The aerobic base an athlete builds is the foundation on which all other training lies. Lactate threshold and V02 max only become important once you have the aerobic capacity to endure your event. There is only one way to build this aerobic capacity. This is through consistency. Consistent work is the path to success. This will establish your aerobic capacity so that you have a base on which to layer the other aspects of training. Consistency also has a wider application. Every core principle must be applied with consistency in order to be effective. This means doing what we must. Three 40-minute runs may be less fun than one 90-minute run, but the training effect achieved by consistent running far out weighs the benefit of the one fun run. Days when activation energy is low the best thing to do is to just start the training. Keeping up consistency develops the base you need to reach your athletic potential.
This covers a few very important aspects of our sport. The first is that every workout has a purpose. In your daily workouts, you need to be mindful of the purpose of the workout and to make sure this is what is accomplished. The greatest mistake athletes make is going too hard on recovery-style workouts. Stick to the point of the training! The other side of mindfulness is that athletes need to be in tune with how they are feeling. Monitoring power and heart rate are great tools, but knowing your perceived exertion is an important factor in developing an athlete’s intuition. Cultivating this awareness can also help you make those rare and challenging in-the-moment calls when you need to adjust training based on your feeling. The last aspect of mindfulness is mental toughness. This is a solo pursuit. When you are racing, you do not have a team to feed off of for motivation. It is critical that you are mentally strong enough to do what you must when the time comes and when obstacles are in your way.
Swim, Bike, Run, Eat, Sleep, Repeat, right? Wrong. A balanced life involves more than the sport. Quality family time, social gatherings with friends and colleagues, and time for other hobbies are all important for every athlete. Your family and friends are your support system and these relationships need to be maintained. Nurturing the bonds with your family and friends will keep you in a better mindset and create a healthier environment. This will lead to you to being a happier and, therefore, faster triathlete!
Nutrition is much more than gels and sports drinks during training. Nutrition is a lifestyle choice that involves your general approach to healthy eating. This encompasses how you deal with nutrition before, during, and after training, as well as for the rest of the day! We feel that healthy, balanced nutrition is the key to a sustainable lifestyle. As an athlete, you need high quality macro- and micronutrients in order to perform at your best. You also need to enjoy life on occasion. Achieving this balance will lay the foundation for your healthy approach to nutrition.
Making gains in triathlon training and performance is not easy. Gains are made when you are recovering from workouts and not in doing the workouts themselves. This means that recovery must be taken seriously. Recovery is EVERYTHING you do in between workouts. The most important aspect of recovery is sleep. Good sleep habits and regularly getting a proper night’s sleep are key. Occasionally, lower training stress and increased recovery can be the secret to making more appreciable gains. Another aspect of self-care is what you do to take care of your body. This is usually what you do right before and right after a workout. A warm-up routine and a post-session stretch and foam rolling aids in durability and longevity in the sport. Self-care also includes activities such as yoga, physical therapy homework, and mobility as well as sessions with massage therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors, ART specialists, etc. Doing the things we all must do to stay healthy. The last piece of self-care is strength and core work. Every athlete can benefit from some amount of strength training and core work. This can correct imbalances, add muscular endurance and build peak power.