I have watched many Ironman races throughout my 30 years of triathlon and the big change I see, specially with beginner athletes is the lack of a proper triathlon foundation. Easy for athletes to focus on the "things" they can buy like Bike, helmet, clothing, nutrition , etc. and they easily forget what is more important.
I have watched many Ironman races throughout my 30 years of triathlon and the big change I see, specially with beginner athletes is the lack of a proper triathlon foundation. It's easy for athletes to focus on the "things" they can buy like Bike, helmet, clothing, nutrition , etc. and easily forget what is most important.
I have listed below a few of "What I see at Ironman races" and maybe you find here something you can improve:
Swim - Swim still THE most overlook part of triathlon training. Athletes do the bare minimum to survive and they get out of the water so tired that they have to walk to transition and use the first 20' of the bike to bring their heart rate down. I also noticed lack of swim skills (athletes need to adapt their swim stroke to their limitations) and lastly practice sighting so they can swim in a straighter line.
Bike - Improper and unrealistic bike position - I see soo many athletes riding with seat too high where they have to angle their ankle down so much to reach the pedals!!! Some people still don't know that if you have a noseless saddle (ISM, COBB, etc) you CAN NOT seat like you do in a normal road saddle, you have to use only the front part of the saddle. Then it comes the unrealistic bike position where they can't maintain for 112 miles making no sense, might as well use a road bike. Second very important problem I see is not have a proper hydration during the race. Very few people know how much they sweat per hour so how do they know how much to drink ??? (Check my article on how to do a easy sweat test at home). And lastly, I see inability to pace, they still get super excited on the first 30 miles of the race and they slow A LOT on the last 30 miles of the race.
Run - The run.... or for most the death march. I see athletes having difficulty holding body position, part is lack of knowledge of the proper running form, but mostly due to very weak core, specially lower back so they start to bend forward . But little do they know that they are making it worse by "adding" weight (due to center gravity shift) to their legs. Second is lack of muscle strength. It's hard for people to understand that marathon is about strength! You never slow down because your HR is too high or lack of endurance! You slow down because you can not move your legs efficiently anymore!! Than lastly is the long stride (and slow stride rate) some take to run which increases muscle/joint damage and load. Best is to keep stride rate high with shorter steps.
Off season is a great time of the year to address all these issues and have a better season next year! If you keep doing the same thing, maintaining same bad habits and getting weaker (yes we do naturally as we age) you will only get slower!
Happy Training :)