You’ve spent countless hours training for the big race. You’ve read blogs and magazines to up your game. What if you were to discover your training methods actually damage your progress? Unfortunately, there are far too many myths circulating as fact in the triathlon world. If you’re one of the millions seeking a better way to train, the best place to start is with your education.
The following 7 triathlon myths cover both pre-race training and race day techniques. Stop wasting time and effort on lies. Rather, continue reading to uncover the truth about triathlon racing.
Myth #1 | Really Expensive Gear is Mandatory
Sure, it’s easy to believe the only way to excel is with high-quality gear. At first glance, it makes sense. If your gear is advanced, then you’ll have a better race. Right? Wrong. While expensive, technology-advanced gear can boost performance, it won’t result in a win. The most important gear you have is your body. Ultimately, to increase your performance you must improve your overall fitness. This being considered, proper gear is essential. However, the best gear isn’t always the most expensive.
Not sure where to start? Check out our guide, 11 Must Haves: Essential Triathlon Gear for a no-nonsense gear guide.
Myth #2 | You Must Train for Years to Quality for a Triathlon
The word “triathlon” conjures many images. Snapshots of ripped muscles, determined faces and primed athletes fill the minds of triathlon hopefuls. The goal of a triathlon is to push your fitness, endurance and strength. However, this goal doesn’t require years of high-intensity training. Sure, you won’t want to do an Ironman if you’ve only trained for a couple of weeks after being out-of-shape for 10 years. Yet, this doesn’t mean you can’t race until you’ve trained for years. In fact, many newbie triathletes spend only three months of highly-focused training before their first race.
Myth #3 | To Truly Prepare You Must Run in a Marathon
This concept seems relatively straightforward. However, at a performance standpoint, this is the biggest myth; especially with newbies. The main issue is simple. The pace and experience of a standard marathon doesn’t prepare you for a triathlon experience. A standalone marathon doesn’t even come close a three-race triathlon. Remember, this sport is a combination of three distinct races. Each race requires a unique pace and technique. Training for a standalone marathon doesn’t establish healthy and proactive techniques. Most importantly, the training and recovery for a standalone marathon can disrupt your triathlon training.
Myth #4 | No Special Gear Is Needed for Swim Training
Of course, if your finances are tight, you can still effectively train without special gear. However, certain accessories make a real difference in technique development. Triathlon coaches generally suggest four products to enhance training efficiency. These include:
- Swimming Metronome – The steady pace of a metronome helps establish swimming rhythm and pace. Two qualities necessary to enhance your speed while maximizing energy expenditure.
- Bicycle Tube – Many swimmers tie their ankles together to learn how to swim without a runner’s kick.
- Tennis Balls – Holding tennis balls in your hand teaches you how to swim without relying on your hands. This teaches you to call upon your forearms for momentum.
- Small PVC Pipe – Passing the pipe from one hand to another as both hands are extended in front of you boosts your overall power and momentum.
Myth #5 | Power Meters and Fitness Trackers Are Required for Success
There’s no denying the value of power meters and fitness trackers. These items provide detailed data to paint an inclusive view of your progress. Eventually, these items should make your way into your gearbox. However, don’t believe you can’t succeed without them. Sure, information is great. However, don’t rely on such data to determine your progress. Keep moving forward and follow your training guide. Ultimately, this is the key to success.
Myth #6 | If You Strength Train, You Won’t Be Injured
The belief that strength training can keep you from injury is a a common myth. Triathletes get injured due to physical stress. While stronger muscles can prevent superficial injuries, it it no way is an overall prevention tool. To avoid injury, you must incorporate ample rest in training periods. You must listen to your body and focus on proper technique. Of course, strength training is essential to become a stronger and faster athlete. However, don’t believe the myth that it can prevent serious injury.
Myth #7 | Recovery is the Key to Success
In almost every blog, magazine or interview the topic of recovery is covered in great detail. Rightfully so. Recovery is an essential part of training. However, the belief it’s the key to success is overrated. Recovery is part of your overall training. While essential, the key to success is how you train. Recovery is a tool that enables your hard work to be effective. It supports consistency in training. Yet, it alone does not promote greater progress. Regard recovery as part of your overall training routine.
Uncover the Truth of Triathlons
With far more myths circulating as fact, newbie triathletes are easily led down the wrong path. Want to see if you have what it takes to be a triathlete? Test your knowledge and current skillset with our Free Quiz. A great read for newbies is our Introduction to Triathlon for Beginners. Here, you’ll learn evidence-based information to set you along the right path.