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Everything. I had no structure last year and I wasn't taking rest when I should have been. Also periodisation from winter blocks to spring/early summer Vo2 intense sessions to get me sharp for race season, also strong mental focus, that's what it’s all about!
It amazed me how much recovery is actually needed to keep performing at a high standard of racing and training. Last year if I missed a session due to bad weather or just being too tired after work I thought I was missing out but now I can use it as an advantage to take an extra day rest. The following day I am able to put in a better quality session - REST!
I never knew how to train my swimming. As bad as it sounds, until November last year when I starting coaching from Dig Deep. First thing I recommend is a swim analysis, then once you know what's wrong, work on it. A lot. Technique is key then build strength, it was probably my weakest discipline in the earlier stage of this year, but after a few races I realised it needed a lot of work and that's what I did. Good swimming comes from a lot of pool work not once or twice a week, put in the work and the results will come!
Anything I don't know my coach will know that's how brilliant my coach is. From specific sessions to recovery secrets, I give him feedback and he will plan round that. If its work I’m worried about or a bit tired from an earlier session he meets me half way, he lays everything out for me from my warm up to main set to cool down then recovery!
Simple , my first NS triathlon win :)
To really reach that next level it took a lot of hard work I am aware there is more hard work in the future but its worth it, it certainly does in a social aspect and work of course having to train 2-3 times a day is not easy, once again that is why rest is so important!
If I know the course I focus on each route/discipline,if not find a course map from the race site ,then I think through each transition , like where I exit the swim or exit the bike and run all this can save seconds on your transition time, then I visualise beating my opposition, if you cant visualise it ,it will never happen , even if its only having a faster split than them it gives me a better mental focus for the next time I race!
The most important meal of the day breakfast, it should include porridge oats ,fruit ,yogurt coffee if you like it and an omelette, I have been eating turkey and brown pasta/rice for most meals also loaded with veg maybe a sweet potato too, recovery within 5 minutes protein shake, banana ,dried fruit and fruit juice to get sugar levels up, I have stuck to this all year and became very lean and kept healthy ,a balanced diet is very important I do mix it up and I have a cheat meal after a race or really hard weeks training pizza is a favourite for me :)
Take a rest when you’re supposed to and enjoy your sport!