Tip #3 | Smarter Swimming Training
Tired of spending countless hours in the lap pool? Stop wasting time, and energy, by training hard. Instead, train smart.
Doing thousands of laps may seem like the best way to improve your swimming. But you’re wrong.
Without proper focus on swimming technique, your practice is in vain. Instead of killing yourself in the pool, narrow your training on mastering specific movements. Start slow and once you’ve completely mastered a movement, move onto the next.
Bad swimming technique kills your momentum. So stop thrashing about, slow down and focus on specific movements. Your body and ending triathlon time will thank you.
Mastering Transition Phases | Streamline Movements for Incredible Time
Your efficiency in transition phases can make or break your triathlon race. A clear sign of a newbie triathlete is their approach to these transition areas. This is not an area for rest. In fact, it’s here that the true triathletes are separated from the wannabes.
Tip #4 | Create an Autopilot for Transitions
Being slow in the transition area can destroy your overall time. You shouldn’t have to actively think during these moments. The most successful triathletes are those who perform their necessary transitions without much thought.
To achieve this? Throughout your training, set up mock transition areas.
Make a plan of exactly what you’re going to do. Then practice, practice, and you guessed it, practice some more. By the time you reach the real transition area, your body will move without much thought. Creating muscle memory with these movements shaves off a considerable amount of transition time. This can have a real impact on your finishing time.
Tip #5 | Minimalism is Key
The fewer tasks you must do in transition areas the better. Throughout your practice, focus on ways to reduce the number of necessary tasks. Part of this process also includes your pace during the transition. Strive to reduce the number of steps from the beginning to end of each transition.
Focus on lightening your physical load, as well. The less clutter you have to handle, the faster your transition.
Performance Enhancing Techniques | Tackle Each Stage With Professional Ease
Triathlons focus on three primary stages: swimming, cycling and running. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of tips and tricks for each stage. The following will boost your performance by maximizing techniques. Remember, the key to success is moving smarter, not harder.
Tip #6 | The Swim Leg
The gun goes off and you suddenly jump in a wave of fellow triathletes to start the swim race. This exciting moment can make or break your overall time.
The basic tip is to focus on keeping a controlled pace and an even stroke. To keep on track, lift your eyes out of the water (not your entire head) every five strokes. Never stop moving to check your direction. Treading water zaps your energy and regaining momentum is much harder than sustaining movement.
Try drafting behind a fellow triathlete. Their forward movement can help propel you, which saves you a lot of energy.
Tip #7 | The Cycle Leg
You might get a boost of energy and excitement after finishing the swim leg. But don’t let this false sense of endurance drain your real energy stores. Transition as fast as possible. Then jump on your bike and aim for an effort of 7 out of 10 on an intensity scale.
Use this part of the race to refuel on energy by eating and drinking. If your legs tighten during the bike leg, stand on the pedals to stretch your hamstrings and calves.
Never cruise on the left side of a track – always stay on the right. And, when passing a fellow athlete on the left, always yell “On your left!” The last thing you need is a collision.
Tip #8 | The Run Leg
At this point in the race, your legs are probably screaming for mercy. But now is not the time to rest.
Avoid burning your remaining energy by running with the mid-foot strike. This is when your feet land in the middle instead of on the heel. Over-striding wastes energy and is among the leading causes of injuries.
Never clench your hands and keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle. The most powerful tip is also the funnest: run like a ninja. Pretend you must run as swiftly, silently and efficiently as possible. Land softly and swiftly, springing your foot to the next stride. You’ll save energy and propel yourself with minimal effort.
Triathlon Nutrition | A Race is Won in the Kitchen
You may spend days, weeks or months physically training for a triathlon. Without proper nutrition you’re wasting your time. Many triathlon experts agree the outcome of a race is founded in your diet.
Tip #9 | Simplify Your Diet with Paleo
Want to clean up your diet? Adopt a paleo diet. Millions of athletes call upon the power of the Paleo Diet as it features the ideal nutrient profile. Its protein-rich and complex carbohydrates fuels energy and muscle development. Consider Paleo Diet for Athletes as an excellent resource for your dietary needs. This modified Paleo Diet was created to keep you fueled throughout training and race days.
Tip #10 | Macronutrient Saturation
A common misconception about triathlete nutrition is that a diet should mainly consist of fruits and veggies.
While important, these food sources do not satisfy the nutrient demands of your body. Your exact consumption of proteins, carbohydrates and fats vary based upon your body type and training demands.
Here’s a general rule of thumb.
During training phases you should consume 45-65 percent of calories from complex carbohydrate sources. 15-20 percent should come from lean protein sources and 20-35 percent from high-quality fats. Proper nutrition will aid recovery time and protect your entire body from illness and injury. Two elements that will completely destroying your triathlon goals.
Mastering Triathlons Requires More Than Following Tips
These tips can set you on the right track for success. But becoming a powerful and successful triathlete demands far more. Are you looking for a way to maximize your efforts by training smarter? Learn the secrets of efficient triathlon training and successful race days with the Free Triathlon Success Kit.