How does an athlete set an almost 24 min Personal Best (PB) in a Sprint Triathlon?
If you read the typical ‘how to’ or DIY (do-it-yourself) articles on triathlon websites, then you will read that there is only one way to improve… by training hard, all-out, max effort, repeat after repeat all with a “no pain, no gain” mindset . If hard training (i.e. HiiT or Hi Intensity Interval Training) doesn’t get you the results, then you aren’t training hard enough; harder training is the ticket. If you still fail to succeed, then these articles leave you with two final options:
- Triple-down on the hard training and train harder still in an attempt to get faster, or
- Give up on getting faster, and turn to racing longer and longer distances.
If in the process you get injured, ill, or are faced with disappointment, frustration, these articles tell you to take comfort in knowing… that’s just how the cookie crumbles. Basically, suck it up buttercup… take on the hard training or face the fact that you probably aren’t cut out to be a triathlete, or any sort of athlete.
Inspiring? Motivating? Encouraging? Nope. Not at all.
So if hard training – HiiT – is not the solution, then what is?
How did Aimee set an almost 24min PB at the Trisport Niagara Sprint Triathlon this year? By doing none of what we are ‘told to do’. Aimee did not do one single HiiT session. Aimee did NO power meter training, NO heart rate zone training, NO FTP training, NO spin classes, NO Tabata, NO hill repeats, NO sets with pace times in the pool, NO interval sessions on the track.
Instead, Aimee focused on three things: skill acquisition/technique development, base training, and core movement training. The result… Aimee improved across all three sports and in her transition times, suffered no injury nor illness in the process, requires no down time after training to recover, and suffers no post workout strain or pain.
Compare that to the carbon copy results – i.e. same speeds, same splits, same pace times – that the typical triathlete experiences race after race. These athletes then return to trying ever more HiiT, as they try in vain to obtain marginal gains while gambling their health due to the increasing risks of injury and illness of HiiT.
There is another way to train, and Aimee proved it: training technique delivers results, and the results are as different as the training.