4) Good Posture
The bottom line is that when you maintain good form on the bike, and generate the power from your core, you help save your legs for the run. In other words, even if you struggle on the bike, you can still put in a good run. This habit payed off for Scott in one race when he came back from 29th place after a poor ride to finish 5th overall.
The bike is one of the most difficult places to maintain good posture. You want to sit tall and keep your ribs high. Start by placing your sit bones properly on the seat, at the back of the saddle. Put your hands in the hoods or on the pads. Pull your rib cage and the top of your pelvis apart. Literally grab your rib cage and open that gap. This helps drive your effort from your core.
When you move down to the drops, do it one hand at a time and try to hold your hips in the same position. They will move slightly, but you want to minimize the slouch and try to keep that distance between your ribs and your pelvis.
More: Do You Have Bad Running Form?
5) Year-Round Strength Training
Dave Scott believes that strength training year-round was paramount to his success. He believes that all triathletes should train year-round, not just in the offseason. “Most triathletes race well in May and June, then fall off in September and October, when they really need to race well,” he says. It’s because their strength has slowly deteriorated throughout the season.
He agrees that a strong core is most important, however, he says it’s about more than doing crunches. Your core is a complex system of 29 muscles that work in harmony and coordination to stabilize the spine.
In the front, it starts bellow the breast (ziphoid process) goes down through the abs and through the pelvis to the mid-thigh. In the back, it goes from the mid-hamstring, up through glute muscles, to the lower spinal muscles and through the low to mid back.
The best way to strengthen the core is with full-body exercises that improve the strength of those 29 muscles.
Olympic lifts are some of the best exercises for your core, for example the deadlift or the Romanian deadlift. Kettle ball thrusts and squat thrusts with a dumbbell are also really good.
The main idea is to combine your glutes with the upper body, to help your core stay in alignment.
More: 20-Minute Strength Training Workout
The world’s best triathletes are “lean machines.” The goal should be to maximize muscle mass without compromising muscle output.
Among the things you should and should not do, Scott says you should avoid eating simple sugars before you go to bed. Eating simple, refined sugar heightens your cortisol levels, which inhibits the natural production of human growth hormone and Testosterone, and lowers the body’s ability to burn fat. And you want to burn fat at night.
What you should eat at night is protein. Scott recommend anywhere from 6 to 15 grams before bed. Protein has an anabolic affect, which means it helps with muscle building and recovery. And that’s the ticket to becoming your own lean machine.
More: Nutrition Basics for Life and Training
Take these weapons to your next triathlon.