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In this article, we will address the four well-known triathlon mistakes that many people create.
Here is a guide so that you won’t make the same mistake as others did in triathlon.
Four common triathlon mistakes:
You can’t swim in open water
Swimming in open water is the first common mistake every triathlete make. The swimming fitness might be great, but if you are taking the scenic route, then it is just a waste of time.
These athletes may also say that they just followed the toes that are in front of them, but that is wrong. Perhaps, would you support a person that is speeding on the highway by twenty miles an hour? Of course not.
Same with swimming, you must be in control of yourself, especially in open water, because there are a bunch of dumb toes out there.
What you need to do is get an open water technique that will help you swim straight, and learn how to site that will keep you in a straight line.
Some of the things that will help you swim in a straight line are by evening out your stroke by learning bilateral breathing on the left side, that’s the right, and on the left side, that’s the left.
Besides, one of the common causes of pulling to one side is arm crossing the centerline of your body, or stretching too wide of your centerline throughout the pull portion of the paddle.
Your hands should access the water in front of your shoulder and should not cross the midline of your body. Perhaps, the paths of both arms should be as equal as possible.
It is difficult for athletes who have shoulder injuries or have limited range of motion in one shoulder.
Ideally, balancing out your stroke symmetrically will help you swim in a straighter line. One step to try this out is by swimming with a snorkel and seeing if you swerve from side to side.
Alternatively, if you are brave enough, swim with your eyes closed and see how far you can go while staying on the black line.
It is tough, so start slowly and see if you can build up to it.
Do much work in the pool to even out your stroke, and make it as easy for you as possible to go in a straight line before you also get into open water, where it’ll be a lot tougher.
If you’ve evened out the stroke, then it becomes how do you point yourself in a straight line?
It has to do with siting. Some things you need to know about siting is that the technique should be very subtle.
Most of it has to do with just a very subtle site, pulling just your eyes exposed in the water, devising your nose in the water, and then moving your head to the side lightly to get that breath.
It’s not about lifting your entire body, because that is going to cause your legs to whip out from side to side, make your legs sink. You’re going to whip around, and you’re going to slow yourself down.
That siting technique should be subtle.
The next thing that you should do for proper siting technique is not to site the water, but to site landmarks that are on shore.
What you need to do is get into the water, swim out to some of the buoys and look around to see if there are landmarks such as trees or power line, then pick those site lines as opposed to looking in the water.
Having that longer away distance, it’s going to keep you straighter, and, hopefully, it’s going to be a more prominent structure that you’re going to be able to see easier.
As you start taking that subtle site every four or five strokes, you look, and you’re looking for that landmark on shore.
You fade dramatically
The second triathlon mistake that most people does is that they fade dramatically in the first few miles of the run.
It is because of cramping up. It happens to disregard stretchings or brick training before the event.
It is vital to do brick workouts every time you are doing a race. It will benefit you a lot in the long run.
If you weren’t able to do at least six brick workouts in the past four or five weeks before the race, then your body is not going to do well in the first few miles of the run.
You’re going to cramp up.
You’re going to stiffen up.
It’s going to feel awkward.
You will feel loaded and messed up if it hasn’t done the right way.
The brick workout will help you be comfortable in your track.
Where you hop off the bike, then reroute the blood flow into your legs and support your body weight in the race.
If you do not do the brick workout, it will be hard for you to recover quickly from the bike.
You need to incorporate brick training to your triathlon training so that you will have a smooth transition during the race.
The start of the run is a time that you can settle in and let your body get ready for the rest of the race.
You fall apart in the final few miles of the run
While the last issue has something to do with cramping, this one has to deal with how much you are fueling and how much you’ve trained to get into the track.
To uphold this issue, you should be doing two things:
👉Increase your training volume
If you can’t go over your race pace than your actual race is, then you are not going to go further for that period.
How you can combat this is by doing over distances.
In Half Ironman training, if you are going to have to bike 90 kilometre, you should do your training at 130 to 140 kilometre so that when you will be able to reach that faster race pace at a shorter distance.
It will not feel like it is taking nearly as long and your body will accept that you need to go for that period.
Same with running, incorporating 24 kilometres and 25 kilometre runs when you only have to do a 21 kilometre run so it will not feel that long.
👉You also need to train your body to be able to do race pace.
If the only time that you’ve ever gone that fast is in the race, and you haven’t ever done any speed work leading up to that track, you are going to flip your legs apart, and they are going to be destroyed by the end of the race.
Incorporate a fair bit of over distances, and a bit of speed work, in your training leading up to a race.
Typically, you want to take anywhere in between about 200 to 300 calories every half an hour in the run, and sufficient electrolytes and fluid so that you are hydrated.
You’re going to figure out on your own through trial and error, whether bars work, chews, gels, or just electrolyte and energy drinks work for you.
Ask for around 400 to 500 calories each hour, and about 16 oz of fluid with some electrolytes.
Your transition is too slow!
The fourth triathlon misunderstanding that might keep you from becoming fast is that your transition is too slow.
Many people are setting up shop and having a picnic in the triathlon transition.
Well, that is not a place to immerse yourself down.
The place to settle yourself down in between the swim, and the bike, and the run, is in the first few kilometres of every order.
Instead of taking it easy in the transition, you want to make it easy in the first few kilometres of the bike or the first few kilometres of the run.
The transition should be a very minimal place.
It would help if you didn’t have to put on much equipment.
It would be best if you didn’t have to change many clothes.
It is best if you will not tune in your bike, change your shoes, put on sun tan lotion, or set up a GoPro to take pictures.
Your goal in the triathlon transition should be to get in quickly and then get out quickly.
It doesn’t signify that you need to get your heart rate up by racing through it, but go for it at a constant movement, and get anything that you will need in transition.
If you can’t take it with you on the bike or the run, you’re taking too much.
You must know that in every minimum turn, and doing some majority of the work to prep for the rest of the race, you are still moving forward.
Less is more in transition. Remember that.
With these four points, you are going to be able to evade a lot of the triathlon mistakes that a lot of new triathletes do in the first few years of becoming into the sport.