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Female runner completes the final leg of the 2019 CapTex Tri on the South 1st Street Bridge. Text in design reads habits of a successful triathlete. Read the habits at https://captextri.com/habits-of-a-successful-triathlete/

Habits of a Successful Triathlete

Become a successful triathlete when you practice these 8 habits

To be a triathlete you need to have the basics of swimming, biking, and running down. But to become a successful triathlete (whatever that means to you/ whatever your goals may be) there are some other lifestyle changes you can make to really be successful. There are a few habits you can adopt to help you get there that already line up with your goals. Keep reading to discover the habits successful triathletes have in common.

Do your research/PREPARE

Find the right race for you. If you’re new to the sport, don’t go for a longer distance tri. Start slow and build your way up to your desired event distance. Will you need a wetsuit? Is your race even wetsuit legal? What are the benefits of a race being USAT certified? There’s a lot to learn, like knowing the difference between triathlon and road bikes. Proper preparation can reduce unexpected surprises that may come your way during training or on race day. 

Pace yourself

Don’t go full force when you’re first training or just getting back into training after offseason. Find a training plan and follow that as your guide. Be willing to make training tweaks if needed.

Know how to fuel

Nutrition during training and during the race has a huge impact on the way you can expect to perform come race day. Make sure you’re following the right nutrition plan for your body and the event distance you signed up for. 

Give Your Gear the TLC it needs

Take care of the gear that takes care of you. Follow instructions for proper care and give your bike frequent tune-ups to maximize performance. Clean gear is happy gear!

Know what you can control

You’ve done everything you can to make sure this race goes perfectly. You did a gear check, you packed the perfect race day bag and you’re ready to go! Then a storm hits. Don’t let this get you down or let you feel defeated before the race even starts. You know you’ve spent the time training and just remember to focus on what you can control for a good race. All the other athletes there are experiencing the exact same thing. Pre-race jitters are real and they can throw even the best athletes off track. If you know your jitters on race morning are going to be bad, work on a couple of exercises or something to help you distract yourself from the nerves on race morning. We see this all the time and its a really great way to center yourself before starting the swim!  

REST!

Take some time off when you need it! Listen to what your body is telling you so you don’t overdo it and risk an injury. 

Enjoy healthy food

Switching up your diet for healthier options is a really simple yet effective way to help you during your training. Of course, you don’t have to stop eating what you really love, but adjusting to a cleaner, healthier lifestyle is great for maintaining energy during workouts as well as leaving you feeling good too. 

Successful triathletes stay in the moment

Take it one day at a time. Everyone has good days and bad days and training for a triathlon is no exception. Remember why you started this journey or what inspired you to and focus on that when you’re having a tough day. Be kind to yourself and find ways to keep yourself motivated to reach the goal of crossing that finish line!

Woman buying helmet and checking the fit for safety

Easy Steps to Check Your Helmets Fit

Get the right fit and know that your helmet is fully protecting you

An unexpected fall from a bike can happen at any time with the potential to result in brain injury. The good news is that a properly-fitted helmet will reduce this risk. 

Helmets come in a variety of sizes depending on the manufacturer. Even though they are sized they will come with a fine-tuning dial so that you can adjust the helmet to fit your head specifically. Take the time to check your helmet before every ride. Your life is worth it and could depend on how your helmet is set up. Use these tips on how to make sure you have the right fit for your bike helmet. 

Size

The first thing you should adjust when choosing a helmet is the fit pads or adjuster ring. The helmet needs to be snug around your head to effectively protect you. It should not be too tight where you feel pressure and not too loose that there is any wiggle room. It should not be able to move from side to side or slip back off your forehead. If needed, add more fit pads to get a secure fit. If your helmet has an adjuster ring, modify the circumference until the helmet is fitted properly for your head. 

Positioning

The next thing to determine is how high the helmet should sit on your head to protect your head on all sides, in case of a fall. Two finger-widths should be visible on your forehead. You can also decide if your helmet fits properly by looking up. You should be able to see the rim or front edge of the helmet when you do so without interfering with your vision.

Pro tip: you should always wear protective lenses with your helmet, so make sure there is enough room to wear them both comfortably.

Straps

Cyclist wearing a helmet properly with instructions to check proper helmet fit for saftyTo keep the helmet in place, the next step is ensuring the chin straps are long enough to reach under your chin and can be tightened securely. This part is especially important because you do not want to be dealing with an ill-fitting helmet during your next tri. 

The “Y” shaped strap needs to fit under your ears comfortably and buckle under your chin without being too tight. Your helmet should not be able to move more than an inch in any direction. After you buckle the chin strap, it should be secured in the correct position.  You should not be able to fit more than one finger under the chin.

These straps can sometimes loosen with time so it is important to check your helmets fit before each ride. 

Comfort

While comfort is not a safety feature in itself, having a helmet that you find comfortable will mean that you wear it more often. While every helmet is the same safety rating, you will find more expensive helmets have more vents. If you have long rides planned during hot weather, having these extra vents to cool you off might make you more comfortable. 

Bicycle helmets only work if you wear them correctly. Helmets should always be replaced if they are in a crash. Yes, even if it is a “small one”, if your helmet makes any contact it could be compromised and should be replaced.

If you’re riding alone or going on a group ride, use these tips when shopping around for your next helmet to make sure you are as safe as possible on your future rides.

Checking your helmet fit for safety:

  1. The helmet is the proper size
  2. Fit is comfortable to be worn for long periods of time
  3. The helmet is snugly fit and cannot be moved more than 1 inch in any direction
  4. The helmet is no more than 2 fingers above the eyebrows. 
  5. Chin straps are tight with no more than one finger width under your chin.
  6. Side buckles are fastened just slightly in front of and below the ears. 
Training Tweaks to Improve Your Run Performance

Training Tweaks to Improve Your Run Performance

Improve your run performance for your next tri

If you’re looking to improve your overall endurance when it comes to running, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we’ll discuss a few ways to improve your run performance for your upcoming triathlon. 

Adjust Your Current Running Plan

Start by evaluating your current running abilities to establish your starting point and work from there. Then, you can determine how you will need to make adjustments to your run training. No matter how seasoned you are as a triathlete, preparation for the run leg is very similar. The most notable difference in advanced triathletes and new triathletes is the distance and duration of the runs. If you’re new to running or just got into running, try a high-intensity run to test your endurance capacity. Try to keep your pace consistent when doing so. Keep track of how long you were able to run at that pace without becoming fatigued. This is your starting point.

Improve Your Endurance

For beginners, maintaining the right pace for extended periods can be tough. We see this when athletes start too fast and fade at the end during a workout. An excellent way to learn how to maintain a new, faster pace is to do track-type workouts on a treadmill. Treadmill sessions are good for this because you’ll become used to holding your pace while dealing with fatigue. Short intervals on a treadmill while adjusting the incline can lead to an increase in your pace and speed without having to exert a ton of energy. This will especially help if your triathlon run has a hilly run course. During this time of focusing on your run, increase the number of run workouts you do in a week. Pro tip: be sure you’re warming up and cooling down for each session for the maximum payoff!

Get Used to Running on Tired LegsRunning on tired legs

Improve your run by incorporating brick workouts into your training and get out for a longer, more challenging run than usual after hard swimming or cycling sessions. Completing swimming or cycling workouts back to back with a run workout will help to familiarize your body with the movement patterns and expectations you’ll need for the day of your race. Because the run is the last leg of the tri, it’s important that you get used to running on tired legs.

Takeaway

Once you have mastered the running basics and established a starting point, you’ll start seeing improvements. Integrating these tips will likely increase your resistance to fatigue and improve your ability to run for longer periods of time at a steady pace. These tips are useful to triathletes because completing better quality speed training will lead to faster run time, and overall finishing time. With thought and planning, now is the perfect time to improve your triathlon run performance like never before.