Four common missteps when prioritizing training concerns.

Illustration by Oliver Baker
Illustration by Oliver Baker

Four common missteps when prioritizing training concerns

Priority mix-up: You drop big money on the latest aero gear—but ignore the training and eating-right part.

Making your bike more aerodynamic means “free” speed on the race course. But you know what’s even cheaper? Actually riding your bike. Get creative with how you add in extra miles, because more saddle time—even five to 10 extra miles per week—will benefit your bike split. Keep a trainer set up so you can ride while you catch up on your favorite show, commit to riding to work once a week or add in a one-hour recovery ride after your weekend long run. Also, be realistic with your eating habits. Are you maintaining a healthy diet to fuel your training while helping to shed any excess weight?

Illustration by Oliver Baker
Illustration by Oliver Baker

Priority mix-up: You worry about executing that one workout perfectly, yet you can’t stick to consistent training.

Are you the triathlete who loves to debate the perfect race simulation workout or preferred interval structure? While those things are important, don’t let them stand in the way of stringing together weeks of consistent training. When recently asked about her secret to success, multiple 70.3 and Ironman champion Heather Wurtele said this, “There is honestly no secret. Just a lot of years of hard work and consistent training, plus a love for the journey.” Use a training platform like Training Peaks to easily track your consistency over weeks and months—if your training goes from five to 18 to six hours, aim for a better weekly average.

Illustration by Oliver Baker
Illustration by Oliver Baker

Priority mix-up: You think about how your training appears versus how it works for you.

Worrying about how a workout appears on social media can derail easy days. In some cases, logging off social media entirely could provide a boon for your fitness goals. Two-time Ironman champ Jesse Thomas is a Strava ambassador who tracks all of his workouts on the app. But, he warns, “If you start chasing segments every ride instead of sticking to your plan, your training will suffer and you’ll get slower in a hurry.” Be honest with yourself about what matters and your feed will be much more entertaining and authentic if you post the good, bad and the ugly.

Illustration by Oliver Baker
Illustration by Oliver Baker

Priority mix-up: You train hard before addressing imbalances and develop bad movement habits.

It’s hard to know the extent and future course of aches, pains and small illnesses. But if you have developed compensatory movement patterns due to pain or injury, those patterns will still be there after the pain is gone. Before you head into deep training, be proactive and address your movements and injury risk with a physical therapist.