Triathlon season start - What preparations you need to make now
The official start of spring is already behind us. This means that the 2022 triathlon season will not belong in the coming. The first running events are coming up. The first time to have a real tummy tingle and enjoy the fun of competition. The early runs are great for the first form check of the new season. Besides all the answers to your current strengths and weaknesses, you will also get the chance to test your race shoes and nutrition. But back to the triathlon.
What general preparations can you make now?
We would like to give you a small overview and tips. Think of it as a kind of checklist. The closer the competition gets, the more answers you should have ready and the points you should have already worked through.
Checklist - First, you should set an overall goal.
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
You should not set vague goals. They should be challenging, but not unrealistic for you. Your goals should be specific and measurable, and most importantly, they should be within your means, i.e., realistic. Maybe you've heard of the SMART formula?
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attractive, Realistic and Timed - these five elements should be part of your goal formulation.
Instead of setting a goal like "I want to finish a long-distance" (it's great that you want to do that), BUT... rephrase the goal according to the SMART formula: "I want to finish my first Ironman in under 11 hours on 08/01/2022. To do this, I will train for 12-14 hours each week, and have an outside coach plan and monitor my training and nutrition. "
The foundation to achieving your goals is your training.
Unfortunately, many associate preparations only with having the equipment ready. But you can have the best equipment in the world, but without a solid training plan, all the expensive equipment is worthless. The importance of a sensibly structured training program and its adherence is often underestimated.
Accordingly, you have two options:
- You have the necessary background knowledge to independently plan your training to your strengths and weaknesses and are goal-oriented and SENSEFUL.
- You hire a coach to help you develop and implement a training plan. He will plan the training based on your time budget and actual condition, monitor your progress, and regularly adjust the program accordingly. Furthermore, you should know your current fitness level to prepare yourself purposefully.
- You train with a predesigned training plan
Where do you currently stand in the three disciplines?
Where are your threshold values, what about your fat metabolism, and/or is your greatest potential still hidden in the improvement of Vo2-max? To get answers to these questions, you either can perform a physiological performance test, whether in the lab or partly at home. You can also use field tests to roughly assess your performance and derive training zones from them.
Depending on the results and your current ACTUAL state, you or your coach can now start the training planning. At the beginning of the year, you may still have to do Vo2-max training or more basic training. But the closer your competition gets, the more often you will train at your planned race pace and complete alternate training and coupling units.
Competition and material checklist
The closer you get to your first competition, the more you should make all the necessary preparations. It's best to make an overview of all the items that need to be checked off.
This includes questions such as:
- What is your current body weight? If you are still planning to lose a kilo or two, you should address your diet in time and not start 2 weeks before the race.
Have you tested your race nutrition? You should test your competition nutrition under competition-like conditions at an early stage. You can gather important information for yourself and derive a suitable nutrition strategy for you. Among other things, the following questions should be answered:
- What products do you tolerate?
- What quantities can you take without problems?
- How long will the competition be?
- Do you sweat a lot?
- Have you taken care of accommodation at the race?
- What is your seating position on the bike?
- Have you prepared all your equipment, checked it, and tested it in training?
- Cycling shoes and running shoes
- Triathlon suit and wetsuit,
- What nutrition products do you tolerate?
- Swimming Goggles,
- Drinking system,
- Gear, brakes, chain, tires,
- Power meter, clock
- Have you thought of all the other materials before, during, and after the triathlon competition? For example:
• ID, registration confirmation,
• Sunscreen, contact lenses/glasses, shower gel
• fresh clothes
• Start number band
• Food and drink
• Corona certificate / test certificate
We hope that we could give you a good checklist in the areas of general, training, nutrition, competition, and organization. We are happy if we can support you in successfully competing in your race, no matter if it is an Ironman or a sprint distance.