9 Essential Skills Every Triathlete Should Master


– Triathlon consists of three sports, a lot of kit, and a significant amount of faff. – So, to fine tune your performance, we have nine essential triathlon skills to help you become a more
efficient and faster athlete. (upbeat music) – Packing and being organised may not seem like a skill, but doing it well and
knowing what works for you will make a huge difference on race day. Making a checklist you can use every time is an efficient way to ensure you always have everything you need. Also, make sure you’ve
practised your nutrition and you don’t want to leave it
until race day to experiment. (upbeat music) – When we’re training in the pool, we have the tiles and
the lines on the floor to follow and keep us going
in the right direction, but out here in the great outdoors, we lose our guides or our sat nav. So, that’s where sighting becomes an essential triathlon skill. So, an effective sight to the buoys will help us take the
shortest and fastest line. Now, I suggest sighting
every five to seven strokes to really keep us on course. And rather than lifting your
whole head out of the water, just lift your eyes out to make it that little bit easier. (upbeat music) – In some races, drafting on the bike is illegal, but in swimming, it’s always allowed. So, why not take advantage of this? If you want to improve your swim time, then get onto the feet
of a faster swimmer. However, if you just want to
try and save a bit of energy, then find some swimmers who will be going at a similar pace to you. (upbeat music) – Effortless, seamless,
and looking like a pro is what we’re all striving
for on the swim exit, but sometimes getting out
of this neoprene super suit can be more stressful and exhausting than the swim itself. So, practise makes perfect and being confident with
this skill is essential. So, don’t leave it until race day. (upbeat music) – Transition layout
is an individual process that will vary from athlete to athlete. The idea is to have everything
you need laid out neatly, making sure it’s easily
accessible in the heat of a race. The bike mount is a pretty
hectic stage of the race where valuable seconds
can be lost or gained. Mastering this skill will
not only save you some time, but it will also help you
maintain your momentum for a smooth transition. (upbeat music) – This is an essential skill for training, racing, and general survival. Ignoring it or lacking in
confidence to take on fuel and fluid on the bike
can be a massive mistake. Allowing your fuel levels to deplete will not only affect your performance, but also make you feel pretty horrendous. (upbeat music) – [Heather] After many miles on the bike, your legs are likely to be tired. So, be prepared in case they
aren’t firing as normal. With practise, you’ll find
the best technique for you, but the main focus is
to make it efficient, smooth, and fast. (upbeat music) – A pacing strategy or race plan is crucial for you to
achieve your perfect race. Getting too excited and going too hard will only end in tears. So, using heart rate GPS
pacing or tuning into your body will help you control
that pace a lot better. But, of course, it is a race, so if you’re feeling good, why not crack on? (upbeat music) So, that’s our nine
essential triathlon skills. Let us know how you get on
with them in the comments below or if there are any other
skills that you’d like to see. And you can subscribe to Global
Triathlon Network for free by clicking on the globe and to see our how to
run like a pro video, just click at the top and to see our four swim
workouts for triathletes, just click at the bottom.

Comments 77

  • Let us know what you think is the most important skill for a beginner triathlete to learn 🏊🚴🏃

  • gtn never replies to your comments this is an example

  • 0:04 ?? A "significant amount of 'faf'"? What in the world is faf? Never heard of it.

  • Does gtn reply

  • Learning how to draft on the bike without race officials around is key.

  • In open water swimming, the cap should be from a bright colour and or neon one, right? 🙂

  • Anyone bar me never heard of the both the presenters

  • Can any tell me how high to build bike transition rack

  • You should do a video on how to prepare for the bike ride, how to put rubber bands, how to mount and dismount of the bike, etc. That would be great.

  • The rubber bands on the pedals always amazes me…

  • Could you do a video on mount and dismount? You touched on it a bit, but I'd love to get some tips and tricks (and drills). Thanks!

  • Techniques or workouts to look after joints. I have bad knee cartilages and knee caps from a cycle issue years ago. Did the Outlaw this year and 70 miles of the bike they were hurting so eased off to manage the rest of the ride and the run. Do you have gym sessions which might work to support the knees?

  • One thing i notice a lot with new triathletes and cyclists is how low their saddles are. They dont realise how much effort they are putting in and how much damage they can do. Maybe you could promote good bike set up tips so they dont hurt themselves like i did. Definitely a beginner mistake. They seem to be of the thought they have to touch the ground to be able to start off pedalling. I know GCN has covered it but could you do a video which helps people understand reliable ways to start and stop? Not necessarily the racing version although being triathlon focused it would be appreciated esp in slow motion. Thanks!

  • Brilliant video! Thank you!

  • I didn't know you could save energy by drafting while swimming, I always thought that waves created by the swimmer in front would slow you down.

  • In the words of Mark Threlfall during a particularly long day between John O'Groats and Lands End: "You can pedal and eat you know!". 😀 😉 Top tip.

  • First ironman sunday thank you for the tips

  • Happy that part of the video is in Samorin. Thanks for showing little bit of my country

  • In my opinion, an important thing are the few weeks before Raceday. How to ramp up, peaking the training without getting tired and burned out AND the correct tapering, eating on pre-race-day – in general the pre-race preparation. At the moment I am preparing for a race (4 weeks) and did too much last weekend and ran into overtraining. So, at the moment I have to stay cool in my mind and have to accept the fact that my body needs chill-mode now :-).

  • Seeing as this is a triathlon channel, why is there no tri-suits on the online store? All I can see is cycling kit!😅🚴🏼‍♀️

  • Great video ☺️

  • I bet you after this video Matt is just going leave his shoes on his bike forever. Problem solved.

  • how about teaching about staying motivated in training???

  • Being new to Triathlons having only done 2 sprints this season I'd love to see a video on tips, and training to go from sprints up to Olympic distance. Also tips on how to cut down transition times and make them smoother, or mistakes to try and avoid. Love the channel so far guys can't wait for the first maintenance video as they are my favorite on the GCN channel.

  • Woow this channel is amazing like GCN , like a pro.

  • When making a 90 degree turn around a buoy swimming backstroke can be much more efficient. Here is an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E8nuWyg4FM

  • How to perfect dead turns in a drafting race or on a tt bike

  • Hi. How can I improve my swimming in open waters if I have a fear of deep seas (where I can't see the bottom)?

  • Nobody is getting excited when they hop off the bike. No matter how many bricks you're doing.

  • I'd love to see a "how to" video on the T1 flying mount for triathletes. I've struggled to master this myself but would love to look as smooth as the pros do on this transition

  • Could you maybe do a specific video for the transition on and off the bike?

  • Can you cover how and when people go to the toilet during the larger triathlons? No one really talks about, but being hydrated means you will need to go. Thanks!

  • #10 Recover Well.

  • Another cracking video

  • that cervelo is a crime against cycling…

  • I'm amazed by how much things I've learned in just a few videos, keep it up GTN!.

  • Thanks for the tips! Love the show and the content so far! Can't wait to see what more you guys have to offer!

  • Would be great to see videos of exercices in order to avoiding injuries (especially the knee in my case)

  • Learning backstroke as your backup. In case of hyperventilation or any other reason of increased breathing frequency in open water it's the easiest way of getting things under control without losing precious time.

  • Also pacing the bikeride is pretty important. If you don't have a powermeter, you easily paddle over 500 watts to uphill by accident which makes the rest of the race very hard.

  • I got a question. Is it allowed in a tri race to have a type of "pit crew" strip and dress you as you come out of the water. Or must you donit all yourself?

  • Could you cover whether or not to use wet suit strippers in an ironman? I can't decide if I was actually better off running right past them or not. I know how to get my wet suit off quickly, but is running in it actually slowing me down?

  • I am sure Nutrition will be covered more but hopefully some ideas outside of races and training as well.

  • 'Peeing on the bike'? Heehee.

  • good vid…. I enjoyed it. Everybody sees things different and this was a great start.

  • Doing first sprint tri in October. Good timing on these videos!

  • I always have an issue of going to hard on the bike and taking way to long to find my running legs.

  • You should explain with a video for only a skill so everyone can understand exactly how to do or to master a special skill! Great videos! Keep them coming!!

  • This is my first Tri season and I struggle so much with bike as I'm a VERY nervous rider – what tips do you have to practice fueling on the bike and what is a good positions for things to go.

  • When u realise all those cycles cost a living (in my terms cos I'm a student) 😂 but it's a very nice episode

  • Loving all the material so far. Great material – just keep it coming!!

    I am very interested in any advice/tips on how to manage body temperature during hot races (28C + and humidity). For half-iron athletes we are running a half marathon around noon – the hottest part of the day – and often my biggest run limiter is the heat. Advice on heat management and getting in enough hydration and fuel on the run in hot and humid conditions would be great.

    Like several others I'm interested in the T1 process of using bands on my shoes, the flying mount and how to get the damn shoes on once you're rolling…..and then getting them off just before T2.

    Would be great if you could do separate videos on each of the 9 things (or at least some of them) – in particular, on the technique for efficient sighting and how to navigate a swim course (find the shortest line).

    Would love some detailed advice on how to figure out your pace for a half-iron bike if you don't have a power meter…..and, as others have asked, that embarrassing topic – peeing on the bike (sometimes it has to be done!).

    One essential thing on race day is knowing the "flow" of the Tzone: where you come in from the swim and find your bike, shortest route to the bike out; the shortest route back to your place when you finish the bike (it can be harder to find without your bike there!) and where to run out. Of course, if your a medium or long course athlete you also want to know where the closest porta potty is located!

  • Ditch the 10 seconds opening in your videos. GCN and GMBN doesn't use it because they are annoying, like watching a second advertisement.

  • One of the skills that took me the longest to master is putting on socks / shoes without falling over.

  • Essential advice for all the triathletes out there!

  • The sound at 2:55 #reasonsilovetobike

  • Maybe you l could do a video with gmbn or gcn trying to teach them how to transition

  • Also have enough time to do all this

  • Would love to see how triathletes recover after their intense workouts!

  • Be more funny. Where is the quirky British sense of humor. Don't take everything so seriously.

  • I'm interested in seeing how to set up your bike shoes with rubber bands

  • Time management is also a great skill for those who has a busy life but still wants to do an Ironman 😉

  • make sure you're bike is in the right gear at the start.When i first started triathlon, one time i had it on the highest gear (without realising of course haha!) and i must have lost at least a minute trying to shift them to a low gear.

  • I'm no where fit enough for a triathlon of any type, (I can't bring myself to run) but I'm enjoying this content. Will you be covering results and footage of competitions elite and otherwise. It would be great to see the less professional end of the scale represented too, show those of us who can only aspire to compete where and how to start.

  • Learn how to corner and basic bike handling. Railing a corner without losing any momentum can be the difference in minutes saved if its a twisty course.

  • GTN Logo on wetsuit! 🙂

  • Great stuff- did my first Triathlon yesterday and this actually helped 👍🏊🚴🏃

  • I'd be interested to hear what you have to say about technique, both running and swimming. I've already noticed your technique is quite a bit different than mine, and I don't know why and/or how to change!

  • rubber bands on the bike shoes? video on that would be most appreciated! thanks guys! keep up the good work!!!

  • dont forget…the morning #2 ritual

  • How about a video on running with a power meter.

  • Swim exit: taking the wetsuit off, I can do. It's standing up after a long swim and not immediately keeling over that I struggle with. Damn you, low blood pressure!

  • Like your tips! I believe there is some kind of trick method to tie your cycle shoes up when attached to the pedals in a way that allows for a quicker transition?? Perhaps a lesson on this?

  • I just did my first sprint triathalon 2 weeks ago I come from a swimming background but not a good cyclist,I went a 1 hour 12 minutes but my transistions and bike were terrible have another one in 2 weeks hope I can improve

  • Hi GTN, we are athletes of a Triathlon team from Italy, and we would like to ask you some tips concerning how to choose the races of the Tri-calendar in a very effective way. For example Is triathlon Sprint fit for beginners triathletes or it will be more challenging for the very high average speed in the third leg?

  • Awesome points by GTN👌👍👏

  • For sure I think the most important skills to learn and practice are definitely transition setup, practicing transitions, and fueling. I'm new to triathlon and practice the heck out of transitions, mounting and dismounting, and am trying to figure out how to not get the bonks during bikes and runs, but it's honestly pretty daunting and kinda something that seems like trial-by-fire and figure-it-out-as-ya-go.

  • Great content and top quality production as always. Thanks GTN

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