Three common issues that derail triathletes in racing—and how to correct them.
In the middle of the racing season, your endurance and lactate threshold values are often on target or well on the way to new heights. But it isn’t until this time of the year, when you have a few races under your belt, that you can truly examine your race-day performances and look for the problems that can’t just be solved by improved physiology.
Mid-season corrections are detail-oriented fixes you can make without widespread changes to your training schedule. Many times they are technique- or drill-based solutions—subtle changes that may not impact your fitness much but can have tremendously positive impacts on race-day performance. Remember, in triathlon, it’s not just fitness that wins the day. You have to be fit and ready, but you also have to minimize waste: wasted energy, wasted time, wasted movement.
The issue: You fade dramatically after the first few miles of the run.
The fix: If you’re slowing dramatically after 2–3 miles it’s likely because your pace is too aggressive in the first mile out of T2. But rather than back off your opening mile pace, you can gain the fitness necessary to avoid the drop-off by doing more transition runs after your bike workouts. Some of these brick sessions should be training-focused: a bike workout with 15–30 minutes of accumulated time at lactate threshold power output, followed by a 10-minute running interval at your open 10K race pace. When your rides are longer (two-plus-hour endurance rides), try a 10–20-minute run at approximately 15–20 seconds per mile slower than your goal race pace.