Each year, Team Timex holds an annual triathlon base camp in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Timex pulls together its full complement of approximately 50 team members from around the world for an intensive four days of training and planning at the Timex Performance Center next to Giants Stadium.
Competition for invitations to this event is fierce. Approximately 800 triathletes applied for only three open spots this year. One member of the team, Chris Thomas, has attended the camp every year since 2003. Thomas has placed first in his age group at the 70.3 Ironman World Championship two times. In 2011, he finished Kona in a blistering time of 9:07:08.
For those of us not fortunate enough to attend the camp, Thomas recently sat down and outlined five steps you can follow to help turn your first two weeks of hard training into your own personal Team Timex-inspired base camp.
1) Identify and work on your limiters. Take a hard, honest look at what went both right and wrong last year. Did you find new strength on the run only to plateau on the bike? Did you swim faster only to run out of the gas in the last two miles of the run?
Thomas says that the first step to a strong season is making a critical self-assessment of your limiters in the prior season. Once you have identified your biggest weakness, make that the focus of those first two base weeks. Let the other aspects of triathlon take a backseat for the start of your training.
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2) Focus on building core strength. When you are younger, you can get away with fewer core exercises and still place well in local races. However, as you get older, it becomes really important to strengthen tendons and core muscles.
Chris believes it's very important to teach the body how to work together more effectively as a unit. If you can generate power from your core over long periods of time, you will be that much more efficient later in the race when it really counts. He recommends that you don't start out with crazy exercises. He always advises his clients to focus on building the foundation first.
Exercises like the standard, reverse, and side plank are all simple to execute, yet very effective.
3) Take the time to find your true heart rate zones for each sport. Get your baseline heart rates right for each of the three sports in the first two weeks of the training season.