Triathletes are good at training
Today I’m going to make a massive statement. Triathletes are good at training. If we agree that then todays blog is going to be about how to boost your tri fitness without doing any extra triathlon training. Below is a question we get asked a lot.
What should I do to SwimBikeRun faster?
One answer is that you can train - harder (more intensity), longer (more volume), more often (more frequently) or you can train the same but, by purchasing one of a wide range of gadgets, you will be able to train with more accuracy. Which it tern will mean that you are preparing smarter – assuming that you can understand the numbers that your new gadget it kicking out.
This is assuming that your form is perfect and that you have managed your own well being perfectly – which I’m sure you cannot. You may only being doing a small amount of our sessions right to achieve the gains that you are working for. This means that working on form could mean you have to train less!
Getting triathlete training wrong?
A triathlete wants to know exactly what zones they should train in so that he could maximise every minute of their preparation. It wasn’t enough for him to have a rough guide: they needed them to be absolutely precise. So their triathlon training became 100% accurate with exactly the right amount of time spent in each zone during every single run. Yet they still failed to make any marginal gains. Why did this happen with all the quality preparation that the triathlete had put in?
Poor sleep patterns lead to an inability to recover quickly. A weak nutrition strategy meant that they were not eating right and left valuable nutrition out of their planning. High stress lifestyle & poor time management meant that they ended up pushing hard while not training which resulted in stress peaks that limited recovery. Basically lifestyle was cancelling out their results and limiting their potential.
Believe it or not this is a common problem. So if these sounds like you, what can you do to improve your ability to be the best you can be? Here are 7 immediate changes you can make that will boost your tri fitness with NO EXTRA hard work.
Seven Triathlon training tips.
Simply Get more sleep
If you are training hard then 7-8 hours per night is really the minimum you need to promote good recovery. I know there are many examples of athletes who need much less but getting by is not the same as prospering. Start by going to bed 10 minutes earlier each night until you have reached 60 minutes earlier. If you can fit them in sneak in power naps – especially over the weekend when you can catch up on your rest and recovery.
Cut out processed food
Processed food increases GI stress when it’s being digested. Unprocessed food causes less stress and so you can recover quicker. Just write down what you eat in day and swap out the obvious culprits with fresh veg. The hardest part of everyday can be the lull post session in the afternoon when everyone else is having a biscuit, take some fruit or have nuts in your draw at work. Plan for this by having protein rich snacks that will fill you up of longer and ensure you can resist those dreaded sugar rushes and boost your fitness.
A poorly organised day can result in you rushing from pillar to post, sometimes just being better organised can reduce the stress immensely. Simply plan your day better can help you eat better and achieve your targets faster, meaning that you can eat and move about more often to aid digestion and recovery.
Reduce your sugar and caffeine intake
Busy (and stressed) people are often trying to artificially boost their energy (to compensate for other weak areas such as lack of sleep) by resorting to caffeine and sugar. Who can honestly say they haven’t done this in an afternoon to get through to home-time? Though do bear in mind that a small caffeine hit pre exercise can help you train hard, assuming that you are training right in the first place.
Take a break
There’s plenty of evidence to support the idea that actually taking a lunch break gives you a bit of breathing space and allows you to be more productive in the afternoon. As a triathlete you can use this time to go for a run or the gym or just a walk in the fresh air. Whatever you do, make time to get away from your desk!
Time your food
You’ll promote better recovery if you can time your food intake. I’m sure most triathletes know that they should be eating carbs and protein within 20-30 minutes of triathlon training but many fail to achieve this. For most the excuse is that they didn’t have time to prepare or there’s nowhere to buy anything. A pint of milk shake is a fine choice, takes no time to make and readily available - keep some protein powder in your gym bag at all times, throw in a couple of bits of fruit too. At the very least it will give you time to get your next meal ready.
Sitting for too long has lots of downsides. Force yourself to stand for at least 2-3 minutes every hour. Set an alarm on your watch, phone or PC. It’s easy to find some innovative ways to do this. Stand up for all phone calls, refill your tea cup or water glass, or go to the loo. While you are at it do something else useful. Stand on one leg to practice your balancing or better still stretch your hip flexors. Sitting for too long contributes to their tightness and that will have an adverse effect on your tri fitness
Hands up who is doing all 7 every day, well why not these are very easy marginal gains that you can build into your life to mean that you can be better at the things that you love doing. Tri racing and achieving PB’s come race season. After all you will spend £1,000 on carbon wheels when you know in your heart of hearts that you could drop 1kg and make the same gains. So why not build these very simple Triathlon training elements into your daily life to become a better triathlete.
Best of all they are all FREE so they cost you nothing apart from a little time which will mean that you are stronger come race day. What are you waiting for have you been sat down reading this? Have you learnt nothing!! Stand and read to improve your fitness …