Category Archives for "Training For Triathlons"

Triathlon Swimming: Drafting on the Swim

 

“Want to swim faster? Want to try drafting on the swim? Check out these Triathlon swimming tips now!”

Do you want to swim faster with less effort? Do you want to exit a triathlon swim fresh and ready for the bike? Do you want to focus less on navigating all over the course, and more on looking for fishies while you swim? If so, draft.

Drafting in a triathlon swim is something ALL the pros do, and almost none of the age groupers do. Its 100% legal, and makes a huge difference in your swim speed, and how cooked you are after the swim.
Just to reemphasize. Drafting in the swim is always legal. No passing zones, no time limits. Go crazy.

How do you draft effectively in the swim:

  1. Don’t try to draft for the first few minutes after the start- its too crazy, and you probably wont draft the right person
  2. Focus on drafting in draft friendly conditions- crowded swim courses, not too wavy, and with good visibility in the water so you can see everyone else.
  3. Go really hard for the first few minutes before drafting. Remember you will rest once drafting, and going extra hard at first makes sure the person you do draft is a good swimmer
  4. Once you are tired from going for say 5 minutes hard on your own, find the right person to draft
  5. You want someone from your swim wave (you can check their cap color) who preferably is making a lot of bubbles so you can keep track of them easily, and is swimming in the right direction and who looks like they know what they are doing enough that they wont grab the next buoy or swim way off course. Ideally a bigger swimmer is best, as they make for a bigger draft.

OK so now you Swim Draftingknow WHO to draft, but HOW do you draft?
“Behind Drafting” (this is the easiest)

    1. Swim right behind your draftee. Look to see their feet, and use their bubble trail to follow them. Feel for the swirl in the water that their kick makes with your hands
    2. Once close, get in the optimal position- you want your hands as they enter the water to go slightly to the outside of their feet, and at full fingertip extension you want to be either just behind them or have your hands wider and overlapping with their feet.
    3. Relax. You will suddenly have to ease way up on your effort, and go the same speed. It will feel like the swimmer in front of you slowed way down. They didnt. THis is the whole point of drafting- going really fast wtih no effort
    4. Every few minutes if you think your swimmer is slowing down, you can swim a bi to the side of the swimmer you are drafting to prove to yourself that they haven’t slowed down. You will feel the resistance go up suddenly. Once you have re-convinced yourself that the swimmer is going fast enough, get back in that draft
    5. Spend the rest of the swim leg in that spot. Relax. Mentally prepare for the bike. Focus not on swimming hard, but on swimming right in the proper spot.

More at Triathlon Swim Tips: How to Draft on the Swim

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Faster Triathlon Transition Tips

Triathlon Transition: Tips for a Faster Triathlon

“Simple tips to help you do a faster triathlon transition. Read them now!”

trans

Whether this is your first triathlon or you’ve reached a point that your life is defined by your training and pursuit of the podium, making a fast transition is important. It is the one area where minutes can be shaved off your time and you can have the satisfaction that you’ve minimized the loafing time. With any event it is the after event thoughts that plague, “why didn’t I push it harder on the bike or the run? Could I have been faster in my transitions?”

Practice, practice, practice. A week before the race may not be the time to start practicing your transitions, but I suspect for the majority of folks that’s when it happens. When your training and doing bricks (run to bike or visa versa) set your self up a mini transition area and see what works for you.

Set your bike up and remember where you’ve parked it. Some folks have used balloons or luggage ties – something colorful to draw attention to your spot. If you are on asphalt colored chalk is a good way to mark where your bike is. Trim your bib number and then tape your bid number on your bike on the seat post to keep things aerodynamic and make sure you can ride without it flapping, rubbing, or annoying you.

Layout your towel – this really isn’t for drying off after the swim its for marking your territory and keeping your feet clean and comfy while you get your shoes on and off. Layout your helmet and glasses. Put your running shoes on top of your bib and racebelt so it doesn’t blow away. Have your socks, hat, and what ever race food you plan on taking with you in a neat and sequential order.

If you are running without socks, put body glide on the heals of both shoes to prevent any hotspots.

T1 – getting out of the swim a lot people are dizzy and wobbly so be cautious.

Getting out the wetsuit: before getting out of the water – pull the neck of your wetsuit and get a good gulp of water down the front, this will eliminate some of the vacuum and stickiness. Pull your zip, remove the arms in quick fashion and kick out your legs while keeping one leg on the wetsuit.

Always put your helmet on first, then glasses, bib number (turned around to the back) and shoes. For the serious folks have your shoes clipped in and ready to go and use a rubber band to keep them parallel for easy mounting and slide the shoes on while on the move – this takes some practice. More at MAKING FASTER TRIATHLON TRANSITIONS

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Strength Training for Triathletes

Strength Training for Triathletes: Best Strength Exercises

“What’s the importance of strength training for triathletes? What are the best strength training exercises? Read this article to find out!”

Strength Training for Triathletes

Are you over 35 years of age? Do you have a limited amount of training time? Do you want to reverse—or at least slow down—as many aspects of the aging process as possible? Are you an endurance athlete looking for an extra edge? Do you want to boost power, reduce fatigue, guard against injury and increase your late-race energy reserves?

Well, who doesn’t? And strength training can be the tool to help you accomplish each of these universally sought-after benefits. In fact, strength, or resistance, training is one of the most commonly overlooked means to improve endurance athletic performance.

All too many triathletes sacrifice strength training in favor of additional swim, bike or run sessions. This is unwise. In fact, a well-executed strength-training program can allow you to carve up to 25 percent out of your swim, bike and run volume while improving performance and enjoying better race-day results.

I fought going to the gym for years until I reached my mid-30s. Suddenly, speed work started to look more like steady-state training, and I could no longer override a lack of power on climbs with desire. My race performances started to suffer. I could see that even with a huge volume of miles out on the roads, my fitness was not what it was in my 20s.

Adding resistance training was the next step, but I had a problem. I had no idea how to design and integrate a strength program into triathlon training. I was also intimidated by the gym because I felt like the scrawny weakling on the beach compared to the hulks pushing around weights that would crush me. So there I was, the Ironman champion, embarrassed to go into the gym.

But my desire to win was even stronger than my embarrassment. I was introduced to a top strength coach, a woman named Diane Buchta. She led me through an entire season of weights, focusing on building overall body strength and, eventually, muscular speed.

The results were dramatic. In the first full season I used the program described below, I won the Triple Crown of Triathlon: the Nice International Triathlon, the Zofingen duathlon and the Hawaii Ironman.

GETTING WITH THE PROGRAM
I have boiled the program down to what I consider the 12 key exercises to develop overall body fitness for a triathlete. The workout is done twice a week throughout the year, and each session takes about 45 minutes. Separate the two weekly strength sessions by at least one day. The exercises, their order, the muscle groups they work and their sport-specific benefits are as follows:

1. Lateral Pull-downs (upper back; improves pull phase of swim stroke)
Beginning position: Grasp bar with arms straight and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Push chest forward; arch lower back
Ending position: Pull bar in front of head down to shoulder level

2. Leg Extensions (upper legs/quads; supports weight-catching phase of running and builds additional muscle mass necessary for half-marathon distances and up)
Beginning position: Sit on machine. Rest shin pad just above ankle. Line knee with pivot point of machine
Ending position: Extend both legs fully to straight line More at Mark Allen’s 12 Best Strength Exercises

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