Train with friends
Triathlon can be a lonely sport especially if you’re training every day on your own. So if possible try to tie in with like minded people as often as you can. Whether that is joining local triathlon club sessions, or a cycle, swim or running club for the individual sports, or even just getting together a group of friends, it can all make a difference to your enjoyment.
One great way to keep training fun is to set yourself some challenges, this could be by creating a particularly hard circuit to complete or you could try to get round one of your usual training routes in a certain amount of time or power. Not only will it be more enjoyable having a specific target but also very good training as you’ll be pushing yourself to your limits.
Get on Strava for some friendly competition
Strava is a fantastic app for any cyclist to enjoy and for many reasons. After uploading your file you can see how you stack up against all your other friends on the segments along your route and check out where you managed to get some of your personal best times. It’s also a very handy training diary to keep. Nothing more annoying than receiving an email from Strava saying Brennan Townsend has stolen your KOM!
Take your training cross country
It’s always good to get off the road to spice things up. Mountain biking allows you to practice your bike handling skills and is perfect power training. So is cross country running, have a pair of shoes you don’t care about getting dirty and occasionally it’s good to just leave your watch at home and just run with no concept of time or speed so you can just switch off and train for the enjoyment.
Chain gang bike training
On your group rides once in awhile try to encourage some through and off training in the back half of your ride. That is where you move around in a circuit and swop turns at the front, usually for between 10 and 30 seconds - often referred to as ‘chain ganging’. This is the fastest most effective way to ride and enables you to ride pretty intense for a short amount of time before you roll back and take a rest giving you a great training effect and some solid bike handling skills.
Indian file in the pool
Swimming can be dull at the best of times but if you’ve got a small group training with you, then you can spice it up by adding some indian file into the mix. This is where you swim on each others feet in a long line and every 100m you pull over at the wall and go to the back of the queue. It’s perfect for practicing drafting and also keeps your mind engaged for the longer reps, adding a bit of intensity when you have your turn at the front.
Bike Run Bike Run Bike Run
I often like to give this workout to my athletes. It’s a bit out there but it’s pretty fun once you get into it and it ’s a challenge. Before you know it you’ve probably drummed up 90 minutes of running and 3 hours of biking plus lots of practice in transition!
If you have enough people to train with then relays can work out to be a great interval session. Make sure the teams are even by putting the slowest athletes with the fastest and obviously you want to give your best shot so your team has their best chance at winning so you get a great fun speed workout in the process.
Many triathletes shy away from speed work and the really intense sessions that take you out of your comfort zone but this is the stuff that really makes you tough and fast. It’s also the training that is the most fun and offers the most reward and satisfaction. So at least once a week push your limits with a good hard track session or a VO2 workout on the bike.
Take your training off the beaten track
If you want to keep training fresh then take a turn off your usual route and try to find some new places to ride. Sticking to the same tried and trusted roads might make you feel comfortable with your familiar surroundings, but it can be boring. Plan routes using roads that you largely haven’t ridden before.