To win? To inspire? To be a role model? To achieve a challenge? Actually these are more of why you are training. WHAT are you training for?
Sprint? Ironman? Perhaps something as simple as to finish a triathlon?
How are you training for this? Do you practice what you need to? Everyday? Every session?
Are you going to a swim squad where they are training for races that are 50-200m long in a variety of strokes?
Are you going to a cycling club where they are solely focus on explosive track type racing?
Have you even been out on the road on your bike?
So many questions.
Triathlon is an endurance sport - not a 100m sprint. It should also be considered a sport as a whole, not a swim, followed by a bike, followed by a run.
I am not saying don't do short, harder efforts... far from it... but they need to be included into your training as part of a bigger plan, think: what are you training for?
We do 50's in the pool - loads of them - but they are not, very often, flat out with loads of rest... they are usually at a prescribed sustainable pace with a shorter rest. We use hard explosive efforts on the bike to help our fitness plan, but they serve a specific purpose.
What are you training for?
The fastest tatical way to run would be to get up to your maximum sustainable pace for the duration of the run as quickly as possible - and hold that pace. Set off too quick and you'll run out of gas. Set off too slow and you will struggle to get that time back. As my whiskey glass (present from the squad a while back!) says, "Its all about pace judgement!"
This would apply to the bike and the swim too. If we have power available we work out our watts for the ride and then try and hold that wattage throughout. In the swim we do the same (not with watts though!).
How often do you practice bike to run sessions?
The key... is to learn how to pace yourself.
To do it in training every day... means that come race day... you got it. No worries.
Training is not just the physical getting fit. It is preparing yourself mentally. Being ready. It can be as simple as arriving with all your kit. Being ready to go when the coach says, "Go!" Having the right food, practicing every ride with your race day nutrition. Focusing on the positives and what YOU need to do. What are you training for?
Every triathlete has a unique performance goals that need to be approached with an individual triathlon coaching program.
Paul is a British Triathlon Federation Level 3 Coach now based in Western Australia.
F4L Triathlon Coaching offers triathletes a full coaching and training service that caters to all levels of athletes.