Now more than ever, staying indoors and healthy is a priority. Our everyday lives have changed because of the ongoing COVID-19 – race cancellations, the daily routine of training, and lifestyles that we are used to. With this comes resiliency. It is important to educate ourselves both physically and mentally to live our better selves. Knowing ways to train for a triathlon during the pandemic proves our adaptability as athletes.
Surely, because staying indoors does not mean that you should stop training altogether.
Embracing The ‘Inside’ Advantage
It might not look like it at first, but well-seasoned triathletes including Ironman World Champion Chris “Macca” McCormack have been doing indoor triathlon training. Through this they achieved maximizing to the fullest potential.
Indoor triathlon training is a good opportunity to get used to (break-in) the equipment and tools you will be using before the actual race. You get to have a different kind of focus on various neglected key points you need to improve without the elements of the outdoors and wind flow disruptors. Plus, you get to hone your technique.
This is also the best chance to boost endurance through interval workouts. A study conducted on a group of volunteer bikers during 30-second high-intensity interval training and resting by Hakan Westerblad, professor of physiology and pharmacology from the Karolinska Institute, stated that muscle cells adjusted energy production to become more efficient, even more than regular training . This goes to show how effective your body can get in pumping out the required energy for a prolonged period. All through endurance training. A lack thereof can immediately tire you out, so it is best to start early on.
Include the treadmill as a necessity to train for a triathlon indoors. McCormack once stated, “10km on the treadmill, included 10x400m at 24km per hour pace for leg turnover,” referring to increasing his stride rate. Triradar recommends a good version of 6×30 seconds at 17 km per hour with 90-second resting intervals. This way, you focus more on improving movement efficiency and molding a better running form .
According to Brett Sutton, a renowned triathlon coach to four-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington, that performing indoor workouts is effective particularly to what he calls “marathon on a treadmill.” This method not only improves the triathlete physiologically but enhances mental stability and toughness. You are given the ability to control outdoor elements such as wind.
A turbo trainer comes into play. An intense workout with your bike – 6×5 mins with a few minutes of recovery, such as 5 mins, 4 mins, up until 1 min, going back to 5 mins with half the recovery each time is effective. This is tough, but as stated earlier, this is your mental stability and toughness being maximized. Pro tip: too much of the same routine can be too painful or mundane. Hence, getting in touch with other fellow PRKS.AI and reaping the gains together is a great way to jazz up your indoor cycling training.
Indoor cycling is a proven essential tool to train for a triathlon indoors. This increases the bone mineral density of the body which decreases the relative risk of injury and fracture, as stated in a systematic study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information . It is also proven effective in increasing leg strength and building speed stamina, as you get to focus more on getting used to your gear. You also adapt to difficulty when race day comes if you start early on.
Indoor swimming is probably the most familiar indoor triathlon training activity that everyone can get behind. Nonetheless, this has its own challenge: it is quite monotonous. A way to make swimming interesting is by building up your routine. You could start slow then work up to a non-stop 10-15 mins swim. It is also good to practice your dry to wet transitions as it is never too early to prepare for race day.
No Pool To Swim In? There Are Other Ways Around It
A swim ergometer is an effective swim bench for improving endurance, stroke technique, and strength building. This effectively simulates repeatable swim intervals and sustained swimming workouts. But swimming alone, as satisfying as it is, is not actually enough in maximizing potential. Incorporate other workouts that focus on strength such as pull-ups, lat pulldowns, barbell pullovers, and squat jumps. These will give you the boost that you need to further improve your swimming. Stretch bands can also play an important role here. It is key to include varied workouts to improve different key areas of the body when you train for a triathlon.
Don’t forget these quick tips to make sure you are ready for an indoor triathlon training:
- Warm-ups, cooldowns, and recovery. Significantly reduce the risk of injury by consistently conducting your 10-minute warm-up and cool down. Don’t forget about recovery! Your body needs to rest occasionally, so we recommend a once or twice a week of rest. A day of rest with another day followed by a light and easy workout is ideal.
- Recognize your weak points. Your indoor triathlon training is the right time to check and evaluate your progress and pace. Recognizing weak points gives you the chance to improve and hone your technique. Plus, monitoring your progress along the way is quite satisfying.
- Jazz up your routine. Consistently training indoors and doing the same routine can be quite a challenge. Do not hesitate to try other workouts that still effectively improve your required skill set. Make sure to ask your coach to review and update your adaptive daily and weekly plan if you think it’s time for a change.
- Mental strength is as important as your physical strength. Don’t underestimate your mind. Conditioning yourself to be prepared for the challenges ahead of time will do you a big favor when race day comes. So, it is important to stay motivated and fulfilled throughout your training process.
- Data-driven indoor triathlon training is the future. A fitness tool such as PKRS.AI will be able to track all your progress into concise, easy to digest data. Utilizing the technology that we have to improve you, and proven by world champion triathletes around the world, you will have a dedicated team of real human coaches available 24/7, all in the palm of your hand.
Check out PKRS.AI, Start For Free
Adaptable to your time, energy, and changing lifestyle. PRKS.AI will make sure you are well-guided and efficient through your daily and weekly smart training. And because you are transitioning to working your routine, tailor-made workouts covering indoor, cardio, and strength are made just for you. All these based on personal stats as analyzed by our expert coaches.
PKRS.AI is the ultimate fitness tool that seamlessly combines first in class AI technology and real human coaching. Available for both Android and iOS devices, check the app out for yourself and get started with your 30-day free trial today.
- Scientists Explain Why Interval Training Works, by Alice Parker, Time.com, November 3, 2015The Ultimate Triathlete Diet Guide, by Chrissy Carroll, RD, MPH, 2020
- Treadmill Training for Triathlon, triradar.com, February 17, 2012
- Health Benefits of Indoor Cycling: A Systematic Review, by Manuel Chavarrias, Jorge Carlos-Vivas, Daniel Collado-Mateo, and Jorge Pérez-Gómez, Medicina (Kaunas), August, 2019