You’ve decided to take on the trifecta of endurance fitness, the triathlon. How well you do may lie in a few factors, suggests research published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.
Texas Tech University researchers uncovered the factors that predict faster triathlon times: age, previous best half-Ironman time, goal time, and importance of reaching this goal. “Triathlons have a high learning curve,” says study co-author Jamie Cooper, PhD, who is an assistant professor of nutritional sciences and owner of Competitive Nutrition Systems. “You really have to fine-tune training, nutrition and taper. Much of this is done through trial and error; that is why previous experience and to a lesser extent, age, factors into success. It is really about finding out what works for them.”
As for having goals and placing an importance to reaching them, Dr. Cooper points out that having a goal—no matter what it is—is motivational. Giving that goal importance helps prioritize preparing for it in your life, she says.
If you’re training for your first tri, know that the goal of finishing will help you do so. And as you tackle more and more of these run-bike-swim competitions, experience will be on your side and you’ll perform better.