When you’ve been doing triathlon a while, you’ve done a few races, you know most of the folks in your regular club training sessions and you’re starting to try and beat PB’s.
Up to now, your training has simply been about doing enough miles to build your stamina to cope with the event you’re training for, but now you’ve reached the level where that’s not enough, and here’s where it all changes.
It’s quite likely you’ve experienced a race where things didn’t go your way and you’ve probably experienced some sort of injury that’s prevented you from training for a while, so this is a great time to share with you my top tips for building consistent blocks of training, without burnout or injury!
Critical Tip #1: The Training/Rest Balance
Many triathletes see rest as a waste of time and when working with coaches, will often sneak in a session when a rest day is scheduled. This is a HUGE mistake. Bodies are always looking for balance, and training intensity is no different. If your training makes you work at 95% effort, then your rest periods should be made up of doing absolutely nothing!
Once this balance is restored, you’ll feel fresher and train better than you would if you were consistently training hard.
The same can be said of lower intensity training, but your rest period would be shorter and probably a little more active. This is why lower intensity training works so well for endurance athletes. The smaller the stress stimulus, the less your body needs to recover from and the quicker you can train again!
The biggest mistake triathletes make with this though, is that they fail to recognise the intensity/impact of their jobs and family life on this balance!
Being busy at work, then coming home and chasing after the kids, then training hard is not something that can be done for a long time without problems!
Make sure you get your rest time to restore the balance and you’ll see huge improvements in your training!
Critical Tip #2: There’s no such thing as the “Pain Fairy”!
Many triathletes pick up niggly injuries through the course of their training, and the most common course of action seems to be to ignore it as the general belief is that this pain will magically “go away on its own”.
I hate to break it to you, but there’s no magic fairy that’ll come and wave a wand to take this pain away.
Pain is your body trying to tell you something and if you ignore it, your brain will just accept this pain level as normal and you won’t notice it as much. It won’t take the problem away, you just won’t be paying attention to it anymore. This is what drives the idea of “just train through the pain”.
You may get a week, a few months or even a year of no other trouble, but eventually, this small problem you were ignoring will develop into a much bigger problem that will stop you training.
To make sure you can continue to train, seek solutions to your pain when they are at a low level rather than waiting for worse!
Critical Tip #3: Strava won’t help you race well!
The popular app Strava is designed to boost performance by creating a league table of times to complete popular cycling routes (or sections of them). With accolades such as “Queen/King of the Hill” given to the fastest female/male to complete a hill section of a course.
While this may make training more fun and give you something to aim for, it can be quite damaging in terms of long term performance.
Too many intermediate triathletes fall into the trap of competing during every training session which creates far too much intensity over a long period of time, which leads to injury and/or burnout.
If you want to build consistent blocks of training to be at your best when it matters (i.e. race day), then consider the frequency that you compete like this during training.
Critical Tip #4: Mobility is the key!
While it’s not a sexy or exciting topic, mobility is the one thing you can do every day to improve your technique AND your performance without having to train harder!
To do any movement you need a body and if that body is struggling to move, it doesn’t matter what sporting requirements you add into the mix, you’ll end up with an injury at some point.
So, forget your drills to teach your body better movement patterns, and your strength & conditioning exercises to strengthen the restricted movement you already have. Focus your efforts on helping the joints to move better and you’ll find movement efficiency, performance improvements and strength that you didn’t know you had (then you can add the others back in if you want/need to)!
To find out how to improve multiple joint movements in just a few minutes – without having to spend hours on a foam roller, or even any extra time on mobility, go grab my FREE Super-12 Warm-up video at mostmotion.com.
You can easily fit the movements into your busy day, use it to take your little niggly pains away and improve your long term performance!
Simply use this as your warm-up instead of your regular one for each training session and you’ll be making improvements in no time!