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7 Steps you should take right now to nail your race season

Make the most of the winter months to be well prepared for a summer of great racing

Photo by: Argon 18

We’re almost a month into the new year, and if you have some major goals this season, now is the time to start putting things in place to achieve them. Despite what our friends and coworkers might always say, triathletes are human, and even the best of us can procrastinate, especially when the weather outside seems as far from triathlon-friendly as it can get. The warmer weather will be here before you know it, though, so now is the time to get the ball rolling to make the most out of your upcoming race season. Here are some of the things you can, and should, be doing right now:

Get a bike fit

Canadian pro Angela Naeth gets a pre-season bike fit.

Your position on the bike is the number one determining factor in how fast you will go since upwards of 80 per cent of your energy goes into breaking the wind. If you’re planning on riding the same bike this year, now is a great time to dial in your fit so you’ve got lots of time to adapt to it. In an ideal world you’ll do another fit about six weeks before your first big race of the season, just to see if there are any minor tweaks that will help based on your improved fitness.

Bike fit: Dial in your position with tips from an expert


Get someone to analyze your swim stroke

We all know that swimming is all about technique. So why not take some time now to get some tips on what you should work on before you build into the heaviest part of your swim training? Even if you don’t have access to a coach, finding an experienced swimmer who can give you some tips can be a big help. Have them, or someone else, do some video of your swim stroke, too, so you can visualize what you’re doing and what you’re trying to change.

If it’s still a challenge to find someone to help you, there’s some new technology out there that can help. EO SwimBetter is an incredibly sophisticated product that can provide excellent swim analysis, while Form HeadCoach uses the company’s innovative goggles to provide coaching metrics that can help your stroke, too.

Start practicing your race-day nutrition

Lionel Sanders has been vocal in his YouTube videos about his liquid nutrition plans. Photo: Lionel Sanders YouTube

Got an Ironman in the cards for this season? Did you have issues with nutrition at your last full-distance race? There’s no time like the present to start working on that problem. Now is also a great time to start getting used to whatever products will be used at your upcoming big race, too. Now is a good time, too, to play around with pre-race meals, too. Experiment with some pre-workout options now to see what sits best in your stomach.

Switch up your training – Train Smarter

If you didn’t quite meet your goals last season, have you taken some time to try and figure out what held you back? In all my years of coaching, almost all of the triathletes I’ve worked with have been extremely motivated. They’ve seldom been hindered by not willing to do enough or to work hard enough. Our bodies respond well to variety and change, too. So why not use this opportunity to make some changes to what you’re doing.

Work on your recovery

With three sports and strength work (if you’re not doing that consider it number 8 of our suggestions) on your plate, one of the most important components of a decent training program is recovery. It’s easy to keep thinking that the season is months away and all you need to do is get your workouts done, but there really is more to it. As the story below points out, it doesn’t have to be expensive, and the more recovered you are, the better your training will be and it will be less likely you’ll get injured.

5 recovery tools that are common household items

Get enough warm up and warm down

Now is not the time to simply be getting workouts done by rushing through them. And, if you’re outside, the cold weather means it’s going to take a bit longer to warm up, anyway. Give yourself some time to cool down after your workout, too. This is especially true as we get older. Whether you like it or not, you’ll be one year older this race season.

Get more sleep

This one could certainly be tied into the recovery section. So many of us are pressed for time, so it’s easy at this time of year to skimp on our sleep time in order to meet deadlines and keep up with our busy lives. Once again, that’s not going to help you get the most out of your training right now, though.