As a professional triathlon coach, the answer I get asked most often is “why am I not getting faster?”

Triathletes usually see great performance increases in the first couple years of training, but then their performance plateaus.  Approaching the half-way point of 2019, it’s time to take a moment to critique how your training has gone so far; whether good or bad, it gives you the time to make corrections to hit the ground hard in the second half of the year to help your performance.

It can be frustrating and draining if you fall short of your goal and feel like you’re not getting faster.  Here are six reasons why you may not be reaching those goals and how to overcome your dry spell:

  1. You lack consistency. Consistency is key when training for a triathlon. You should have a regular training schedule and stick to it. There are several reasons why people take breaks in consistency – sickness, forgotten equipment, busy work/life schedule, or injury – but all of this can be avoided if you have a triathlon coach to work with. Your coach will work with you to create a realistic training schedule and hold you accountable. They will help you stay consistent and help you reach the success you want to achieve.
  2. You’re ignoring your weakness. As a triathlete who trains for three sports, there is usually one or two parts of your sport that needs improvement. Embrace your weakness(es) and make a commitment to improve – which will help you improve your entire race. Setup a focused block of time – several weeks – to focus on one sport while maintaining fitness in the others.
  3. You’re Pushing Yourself Too Hard. You need to train hard, but you also need to do some easy workouts so that you can work hard during your hard trainings. How easy should you be training? When doing long runs, your pace should be 30-60 seconds per mile slower than your race pace. This will help your body take time to recover and will help you work hard and fast when you need to.
  4. Your Workouts Aren’t Purposeful. You should be training – not exercising. You’re exercising if you have no purpose with your workout.  Both are good, but training properly is what will get you faster. If you’re just doing the same kind of workouts during the entire year you won’t get the results you want.  Your trainings need to be specific to meet your goals and help you get faster.
  5. You Have Bad Form. You won’t get any faster if you have bad form. This may be a big factor if you have plateaued. Poor form will cause competing in a triathlon uncomfortable, but it can also cause injury. This won’t allow you to see the results you’re looking for. 
  6. You’re Not Setting the Proper Goals. Your goals may not have a clear deadline, plan of action, or specificity. They should be specific so that they can be measured. Vague goals will only end up frustrating you.  Your goals should be detailed so you know when and how to achieve them.  You should also set short-term goals and small goals. Set goals for the week, month and even individual training sessions.  This will help you stay focused and motivated to achieve your big goal.

Unfortunately, plateaus are real.  But if you follow the tips above you will be able to achieve your goals and get faster in your sports.  If you need help with customizing your training plan or setting goals to determine how you can get faster, contact me today.  I can help you make the most of your training.

Train Right, Tri Right!

Coach MJ


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