Many athletes, no matter their sport, will always have the burdening worry of ‘what will make my performance better?’. With Triathlon being three sports rolled into one, it can be doubly difficult to find an exact way in which to further improve upon your performance.
Read these 7 top tips on improving your performance and achieving new PB’s:
1. Create good training habits
Having good habits will encourage consistency. Consistency outweighs everything else when it comes to improvement. Create habits that are easy to maintain (particularly if they’re ingrained into your ‘normal’ lifestyle) and stick to them. You’ll be able to reap the rewards of good habits on race day. Good habits include maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and looking after your mental wellbeing.
Things like training with friends, joining a local club and integrating your training into your normal life (i.e. cycling or running to/from work) all help make your training process much more enjoyable and your goals more achievable
2. Be realistic with your time
As with the above, being realistic about the time you have available for training is imperative. Whilst we’d all like to be able to train as often as possible, sometimes it’s hard to be realistic when it comes to making a training schedule. Most of us will overestimate the amount of time we have available to train and so being realistic about how much time you have in a day is ideal. Telling yourself you’ll train more than what is actually feasible, will only lead to anger, frustration and disappointment. From the go ahead, make sure you plan around what time you have in a day and go from there. Remember to fit your training around your life and not your life around your training. Schedule consistency is key
3. Structure your training effectively
After you’ve devised a realistic training schedule, it’s time to think about the structure of said schedule. It’s important to have a think as to what your sessions are going to include, the intensity of them and the timing of them. A lot of athletes follow the ‘80/20’ rule, meaning that during any one week, no less than 80% of their training is lower intensity, aerobic work. And then no more than 20% of the training is higher intensity, higher tempo workouts. Doing this makes sure that you end up spending adequate time stressing your cardiovascular system, for long-term, general fitness adaptations that are essential, no matter what distance you’re racing. But, it also gives a boundary to the amount of heavily fatiguing, high intensity workouts that you perform. This means that when it comes to your more intense workouts, you’re able to give it your all. You should aim to mix up your training and not just focus on swimming, running and cycling type exercises. Try and aim to get in a good amount of strength and conditioning workouts where possible, to help you build up stamina and strength.
4. Get a bike fit
No matter how expensive, flashy or great your bike is, having it fitted correctly is an absolute must. You need a good fitting bike to ensure you’re comfortable, able to perform effectively and – most importantly – not in a position that could cause injury. Having a properly fitted bike can also potentially give you free speed, so it’s always worth making sure it’s done.
5. Work on your transitions
Especially in regard to shorter distance events, being effective and efficient in transition is a sure-fire way to knocking a few seconds (and possibly minutes in some cases) off your personal best times. From knowing your way around the transition areas to finding your bike quickly, and not faffing around with anything you don’t need to be. All of these little things can add to the difference in achieving your personal best or not.
6. Wear the right kit
As with the point above, wearing the right kit for your event has a huge number of benefits. Tri clothing is designed to keep you comfortable and is designed with each discipline in mind, meaning that you don’t need to waste time in transition swapping your kit over. Good triwear is designed with different elements to help aid you in your swim, bike and run. Zone3 triwear has been designed with materials to help you cope with the demands of each discipline, with fabrics that allow free motion, ventilation and muscle support. Zone3 triwear is more appropriate than normal sportswear, as their materials allow for sweat wicking and are more aerodynamic (this is due to a tighter fit). There are many different options for triwear, but Zone3 triwear ensures a comfortable swim, bike and run and also ensures no transition time wasting.
7. Learn how to pace
All athletes will experience a moment in their event where they find themselves starting to under-perform. This is mostly due to overexertion too early on in the race. Not pacing yourself properly can have quite a negative impact on your overall performance, with you having slow yourself down in order to catch up with yourself. Mastering the art of fine pacing is difficult, as it’s mostly down to trial and error. Take the time to recognise what points of the race you find yourself feeling overexerted.
Written by Zone3 Ambassador Simon George
Edited by Catharyne Walton-Matthews