Tri Talk Tuesday: Skill Development

I know I know, you all want to hear about my race from Sunday! I promise, I’m working on a post and hope to get it out to you tomorrow. In the meantime though, it’s Tuesday, so I thought I’d do my usual Tri Talk Tuesday post! This week, I’m linking up with Courtney, and Cynthia to talk about skill development. Tri-Talk-TuesdayThere’s so much I could talk about in terms of skill development, but instead I’ll just give you my top “tips” for each of the triathlon disciplines.

The Swim

In my opinion, the swim is what requires the most skill “development”. Most people can bike and run somewhat effectively, but the swim is a little more difficult to acquire efficient form. Here are my recommendations.

1. Hire a coach. If you do not know how to freestyle swim at all, it may be in your best interest to have a coach teach you how to swim. I think it’s important to be a confident swimmer so that you start your triathlon race on a good note. Just “surviving” the swim, should not be an option. :)

2. Read books/watch videos. I learned most of my swimming technique from going to a clinic called “liquid lifestyles”, by reading the Total Immersion book, and watching the video associated with it. All three of these really helped me as I began my swimming skill development.

The Bike

Anyone can ride a bike. Ok, most people can ride a bike. However, there are certain things you can do to be a BETTER biker. I’ve done many of them, and they’ve helped me–though I still need a LOT of work in this area. :)

1. Use a trainer. This is my number one tip! If you are to only do one thing to improve your biking-it would be to use a trainer. I strongly recommend the Wahoo Fitness trainer as you can use your iphone to control the resistance. It’s been a HUGE help for me!

My trainer. Best friend AND worst enemy all in one :)

My trainer. Best friend AND worst enemy all in one :)

2. Strength train. If you want to be powerful on the bike, you need to build strength in your legs. You can do this by doing short, speed intervals on the bike, and also by lifting weights. The weights is where I fail. I don’t enjoy weight lifting, but it is important to build power on the bike! The best lifting to do would be “power” lifts, where you have short sets with high weights. Another good strength training for the bike is plyometrics–like box jumps. Both will build your strength and explosiveness.

The RunMy favorite of the three disciplines. :) Again, anyone can run, but not everyone runs with the “best” form. To develop better form, there are a few things you can do.

1. Train on hills. Hill training will improve your strength, speed, AND form. When you start, just do sets of 10 strides as fast as you can up a steep incline. Then increase the amount of time and sets. You’ll see yourself become a much better runner from doing this as your training once a week!

2. Speed work. Speed work isn’t just for elite runners. Doing speed intervals not only improves your times, but it also improves your form. In addition, it trains you to have good running form toward the end of your race when you start to get tired. Most people start with speed work of 400 or 800 meter repeats. Just begin with a couple repeats, and then extend the distance and the amount of reps you do.

Doing speed work on a track can be helpful to know your distance.

Doing speed work on a track can be helpful to know your distance.

Do you work on developing your skills?

Whether you are a triathlete, a competitive runner, or a recreational runner, it’s important to work on your skills do improve efficiency and prevent injury!

Check back on here tomorrow and I should have a race recap!!!


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