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Triathlon made easy

Ok fooled you with the title a litte.

I was thinking about what conehead mentioed re lack of new inventive ways in triathlon and how the only sport he could compare it to was golf. Having played off 12 in golf, I can understand this analogy. To me, in my first year of triathlon, I've had my eyes open to the training aspect of the sport and quickly realised that there is a lot to absorb.

So what do we do to help us, we buy magazines, books, new kit, training aids etc and to be honest do we buy them thinking that they will help or knowing they will help? Or do/will they have the placebo effect?

I personally think there is too much thought put into making you fit triathlon rather than triathlon fitting you. What I mean is that what works for me can't work for everyone else, yet training aids/ training plans are massed produced and we all buy into it.

when i heavily into Thai Boxing, a man told me let thai boxing fit me not the other way. In order to do this he said to break it down into little bits and amend these bits to suit yourself, from there your technique can develop.

Where is this going..... well looking at some of my back issues of 220 I noticed not only how stringent the training regimes were but also how complicated they can make it and that it can be seriously off-putting to work to. So if we expect decent result then should we not look towards different means?

Well is there anything out there that actually disects the 4 disicplines into small sections....?

Joe Friels book - Still quite rigid in its methods, not knocking the book though.

So this may be a rhetorical question but are we too rigid in our training methods and is there a right and wrong way to do triathlon?

Can we discuss????


  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    There cannot be a right & wrong way, only a good & better, which in turn will be so for you, but maybe not for me.
    I was flicking thru old 220s & came across aswim prog by a pro...4000m...warm up, nope never going to happen, so do I accept that I will never be that swimmer or do I play smart, as you say, dissect & realise that shorter more specific & hard sets may well reduce my time? Damn right I do, smarter not harder is my mantra, ditch the nothing sessions (excepting the odd run/ride/swim where you go for the joy of being outside & living life) & make them all count.
  • PC_67PC_67 Posts: 196
    Well said Britspin.

    Also, I think it all depends on your goals, your natural limitations and stuff like how committed you are and what constraints you’re facing.

    I personally prefer a relatively non-technical approach to training in order to keep the enjoyment in it. If I was more serious I’d have to take more serious coaching. I’m not saying I don’t have a structured approach, just that I only take it to a degree that works for me & my goals.

    You mentioned golf: Since shooting 73 gross at St. Andrews (my previous PB was 84 at Burr Hill in Surrey) I decided that’s it: golf has been conquered, time to ditch it for something else. God was telling me to give up

    When I decided to get golf lessons about 8 years ago having been self-taught all my life, the changes in swing & technique set me back so far and I found it so hard and frustrating. I went from being respectable (20 h’cap) to utterly crap for 2 years before I started to get the hang of it. I’m slow to learn new motor skills, always have been. I thought nothing could ever represent as much of a technical challenge as changing my golf swing.

    Then I discovered swimming!

    Like the golf it took ages. I could have done it quicker but lessons are expensive & time commitments meant club membership was not really feasible.

    I’m still not great, but friends now compliment my stroke and I am definitely better than I was.

    I’m also better at running than I was, cycling more or less the same – again mainly due to time constraints & lack of dedication.

    What am I saying? I’ve got (a bit) better at triathlon by getting better at swimming & running.

    But have I got better by trying to be better at triathlon? No, only by getting better at the component parts.

    As I see it, cycling is cycling & running is running. Swimming is still swimming really too, let’s face it, you just try and be a bit more economic than a flat-out swimmer.

    Training is training. I know triathlon is unique but just because you attach the “tri” mantle to it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a composite of 3 disciplines.

    Let’s be honest too: the “tri” moniker allows a valuable marketing angle. Take Swim-for-Tri (who I really like btw): If they were just called “Swim” would they do any business?
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