There’s so much to focus on with the sport of triathlon that it can be very easy to get carried away. I’ve definitely been guilty of making a fair few mistakes on my triathlon journey. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.
Training stress our bodies, and its recovery that makes our bodies stronger. Not making sleep a priority greatly increases injury risk.Treat rest like a key workout day. Taking naps can be a great way to catch up on the necessary recovery needed when training for triathlon. It can be worth scheduling 15mins into each day to just find a quiet place to rest.
Not making rest a priority can quickly lead to over training. Progress is all about consistency, which involves both training and resting.
Not Doing Easy Sessions Easy
Keep the easy, easy, so the hard can be done hard. Going too fast when the goal is to train easy, creates more fatigue, which means you don’t have the ‘pop’ to push on the days or parts of the session you are meant to. Having the discipline to restrain yourself is an important skill in endurance training.
For example, I heard Richard Murray on a podcast talking his running and stating that he runs at paces either under 3min/km or over 5min/km. This is a great example of discipline in training, for someone who could tick along easily at 4:30s.
Taking Things Too Seriously
Why did you get into your chosen sport? To have fun right? The competition should be fun and push you to get the best from yourself. Somewhere along the line though we can forget this simple fact and then things can quickly become a grind, in the attempt to achieve the goals set.
Enjoy the process, see where your sport can take you, and appreciate the journey. We spend so much more time on the journey to reach the goal, then the actual act of fulfilling the goal.
Don’t worry if things aren’t perfect. To quote Matthew 6:27: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”. Sometimes training gets missed, and other times you have to change an intended session to fit in with life’s demands. Two time Olympic Gold medallist Alistair Brownlee doesn’t worry if he finishes a planned 4 hour bike ride in 3hour 45mins.
Comparing Yourself To Others
Social media can be a great source of motivation. However, with so much information from Strava, Instagram, Facebook etc it’s easy to start comparing yourself to others. Your training to be healthier, stronger and better is a personal thing. You have your own goals and limitations; it is all part of your journey. Embrace your individuality, things that work for others may not be best suited to you.
For example: Going super low on the front end of your bike to be more aero like your time trial hero. But if you don’t have the flexibility and skills to do this, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Increasing Volume Too Quickly
The human body is amazing, it truly blows my mind what we are all capable of. I’ve noticed that aerobically fitness can explode whereas the strength to cope with the added volume takes time to adapt. A 10% increase in volume is a great guideline for each week.
Going above this just increases the chance of injury. Picking up an injury will quickly undo any extra volume you did, as you take time to let your body heal and recover.
Learn From Others Mistakes
Rather than making these mistakes, I hope that you can take these lessons on board and apply them to your triathlon journey. After all, its better to learn from others mistakes rather than making them yourself!