Triathlons include swimming, biking, and running sections, but the training requires much more than that. Experienced triathletes know that you can’t have a good race without plenty of rest, mental toughness and physical strength workouts. These tips will help you increase your speed and decrease the time it takes you to finish the triathlon.

Go to sleep

Getting plenty of rest will improve your triathlon time. Not only should you be getting a good night’s sleep the night before the race, but it’s important to prioritize sleep all throughout your training. The body needs sleep to recharge and recover after a normal day. When you include the intense physical strain of a triathlon the need for rest increases.

People who regularly cut back on sleep have a decreased ability to metabolize glucose and produce growth hormones. These growth hormones are necessary for the body to make a strong recovery after a race or a workout. Establishing a regular bedtime routine can help triathletes get that extra shuteye. This includes limiting your time on electronics right before bed.

Matt Westenburg

Practice mental endurance

Another pro tip to improve your triathlon time focuses on your mental endurance. During your weeks of training that includes focusing on your own goals. Success looks different for everyone. While some people are setting records, others are just trying to finish. Setting small goals, like perfecting your race nutrition plan or maintaining a steady swimming stroke will help you have a more successful triathlon overall.

Matt Westenburg

Include strength training and stretches

Include strength building workouts into your triathlon training plan. Simply swimming, biking and running for miles on end puts you at a greater risk for injury. Get your butt in gear with some squats and lunges. Focus on form and work your way into heavier weights. By doing simple exercises you can target muscles groups more effectively. As you gain strength and increase the intensity of your workouts, don’t neglect stretching. Stretching allows you to have a wider range of motion and helps prevent injury.

As you’re building up to race day with your triathlon training, don’t forget to get some rest, increase your mental endurance and work on your strength training and stretches. These simple tips will increase your speed and decrease your finish time.