We can get lost in all the numbers of heart rate, mileage, wattage, hours per week, and more. Eventually, you can't see the forest for the trees. You can train like crazy to improve one aspect of your abilities, but if it isn't what's holding you back, you're actually wasting your time.
It is to your advantage to take a step back and do a quick assessment, no matter what your skill level. Here is how you do it:
- Go for a typical workout. Warm up, and then get settled in. For this test to work, you need to be a nice and ready, aware of your body and ready to listen to what it's telling you.
- Gradually push yourself to the breaking point. Slowly increase your effort until something finally keeps you from going any faster.
- What was it? If you couldn't catch your breath, then you need more aerobic work. If it was muscle failure, then you need strength-increasing gym work. If it was overall weakness, then it was fueling.
- Now fix it! Spend time working on the issue that needs the most attention and you. will. be. faster.
Remember - You should do this test for all three disciplines. You may have strong running legs but weak biking ones.
Brett is the brains and voice behind the Podcast "Zen and the Art of Triathlon" When he's not racing a self-supported Ironman or swimming across Lake Tahoe you can catch more of his great triathlon training and racing advice HERE.