The triathlon coaching paradigm has recently shifted from a more traditional static approach to a dynamic, contemporary, and no doubt more effective style. Whether you are a triathlete searching for a new triathlon or endurance coach, a triathlon coach looking to achieve a better result for your trainees, or even a triathlon trainee looking to evaluate your current coach, the fact of the matter remains that understanding the strides and evolutionary advancements made in the triathlon coaching industry plays a vital role in your overall training or coaching success in this sport. The following are just a few evolutionary approaches and rules of triathlon training that should be considered when putting together an effective triathlon training schedule.
Triathlon Workout Programs are Not the Holy Grail
In this day and age where technology basically covers all areas of our lives, triathlon training plan or program wizards are great source for novice triathlon trainees looking to go the triathlon planning, training and competing process on their own. Triathlon training schedule software applications offer their users (be it individual inexperienced triathletes or well-seasoned triathlon coaches) a large library of amazing pre-written triathlon training plans or programs, along with a glut of effective workouts, tailored to increase endurance and improve both strength and speed.
This technology allows any amateure triathlete or triathlon coach to design training programs that surpass even those of many expert triathlon coaches. The catch here, however, is that it takes a seasoned, wise triathlon training expert to devise an effective all-encompassing training program that intertwines a biking, swimming and running routines. This should include incorporating changes in health, lifestyle changes, injury status and social obligations.
With that said it takes an even more knowledgeable and somewhat experienced triathlon coach to diagnose and treat biochemical and nutritional deficiencies and problems hindering an athlete’s progress.
The Road to Success is Not Only about Heart Rate and GPS,
A few years ago, the only data or information most trainers inspected to gauge triathlon coaching success and performance was speed, distance, heart rate, and power. This assessment method however has since changed to incorporate other factors such as trainee recovery status, caloric balance, heart rate variability, amino acid levels, hydration, and testosterone – cortisol ratios. Triathlon coaches today need to be able to assess internal athlete performance, taking in to consideration performance factors like trainee iron level, body acidity, vitamin D levels, fatty acid ratio, magnesium, and electrolyte status as well as food allergies and intolerances.
Working in Teams is Important
Triathlon coaches should not and cannot be lone wolves. Every coach and athlete for that matter should have a surrounding team that assists athletes to get results. With regards to first time triathletes with no coach, it’s important to have an acquaintance or companion that helps keep you focused and motivated. Triathlon coach teams should be comprised of chiropractic physicians, orthopedic surgeons, registered dietitians/nutritionists, massage therapists, and if needed, naturopathic physicians.
Just keep in mind that while you can find a lot of great resources out there to train for a triathlon, there is no “one size fits all” for those athletes looking to take this sport seriously and have fun racing.
When preparing for a sprint distance triathlon, most triathletes place a lot of emphasis on equipment, triathlon transitions, and stoke methodology. However, the most important and often overlooked element for any type of triathlon training is the training plan itself. This article goes on to discuss how triathletes can develop a strong sprint triathlon training plan, taking in to consideration all the talk in the industry concerning the different approaches to getting in shape for this sport.
The first thing that needs to be tackled when developing a sprint distance triathlon training plan or after getting yourself signed up for a triathlon coaching session is establishing the best starting point for you to begin from.
To objectively establish your starting point on your own, you need to ask yourself the following questions: Are you currently exercising multiple days a week? Are you a novice that needs to learn how to swim and ramp up exercise levels gradually? Answering these along with other pre triathlon coaching questions that your trainer or preferred training guide asks helps set you on the right starting path to developing a custom effective training plan for your needs.
Interested triathlon participants that are already in good shape and understand swimming essentials will definitely have no problem jumping in to training sessions that typically involve biking, swimming and running a minimum number of 3 times a week for a recommended time period of 10 to 12 weeks. Sprint triathlon distances normally vary; however with effective triathlon coaching sessions and sufficient training schedules followed meticulously, well prepared triathletes should be able to successfully complete each race distance charted out on consecutive days.
For instance, if the race you are to be competing in is a 500 meter swim, 20 kilometer bike ride and 5 kilometer run, you should devise your triathlon training schedule in a manner that mimics the both the events and environment of the particular race you are aiming to compete in. In the above case, this means that stroke training or swimming should be conducted on Monday, bike training on Tuesday and running on Wednesday.
For triathletes or future triathletes who have gone a considerable amount of time without training, or those who are entering a triathlon race in order to get in to better shape, the training plan or program you opt for should undoubtedly be building up more slowly than that of athletes that are already in good shape.
Instead of jumping right in to an aggressive training program that requires you to be in good shape, you can be more effective by starting off with simply taking up daily walks for a week or so then gradually build up to a jog the following week, and subsequently increase your pace until you are able to effortlessly run a few miles or kilometers without issue. The same principle applies to biking. You may have the ability to run and or bike for long however you should keep in mind not to overdo it.
Swimming on the other hand takes a different approach from running and biking. If you aren’t that confident in water, taking a few swim classes and learning how to submerge your face as well as blow bubbles is generally an excellent starting point. From there, you can learn a progressive series of drills that can get you “over the hump” in swimming, and allow you to complete an open water triathlon swim with enough energy left over for the bike and run portions of the race.
Are you planning on doing a sprint triathlon this year but are new to the sport? Have you done one in the past and want to improve on your time, or your place? Sprint triathlon training can be a little confusing at first, but there are a few things that can get you off to the right start, making sure you are doing all the right things. Here are 5 tips to training for a sprint triathlon to get you on the right track:
1. List out on a piece of paper all the reasons you are setting out to train for this race. I know this tip is a little out there, but if you have your reasons on paper, your motivation will remain high. And without motivation, your training will fall off and you will be in the back of the pack, and/or in pain at your race.
2. Start with a plan. Map out your training. You may miss a workout here or there, but putting everything down on to some kind of schedule will keep you on track for the most part. With this plan, make sure to put the days and times you will be training for each discipline, as well as your goals overall.
3. Get the RIGHT gear (but keep it minimal). With triathlon, it’s tempting to go out and get a lot of really cool gear when you get started. But this is foolish for a few reasons. First, you don’t know how long you will be in the sport. Why waste the money? Second, since you’re not sure what exactly you need yet, you may buy things you don’t need. You will learn as you go. Third, top gear won’t do much for you if you’re in the early stages of racing. Stick with the basics- swim suit, googles, tri-bike, helmet, short and running shoes. You may want a watch to keep track of your time, but let’s save getting fancy for later!
4. Make sure to warm up for each workout you do, and for your race. One huge mistake people make is that they think they’re in good enough shape to just blast out a workout or race, and they end up getting injured. We all need a good warm up. Make sure you don’t fall into “groupthink” here if everyone else seems to be jumping full on into their workouts without warming up.
5. Become very familiar with your bike. Get a bike fit as soon as possible, and make sure it’s the right size for you. Take a clinic on bikes if you’re not familiar with them. It’s a great idea to learn how to change a tire, and how to do minimal repairs and adjustments that you may need to know as you go out on your training rides.
Sprint triathlon training can be fun, and rewarding. By following the tips above, you should be able to cruise to a nice finish in your first race- or beat your best time this coming year.