Triathlon – How to Race Faster!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No. It’s a triathlete!

Author: Emma Bishop of

Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Every triathlete on the planet is looking for that short cut. But just as Superman cannot really fly (yes it’s true, sorry to let the cat out the bag). It can also be said that there isn’t really a short cut to getting faster.

But, there are options and choices you can make along the way to help you get from A to Z quicker

Caroline aka ‘Bean‘ Koll is a pro South African triathlete. Every training day is a constant battle for survival when training in SA. If she is not trying to out swim the crocs, then she’s trying to out run the big cats and out bike the herds of elephants. Oh okay, so I got carried away…but one of those 3 is TRUE!

Anyway she knows more than most because of her roots (that’s my simple train of thought!) of how to race faster. She also writes a great blog, so check it out!

Bean says:

‘In Africa, it is eat or be eaten. If you are a gazelle, you have to be fast to out run the Lion, or you get eaten. If you are a Lion you need to be fast in order to catch your prey. You don’t catch prey, you don’t eat. The best way to race is to imagine that your life depended on it – could you speed up if your life was threatened?’

So, a few things that can make you faster:

Lose body weight (in case you were thinking ‘gear’)

 It is far cheaper than buying the latest, lightest and most expensive bike gear, and it makes a far greater impact! That said, if you can see your ribs, veins and muscle fibres, perhaps losing more weight would make you weaker.

TIP: Keep it in balance people.


Very helpful for motivation and focus. These can provide you with the information you need to go faster, however, it is how you interpret the information and apply it to your training that counts.

TIP: I find that the iPod has miraculous powers of pain reduction during hard intervals.


Can be one of the best things you can spend your money on. A GOOD coach can offer you the perspective that you often cannot see yourself. With a coach there is no doubt when it comes to your training – no waking up and deciding “What should we do today?”. However, the coach – athlete relationship is critical.

TIP: Find a coach that is approachable and understands you, your time constraints and your goals.


Train your hard sessions HARD and train your easy sessions REALLY EASY.

TIP: The middle ground does not yield results.


Eat according to your training. Hard sessions require good quality protein after, whereas big endurance sessions need a good carb store beforehand.

TIP: Vegetables are essential for keeping your body well stocked with minerals.

Group training

Best avoided if you’re lacking in discipline. These sessions can definitely be beneficial in making you faster, provided that all group members are in agreement of the object of the session.

Do you have any other ‘short-cuts’ to add? What works best for you when you are trying to get faster in the swim, bike and run?

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