Moving your body through a triathlon is a practice of pushing through resistance. Friction, wind, and will are forcing you to expend energy. You have two choices, fight against the resistance or find a way to flow through. Finding your flow through the resistance is mostly a matter of mindset. How you react and adapt to the resistance determines your success.
The average human swimmer is 12% efficient when swimming. Your average dolphin is 80% efficient. The dolphin has evolved to flow through the water. To move effectively through water, you must concentrate on good form that minimizes drag. If you fight against the water the water will win.
Tips for flowing through water:
- Keep the body in a streamlined position
- focus on gliding through the water
- reduce any inefficient movement
Bike Resistance –
On the bike the wind is the major force of resistance. Pushing through the wind gets exponentially more difficult the faster you go. Flowing through the wind means reducing drag, and flowing through the air flow.
Tips for flowing through the wind:
- use a set of aero wheels, energy savings of 5-8%
- wear an aero helmet, energy savings 5%
- a properly set up TT bike with aero bars can save 10-15% energy
- Keep your knees tight to the top tube
- in a stiff headwind maintain effort, don’t increase effort and burn yourself out
Wind can also play into mental resistance. A persistent headwind will wear you down. At times you are putting out a ton of effort, but making slow progress. In these times, you have to accept the headwind and flow through. If it is a race the wind is effecting everyone. Make yourself as small as possible, conserve your effort.
Run Resistance –
Running is essentially falling forward. You lean forward move your legs and you propel forward. Gravity is providing the greatest amount resistance, but also it is also moving you forward. Your job is find the flow, where you are using gravity to your avantage.
Tips for flowing though gravity on the run:
- lean forward from the ankles
- maintain good body position
- take quick steps, to minimize contact with the ground
- minimize up and down movement, concentrate on moving forward
- breathe, relax, and don’t fight against your body
Good things happen, Bad things happen. There is constant resistance trying to keep you from achieving your goals. The trick is to find a way to flow through the resistance. You can either fight against the resistance, or accept it and find a way to flow through. Be flexible, and adapt to the changes and situations. Things good and bad will happen, it how you react is what matters. If you are focused on your goals, you will find a way to flow through.