Two SENS Fitness athletes, myself included, are participating in an indoor triathlon this weekend. Race season is officially here! It brings plenty of excitement, but at the same time brings even more doubt, anxiety, and unnecessary training. Don't get me wrong, you need to hit your training sessions to peak come race day. What I mean by unnecessary training is adding sessions because you assume you're not doing enough, or working too hard because, well you, "were feeling good," or dragging yourself through a poor workout because you didn't want to listen to what your body was telling you.
1. Trust the process. You must believe in your training. Having a dedicated plan will help tremendously. It's important to periodically measure progress via 500 or 1,000 yard time trials in the pool, FTP tests on the bike, and running time trials. Seeing gains in these areas will indicate that your training is effective and not leave you feeling you need to ramp things up.
2. Get off social media. No one posts pictures and captions of their bad workouts, but we all know they happen. Don't fall into the trap of believing your racing rival is vastly superior when all you see is the glamour shots of PRs and Strava segment awards. Each of us know triathlon is a struggle with good training sessions and bad ones. Don't compare yourself to others during training. That's what race day is for. Put down the app and trust that what you're doing is working.
3. Listen to your body. I needed to heed my own advice earlier this week. I was pretty sore and weak after a hard bike workout on Sunday. It set me back more than I thought. I could have gone out for my scheduled run workout the next day, but thought better of it. I took the day to rest. And the next day too. There is no sense is getting your training session in if you know it won't move you forward. Take the rest day, and get back after it when you're feeling right.
4. Keep easy days easy (and hard days hard!). Easy spins on the bike and easy long runs are by design. Follow that direction. It's critical for your overall longevity and success in triathlon. If you push every workout as hard as possible, you'll burn out within a matter of months if not weeks! Easy sessions are there to help build durability. Take advantage of it!
5. Keep perspective. Remember, this should be fun! Triathlon is one of the great challenges in sports, but it's also an excellent social and recreational activity. Try not to be so hard on yourself and enjoy the process.
We want our athletes to have long, successful triathlon careers. We make sure to discuss these points with them regularly.