Competing in triathlons is often one of the highlights of any athlete’s career. They know it is challenging, but they cannot deny that it is ultimately rewarding. Some people, however, push it too far and lead their own downfall. Training hard, therefore, is not enough — you must also train intelligently.
Many take on the goal of finishing a triathlon for the sake of finishing one. This could lead athletic types into training themselves to the point of overwhelming vulnerability. The means or process is as important as the result. Author Nicole O’Dell, for example, displayed this ideology when she trained to compete in the Naperville sprint triathlon.
How can you make sure that you’re effectively optimizing your triathlon training?
Save the Legs for Last
One of the most common sayings in triathlon is “saving your legs.” A triathlon, after all, includes three strenuous physical activities that include rigorous legwork. Overexerting your legs early in the competition may not only cost you the entire triathlon, but might also have severe physical consequences.
When training, learn how to conserve and disperse energy and power depending on your level. Build strength and endurance, but do take your time when doing so. Don’t force yourself into performing as well as someone who has been training for a longer time.
Learn the Importance of Recovery
Put yourself through a mentality that has a specific goal and it can be difficult to sustain. Physical recovery, however, is just as important when training for a triathlon.
Exercise burns and breaks down muscle tissue for a stronger tissue to replace them. Your body, therefore, needs the cycle of relaxation to regenerate these tissues from a cellular level. Pushing yourself too hard without rest could result in unfortunate consequences — your heart rate, for example, could drop to a point where revival would be extremely difficult.
Athletes are attracted to the prospect of triathlons due to the challenge, competition and improvement it promises. You must remember, however, that winning triathlons is not everything — a lot of the time, just finishing at your own pace is enough.