Three Training Hacks to Improve Your Triathlon Performance
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, preparing for a triathlon requires strategy. There is no way to cut corners in your training, but you can make the process a little easier. Here are three hacks to boost your race performance.
Utilize technology in training.
One of the surest ways to get faster is to utilize the incredible amount of fitness technology available to triathletes today, much of which has decreased dramatically in price. Power meters, swimming watches, sleep monitors, Wi-Fi–enabled body fat scales and an unending array of inexpensive phone apps help you monitor your training and maximize your results.
Perform plyometric exercises.
Avoided by many for years, strength training is now embraced by the majority of endurance athletes seeking to improve their performances on race day. One of the types of training with particular benefit is plyometrics, explosive-type exercises that have been shown to confer numerous benefits. These benefits include improved running economy, which translates into less energy expended after T2 and faster run splits. One to two sessions per week of exercises including box jumps and split lunges can make a world of difference and lead to an Olympic tri PR.
Add mental training.
Top athletes across all sports realize the power of the mind when it comes to performance. Many employ sports psychologists to give them that crucial added edge. You need not shell out $150 or more an hour to tap into your mental reserves. Instead you can spend 5–10 minutes several times a week practicing visualization exercises on your own.
Sit in a quiet place and close your eyes. Picture yourself having the perfect race. Picture yourself walking around the race start confident and healthy. See yourself calmly navigating through the chaotic swim without a hitch and picture your goal time on your watch as you exit the water. Visualize yourself on the bike, spinning effortlessly and holding you goal race pace, then feel the road under your shoes as you hammer the run and cross the line under your PR on the clock above.
Utilize as many senses as you can during these sessions: feel the water on your skin while your swim, hear the crowd cheering for you as you ride into T2, taste the gels as you run through the aid stations. The more senses you utilize, the more powerful the mental effects can be.