Martin Gore Face

3rd June 2016

Top ten tips: architect/triathlete

Duathlete, triathlete and IronMan, landscape architect Scott Thomson gives his top ten tips for training and competing…

  • 1. Be organised – training for three sports requires lots of different kit and probably training in lots of different places. On a typical weekday I’ll train in two of the disciplines before and after work. I pack my things the night before (kit and food) so that when I get up in the morning I don’t have to stress about where things are or rush around, I’m good to step out the door.
  • 2. Prepare your food. Training lots means refueling lots. Especially on days where you train before work you will likely be hungry through the morning. If you prepare food in advance you can refuel with the right things rather than grabbing convenience foods in desperation.
  • 3. Have lots of kit! I have a constant mountain of dirty training kit I have to try and keep on top of washing. If you train every day or even most days you are going to go through heaps of kit. Even more so when you live in Scotland, you just never know what the weather is going to be.
  • 4. Keep your gear in good working order – particularly your bike. A well maintained bike shouldn’t let you down on race day and keeping it in good condition should see you get years of good use from it.
  • 5. Working on your engine (i.e your fitness) is far more important than fancy bikes or kit. If you want to see big improvements in your triathlon performance then work on your ability in each of the disciplines. An expensive aero bike helmet might save you seconds – improving your aerobic ability will save you minutes.
  • 6. Work on your transitions as well as training for the actual disciplines. Time saved in transition is essentially free time and can be the difference between a few positions at the end of the race.
  • 7. Get to races in plenty of time. If you’re new to triathlon then it will take some time to get used to setting up / preparing all your equipment. Racing can be stressful enough on its own and the last thing you want is to be extra stressed because your rushing to get to the start line.
  • 8. Have positive mental focal points. There will be times in training and racing when things get really tough. Pulling up positive mental images can really help morale and pull you through those tough moments.
  • 9. Find a club / group to train with. Although triathlon is an individual sport, training doesn’t have to be. It really helps on those days when your finding it hard to motivate yourself to know your off to meet others to do the same thing.
  • 10. Most people who get into triathlon are weakest in the swim, and even if they are good swimmers have likely done little open water swimming. Race day will be far less intimidating if you get in as much practice as you can being in the open water. There are lots of organised open water swimming sessions, again seek out your local club.