Have you got a race coming up?
There are lots of questions you could be asking yourself, like ‘what should I eat?’ and ‘how often should I be training?’ For most triathletes, the most persistent one is ‘how do I get faster’?
Whether you’re a seasoned triathlon veteran or a first-timer, you’ll want to perform at your best. In this article, we’ll tell you how to shave vital seconds off your sprint triathlon times.
Techniques for Improving Sprint Triathlon Times
1. Use HIIT Training
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) involves doing short bursts of exercises at maximum effort with only short rest periods in between for recovery. It gets the heart rate going, sends metabolism shooting through the roof, and is perfect for improving sprint triathlon times.
This is because it’s been scientifically proven to enhance athletic performance. Doing this type of training regularly boosts endurance and allows you to run, swim and cycle at maximum intensity for longer.
2. Slash Your Transition Time
Your transitions can have a big impact on your sprint triathlon times. Get it right, and you could save yourself valuable seconds. That’s why you need to have it rehearsed and perfected.
First of all, you need to find a good transition spot before the race. This is especially important if it’s a big event. After you’ve picked it out, familiarize yourself with it so you don’t have to run around looking for it when the time comes.
You need to practice getting in and out of your tri wetsuit in the most efficient way possible. This is likely to be the most time-consuming part of your transition.
Here are a few tips to make it easier to remove your wetsuit:
- Make sure the zipper is within easy reach.
- Just before the end of your swim, pull the neckline of your wetsuit down to allow some water in. This will make it easier for you to slide out.
- While running to your transition spot, pull your wetsuit down to your hips.
Also, use speed laces instead of traditional ones. The last thing you want is to stop to have to tie a shoelace!
3. Add Another Run to Your Weekly Program
If you’re currently only running two or three times a week, you might want to try squeezing another run in.
It doesn’t need to be long. Even an extra 20-30 minute session per week could help you to improve your sprint triathlon times. Push yourself to the limit, and you’ll see results.
4. Allow Yourself More Recovery Time
Resting during your quest to improve your sprint triathlon times might seem counter-productive, but you need it more than you think.
If you’re training at a high intensity regularly, you’re likely to benefit from adding some more recovery time into your routine.
Training is important, but rest is, too. Many athletes overlook it and end up paying the price later on with an injury. Recovery has been proven to improve performance, so it’s essential that you make time for it.
That doesn’t mean just sitting on the sofa, though. Active recovery, in which your body is still moving, is best.
This could be doing lower intensity exercise than usual, or working on your muscles by doing some foam rolling or getting a massage. You could even use it as an opportunity to improve your mobility by doing some yoga, pilates, or balance work.
5. Run Hill Sprints
Hill sprints are particularly challenging, and that’s why you should add them to your training plan.
In order to run uphill, you need to improve the power and efficiency of your stride. Anyone who’s ever tried to jog lightly on a steep incline knows that it can feel like a never-ending, painful process. Doing this type of training teaches you to cover more ground while using less energy, therefore cutting your sprint triathlon times short.
Some people think that training for a triathlon just involves lots of long-distance running. While a triathlon involves distance running, it’s important not to neglect maximum-effort running in your training program. While you might not do it during the actual race, it will prepare your body to deal with the stress of the event more efficiently.
Add hill sprints to your training program gradually, as jumping straight into them can pose a high risk of injury.
6. Perform Sled Drags
When you’re already fatigued, your body will feel a lot heavier and running will seem a lot more laborious. Training with a heavy sled allows you to become accustomed to that feeling and push through it.
Running while pulling a weighted sled will improve your power, speed, and most importantly, your acceleration. In order to get hold of the equipment for this type of training, you’ll need to visit a strength training or CrossFit gym.
7. Work on Your Hamstrings
Sprinters and triathletes need to have strong hamstrings in order to increase speed. That’s why it’s important to work on some hamstring isolation exercises.
This could include performing hip thrusts, leg curls, deadlifts, and floor glute-hamstring raises.
8. Get Your Nutrition Right
Nutrition is integral to your training. If you fuel your body correctly, it will perform better.
To make sure your body can work at its best, compose a committed diet plan. This doesn’t have to require paying a professional nutritionist, you can do it yourself with enough research.
Calculate how many grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fat you should be consuming daily and do your best to stick to it. Play around with meal timing as well. That way, you’ll be able to figure out the optimum time and amount to eat before and after workouts.
Of course, you need to stay hydrated, too.
Smash Your Next Triathlon
Follow these tips, and your next sprint triathlon times are sure to be something to be proud of.
When you’re planning how to train for a triathlon, there are a lot of factors to consider. It can be daunting, but you don’t have to be a sports scientist or a professional athlete to put together a great program. We provide all the information you need, right here.
Let us help you build a training strategy that works for you. Check back for regular fitness, training and lifestyle advice that you’ll love.