Triathlete.com had a front row seat inside the CLIF Bar & Company Theatre for a Q&A session with some of the sport’s top pros, including CLIF-sponsored athletes Linsey Corbin, Ben Hoffman, Terenzo Bozzone and Timothy O’Donnell. All of the athletes were asked to share their best triathlon tip. Here’s what they had to say:
Practice transitions. Go for a short swim, jump on the bike and go for a run. You can do that several times in a session—usually I would do it on a Saturday morning. It’s a pain in the butt to get back into your wet wetsuit, but I strongly recommend doing it and visualizing how you get through transition fast. And do it over and over again until it’s ingrained and becomes second nature.
Something will probably go wrong according to your plan. Put that behind you and think about the best decision you could make in that moment moving forward. It seems basic, and it is, but it’s one of the most helpful things you can do because whatever has happened has come and gone. All you can do is go forward from there. If you can keep that mindset you’ll be good, because there are also a lot of good decisions you can make during your day, too.
My tip is related to trainability. You can look at training a few different ways—obviously there is swim, bike and run training, which we’re all aware of—but I think you can also train things like nutrition. Early on I wasn’t able to take on as many calories but through my training I’ve been able to train my gut. You hear people say they can’t eat during a marathon or a race, but you can train your body to digest nutrition. But the biggest thing I train is my mind. Your mind is really trainable to overcome adversity, particularly in an Ironman, where you’re dealt with a lot of problem solving. You can train your mind to embrace those challenges, and I think that leads to success. All things are trainable.
The sport’s all about consistency; there’s not one workout that’s going to make you an unbelievable athlete. It’s what you consistently do over weeks, months and years of training and staying injury-free, healthy and happy, too. If you’re happy you’re going to race well.