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Do these 3 simple things to improve your long term performance.

Updated: Jul 15

Everyone wants to be the best that they can be, and when trying to find the most efficient ways to train for endurance sports you are often led down a huge rabbit hole of testing, equipment, training techniques and nutrition guides. 

I am going to keep it simple- These are the 3 best but simple ways to improve your swim/bike/run performance

Be Consistent

By training you are causing your cardiovascular system and muscles to adapt positively. These adaptations happen gradually over time. If you feel that you can only do a 5km run at the moment, with consistent training your body will become more capable of running further and faster.

As well as consistent training, you also need consistent recovery. The best form of recovery is complete rest with a good diet and sleeping patterns. Sometimes this isn’t always possible with life going on around us, but taking a day off of exercise is always possible!

If you are not consistent your body will be adapting to your training and then reverting to what it was. You will lose any muscle that you have gained, your vo2 max will reduce as well as other cardiovascular improvements. These reversions will also cause you to use less energy at rest, causing possible weight gain and an increase in fatigue.

Training plan with a consistent week of training

Maintaining good consistency to your training will encourage more and more positive adaptations. It takes years for elite athletes to get to the levels they are. Being consistent for only 3 weeks isn’t going to help you reach anywhere near your performance ceiling!

A word of warning: You need to be progressive and gradual with your training. Starting off with too much volume or intensity will cause a much higher risk of injury. If you’re injured, you can’t train consistently!

Improve your technique

Improving your technique makes you more efficient in whatever sport you are doing.

Improving your technique in different sports is very different. Here is a quick overview for each of the triathlon sports:

Swimming - Changing the way you swim will put you in a more efficient position in the water and reduce your resistance as well as increase the propulsive forces you are creating to move you forwards. Unless you have a very good knowledge of swimming and a very good feel for the water, this may require a coach to find improvements as well as your own feedback.

Man on time trial bike in an aerodynamic position

Cycling - Changing your position on the bike to make you more aerodynamic or able to produce more power. This could relate to getting yourself lower on the hoods or drops, or perhaps getting a full bike fit and test to see how flexible you are to see what sort of positions you could get into. Getting lower and narrower on the bike is a common way to improve your efficiency but sometimes what is an aerodynamic position for one person is not the same for another. Everyone is built differently and aerodynamics is a very complicated subject. 

Coach explaining a technical running drill

Running - Naturally, everyone will revert to a running style that their body is most efficient with, even if it doesn’t look very economical. Improving your running economy typically comes down to balancing yourself both in terms of strength and mobility. There are lots of running drills you can do for your strength and mobility as well as lots of gym based exercises you can do to run more efficiently. 

You will often see elite triathletes, especially in the longer distances running in a way that doesn’t look very natural. This is typically because they have pushed a specific muscle or group of muscles to the limit and their running style is compensating for it.

Include Specific Training

Even if you have developed amazing consistency and technique, you will eventually plateau. You need to make sure that you have variety but also specificity to your training. You need to target your training towards the event and distance that you are doing. There is no use doing lots of swimming if you are targeting a half marathon, but there is also no use in doing 50m run efforts either! 

You need to target the energy systems that you will be using during your event to get the most out of yourself.


These 3 simple things to improve will take you to the next level, regardless of your ability if you're not already doing them.

If you can be consistent with your training, develop your technique and be specific with what you are doing, you will be well on the way to achieving everything you want to. 

A little bonus tip: Train how you enjoy training, you're far more likely to be consistent, and want to improve your technique.

This might seem simple but also overwhelming and sometimes we gain much better results with someone to guide us through the process, or someone to bounce off of. I started Efficient Endurance with the idea to make the training process as streamlined and efficient as possible. Our coaches at Efficient Endurance have years of experience working with all ages and abilities of athlete, but specialise with those that are just starting out in their athletic journey. If that's you, why not have a look at what we can provide you:

If you like this sort of content, why not sign up to our mailing list where we send out regular tips on how you can continue to improve yourself.

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