220 Tri Clinic: Courtney Atkinson’s top-five
COURTNEY ATKINSON’S 5 BEST TIPS
SEEK PROVEN EXPERTISE
It’s simple. Before you follow someone’s training advice ask the question: where’s the proof in your claims and/or who and how many athletes have you succeeding in improving in the past? This can save a lot of pain in the long run. The key word is proven. You wouldn’t trust a GP to treat an illness that requires a specialist. Sport is no different.
Overtraining doesn’t develop from exercise alone. Work, family, travel and no sleep can often be more stressful to overall recovery then getting out and training hard. Having a consistent daily method to monitor overall feel and health goes a long way in identifying fatigue early, enabling adjustment of training or life accordingly.
STRENGTH AND ACTIVATION
As I’ve aged the importance of keeping the body in check and not just smashing out the training has become a priority. It doesn’t need to be in the gym lifting weights, but some bodyweight exercises, activation exercises and core work especially focused around the glutes not only help with injury prevention, but also with better motion while swim, biking and running – which equals free speed.
THE BEST RIDER DOESN’T WIN
I’ve seen so many triathletes who are so preoccupied with how fast they ride that I wonder why they’re not cycling instead of racing triathlons. Triathlon is a combination of three sports and each of those affects the other in both positive and negative ways. Working out the best way to put your jigsaw puzzle together using strengths and weaknesses will have you finishing the whole triathlon event fastest.
CHANGE IT UP
If you want to improve something but keep doing the same thing you’ve been doing, then you just get more of exactly that: the same. So change! Throughout my career I’ve discovered that, within a timeframe of about three months, I know whether a change in coach or training is going to be favourable or destructive. Sometimes it takes even less time. The main point is to be realistic with yourself and ask the right questions.