Achieving a Better 2016 Triathlon Season
The good news is that five of the D3 Multisport coaches have chimed in on their top strategies that help athletes have better race day experiences, and if you find just one idea (but hopefully all five!) that you can implement, you’ll be on your way to a triathlon season that will knock your socks off!
D3 Head Coach Mike Ricci’s strategies include consistency and objectives as opposed to goals:
While many people push the reset button on January 1st, Coach Mike holds fast to the strategy of being consistent year round. Consistent with your goals, your training, your nutrition and the balance in your life outside of swim, bike, run, lift, stretch, yoga, etc. See how out of control we can get as triathletes? There’s always something more or something better to help get us stronger, faster, healthier and so on. Thus, it’s important to be consistent vs. getting overwhelmed.
As much as I find goals important in having a target for the season, I find objectives even more important. It’s great to say that you want to run a 45:00 10k, but what are you going to do to get to that 45:00 mark?
Here are some examples of objectives for a run goal:
*I will run 4 times per week.
*I will work on activating my muscles pre-run.
*I will insert run drills into my training 2 times a week.
*I will add in a 5k race once a month to help my speed.
As you can see, these are all objectives to help you reach your goals. Objectives are key to achieving any goals! You can set all the goals you want, but you need the objectives to make them happen.
Coach Jim Hallberg’s strategy involves improving on your weaknesses.
Coach Jim recommends spending some time on weaknesses, whether it’s strength related or technique based. He notes that this requires very little time in the overall scheme of your training. If this is done in a high frequency format for a few weeks where you put a little bit of brain focus and neural activation to the proper muscles, in 10-20 minutes sessions, you’ll see results.
He suggests that you record a short video of yourself doing what you are trying to improve as it will open your eyes to what you need to work on. The old adage of ‘you have to see it to believe it’, rather than just being told what you’re missing can help you synch up what’s missing.
Keep activation of new muscle memory very short and simple, and create it into a positive habit. Working on those weaknesses will give confidence in that discipline, you’ll be more efficient, reduce injury risks and likely be a faster athlete.
Coach Brad Seng’s strategy is about being realistic.
Coach Brad suggests that you make your goals realistic, but are certain to stretch you a bit! Focus on both outcome & performance goals. If the goal is to become a stronger cyclist & ride sub 2:30 for a 70.3 (outcome), focus on the steps to become more efficient with your pedal stroke, help improve your muscular endurance and elevate your FTP (performance). This is great advice and coincides with Coach Mike’s strategy of setting objectives to help you reach your performance goal.
Coach Alison Freeman’s strategy is about the short term.
Coach Alison encourages athletes to focus on short and long term goals. If your big goal/s won’t be reached until the second half of the year, set some near-term goals as well. You are more likely to continue on the path to your big goal if you have smaller successes along the way! The short term goals are like little layups to get you started and keep you motivated. It’s ok to have some goals that are easy. That way, there’s no way you will miss them. After all, if you can’t reach easy goals, how will you ever reach the bigger goals for your season?
In addition Coach Alison adds that process goals are just as fulfilling as outcome goals, and you can reach those repeatedly throughout the year. Your process goal could involve weekly yardage/mileage, making sure to include swim drills at least once a week, or simply completing a certain percentage of your workouts each week or across each training block. Plus, if you miss your process goal there’s always another chance to get it right!
Coach Dave Sheanin’s strategy is saved for last because he shares a very unique mindset on how to approach goal setting!
Coach Dave flips the perspective a bit and reminds us that setting time goals (outcome) is not a great use of time or energy if an athlete can cherry pick a race (such as a downhill run, etc.) to hit a realistic time goal without actually becoming a better athlete. It’s important to remember, that you don’t control who shows up on race day so setting goals like “win my age group” isn’t a valuable marker to you or your coach as you go about developing and executing a training plan. Focus on what you can control. You can control your training frequency, intensity, and volume. You can control your mental approach to training. You can control specific technique or speed or power work.
You can’t always control the outcome, but you can control your output going into a race season.
Time to get started! Pick a strategy (or several), begin to implement them, and you’ll be on your way to achieving a better triathlon season!
The D3 Multisport coaches thrive on helping athletes of all abilities reach their goals, objectives, outcomes, performances, and so on! Your race day success is their goal. To learn more about how this uniquely skilled and deftly qualified coaching team will help you cross the finish line, explore the D3 website here.