The great thing about triathlon is that with three disciplines to cater for, there is always room for improvement. The trick is to be able to find ways to shave off sections and these 5 tips will help you to become more streamline in your race and during transition.
1. Include brick sessions into your training
A brick session is includes two disciplines and transition from one to the other in the middle of the workout as you would in a race. The most common brick workout is the bike to run transition, practicing the change of shoes and the difference in pace. It’s a great way to get used to the feeling, to build strength and to simulate how it will be on race day. You can also do brick sessions in the gym by hopping from bike to treadmill.
2. Practice open water swimming
There are lots of lakes and open air swimming pools that will help you get a sense of what the water will be like on the day. A benefit of getting in some open water practice will be to see what it’s like to swim in a wetsuit. Wetsuits will make you more buoyant in the water and so your stroke will feel slightly raised. It’s worth seeing what it’s like and getting used to the suit and the water temperature.
3. Attempt a longer distance tri
If you’ve already completed a shorter triathlon distance such as the sprint – it might be time to set your sights on something a little longer to give you an extra challenge. The olympic distance (1500m swim, 40km bike and finishing with a 10km run) will push you to go the extra mile and give you an incentive to work that little bit harder in your training.
4. Keep your transition area organised
There are lots of ways to shave off time by training hard before the event but there are also ways to keep time spent in transition to a minimum. It’s so easy in the throes of an event to get disorganised. Try simple tricks like applying baby oil to the cuffs, necks and ankles of the wetsuit so it slides off more easily after the swim; buy some elastic shoelaces for your trainers so they just pull on easily rather than having to tie them; attach your gels or any fuelling to your bike before the race along with a full bottle of water in your bike cage. Simple time saving techniques will make all the difference.
5. Explore your kit options
Triathlon does require a lot of kit which can be overwhelming but there are some items that will really assist your performance. If you’re not ready for aero bars and a teardrop helmet yet, consider a well fitting tri-suit and a good pair of sunglasses to take the glare off when you are racing on the bike and run courses. Lots of triathletes also wear a visor to keep the sun off their face and their hair from getting in their eyes too. The right kit can make you feel aerodynamic and also save you some time whilst you’re hopping from each discipline.