Triathlon Season Starting

As we get more hours of sunlight and the weather seems brighter it can only mean one thing – Triathlon season is upon us.
The dark winter months are over and being able to dip your toes into the cool fresh waters of outdoor swimming can begin!
If you have been working hard over those last few months building the winter machine, then kudos to you – if you are a mere mortal like most of us then this is when reality kicks in and we need to get out there and train.

My advice is don’t go at it like a ten tonne truck. Take your time and quality over quantity is key. Yes, you may not have run 10K since pre-Christmas but by going out and trying to do 3 in a week is not the most sensible plan.

More and more evidence is showing us that quality strength and conditioning training is vital for endurance-based events. The results can be overwhelming with the need for less junk miles and more time spent lifting, pulling, pushing and hinging in order to get us over the finish line.

So where to start? The gym. Dummy.

If you are not a gym bunny then starting with a body weight workout is perfect for gauging how much you can lift.
As a general workout see if you can complete 1 round of 10 press ups, dips, squats and lunges.
If you’re happy then basic lifts like squats, deadlifts and lunges are your bread and butter for where to go next.
But we mustn’t forget the other body parts that we require to swim-bike-and run to the end of the race. The common pattern I see where people are deconditioned is with their glute muscles. So bridges and single leg bridges will help you out here, and as they are in the ‘’body weight’’ section start with these and you can progress them with weights if you feel you already know what you’re doing.

For the people out there who already have their gym routine nailed and feeling good about the upcoming season – great!
Try mixing up your training, after all if you keep to the same routine you should only expect the same results.
Running is a single leg activity, so add single leg work to your routine – calf raises on one leg, single leg hamstring deadlifts and single leg squats are a fantastic ways of keeping you strong and balanced.

It should be noted that if you have never gone to the gym and never completed any weighted workout then you need someone with you, no not your mum or your mate who ‘’lifts a lot;’’ but someone who is qualified, can analyse how you move and give you some pointers to keep form on track. The last thing we want is for you to start a new routine and be ruined in 2 or 3 days due to poor form and a bit of overzealous intention.

The last tip – transitions.
Practice your transitions.

Some races I have been in I am sure people have set up camp, feet up and had time to make themselves a cup of tea and read the paper! Every race is different and every approach is different, granted. But it seems to make sense that if you can reduce your transition time you can reduce your overall race time - then that’s a no-brainer for how do finish a race quicker.
For me that thing that takes the most time is getting out of my wetsuit. So, I practiced it. I now know what order to take off my swim hat, goggles and watch (it always gets stuck on my wrist and takes forever to get my wetsuit sleeve over it!). Following this I have everything set up in reverse order to put on before I get onto my bike. And its the same for when I’m transitioning onto the run section of a race. Remember that preparation no matter how small is key.

The glorious bank holiday weather may have made you feel like summer is here – but there’s still time to make good gains in your training for the start of Triathlon season.