Triathlon Training Tips
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran, the following triathlon training tips will help prepare you for race day.
Train on the Bike you Race.
Your bike does not need to be expensive, so long as it’s reliable. One thing it must be is the bike you will use on race day. Don’t spend months training on one bicycle, then upgrade to an unfamiliar bike for the race. Same can be said of training on your “training bike” and then racing on your “race bike”. Race on the bike you train with. You want familiarity when racing.
Invest in Good Shoes.
Depending on the triathlon you are racing, you may be on your feet from 5K to 42K. Spend the money on a good pair of shoes from a store that specializes in running. The expert employees will be able to fit your feet with the perfect shoe for your gait, foot shape and race ambitions. Run Wild Sports is one of our sponsors and Alamo 180 athletes receive 10% discount.
Train for the Water you will Race.
If the triathlon has an open water start, try practicing in a lake, rather than the pool. The closer you can mimic the conditions you will have at the race, the more prepared you will be on race day. During your training, focus on your swimming technique as this makes the largest difference in your results on race day. Make sure your breathing, kick, body position, and arm rotation are in the proper form. Poor form kills momentum in the water.
Train for Transitions.
By training for transitions, you can save precious minutes on race day. Time how long it takes to change from your wetsuit (if you plan to wear it in your race) to your cycling gear, then find ways to decrease this time such as stepping out of your wetsuit while fastening your helmet, or putting your feet in your cycling shoes while they are already strapped into your pedals. Make transition practice a regular event to ensure a smooth, seamless transition come race day.
Come race day, make sure you know where you racked your bike. You don’t want to come out of the water and into transition lost and confused because you cannot remember where you bike is.
Don’t Over Train.
It is easy to get swept up in the excitement of training for a triathlon, but don’t forget to plan days of rest in your training program. On race day, your adrenaline will help carry you onward – don’t risk injury for a few extra hours of training. Rest up and taper down – your body will love you for it.
Vary your Workout.
Just as your body will fail to progress if subjected to the same level of intensity at each workout, so will your mind become bored doing the same workout. Keep your motivation high by varying your workouts. If you typically train indoors, head outside for a trail run.
Lubricate Your Body.
You have no trouble gliding through the water without resistance. Such is not the case when it comes to your thighs against the bike seat. Lubricate all contact points on your body with any number of commercially available body glides. You can find these at any fitness or running store. Another great option is Vaseline. Perfect for placement on the thighs and even on your ankles to prevent blisters from your cycling and/or running shoes.
Fuel Your Body.
Energy gels and blocks are easy to carry in the pouch of a fuel belt and will keep your energy level high and your performance at its peak on race day. After 45 minutes to 1 hour of racing or training, you need to fuel your body with carbohydrates and electrolytes. Don’t wait until race day to try a new energy gel. Practice with different brands and flavors during practice to determine which works best for you.
Slow and Steady Start Wins the Race.
Many a racer has burned out midway through a race because they started out too quickly. Since the first leg of a triathlon is in the water, plan to train and swim at a steady pace that you can sustain for the entire swim portion. Stay relaxed and maintain proper breathing. Do not get caught up in the pace of faster swimmers. Let them go and focus on your form and pace. By not over-expending energy in the water, you will be refreshed for the cycle portion. You just might catch up to them on the bike portion!
Alamo 180 offers team and individual triathlon training services. We also offer swim sessions designed to improve your swim technique and make you more efficient in the water. If you are thinking about getting into triathlon racing this season, train with Alamo 180!
Article adapted from Beginner Triathlon Training