Thomas: Q’s from twitter: A few of my not so favorite things

After a bit of a break, I have gotten back to responding to input from Twitter. Today’s topic: Things that don’t matter in triathlon. I threw together this list pretty quickly, so most likely I will have to add some more things later. Enjoy!

Running in circles in your driveway to get the extra 2 minutes after you get home. If you are at home, just stop. Next ride or run you might go over. Everything will even out.

Visors: Just my opinion but unless you are somewhere really sunny and hot, visors are for golf. Do you see runners with visors? Nope, I didn’t think so.

Walking your bike over dirt road section, for example, construction zones, instead of riding over it. Road bike tires are actually much more durable than you might think. I actually train on real dirt roads a lot and have never had a flat from that. Much more likely too get flats from riding old tires.

Riding carbon race wheels while training. Save it for the race. It won’t make you any faster to train on them. In fact, you will get stronger by riding really heavy, crappy wheels in training then only in important races, switch to race wheels.

Training in your aero helmet: Don’t get me started… this is the same category as riding carbon race wheels as training. Use your head. Save the benefits for race day.

Too much gear on the bike (Racing): Keep it simple! Cover your bases of course with basic essentials for a flat tire but minimize what you take on your bike. You only need 2 water bottles, max! The distance between aid stations is never very far so even if you miss one station, you are fine.

Compression gear. First of all, compression shorts, shirts, or anything but compression socks are BS. On the topic of socks, the last research I saw, the benefits of compression were only found with very short maximal efforts and recovery post training. In the case of triathlon, recovery is very relevant and I do use recovery socks after hard workouts and traveling. During training is up to you. You won’t get faster but some people get less calf pain by using them however it depends so much on your individual running style and durability.

Run sprints: Everyone has different ideas how to get the best out of their body but in my opinion, doing any kind of sprint efforts for triathlon will give you zero benefits. You will never run anywhere close to that speed in a race, so don’t bother training at that pace. Also, the higher the intensity, the higher the risk of injury.

Jogging in place at stoplights: I hope this is not something ANY triathlete does, but just in case. DON’T do it. Honestly, will you gain any physical benefits from lightly bouncing up and down in place? Use that time more wisely, grab a drink, stretch, relax, anything but jogging in place.

300km bike rides: Even if you are getting ready for an ironman, there is no reason to be doing more than about 200km. Ok, if you want to have a good story to share over beers in the winter, go ahead, but don’t expect any improvement in performance. Like any type of training, there is a limit to ‘more is better’.

Bike weight: It is pretty common you see people investing in crazy expensive bikes with super light frames and wheels. Then they strap on the seat post mounted bottle cages giving them a total of 4 bottles. Do the math; one water bottle with fluid weighs 750g… that is more than your whole front wheel! Just ride with two. And consider watching your diet more closely too, as that is much cheaper than a set of carbon wheels.

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Darby Thomas


Darby Thomas on Suomessa asuva, mutta Yhdysvalloissa syntynyt triathlonin ammattilainen. Thomaksen blogi julkaistaan englanniksi.
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