In the banking and finance world, everyone is (or should be) obsessed with “return on investment” (ROI). This looks at how much money do you get back for the money you put in. As investors, we want the biggest return for the smallest amount put down. If we get $50 back in 12 months by putting $5 down today, that is a pretty good deal.
How you approach swimming and triathlon training should be no different.
Especially as time crunched athletes, we should be concerned about what returns in fitness, speed, strength and at the end of the day, race times, do we get back for the investments in training that we make. A $2000 pair of new wheels might (keyword there) yield 1 to 2 minutes on the bike leg. While just running consistently leading up to a race might yield you 20 minutes over the course of an Ironman. Which investment would you rather make?
Chances are, your race is months away, so here are 5 investments you should be making now so that come race day you can reap the benefits.
- Swim analysis:
a. Cost: Varies
b. Return: Preventing hours and hours of wasted time in the pool plus a chunk of time shaved off your swim split with extra dividends in energy on the bike and run in your next triathlon.
This should be a no brainer. Instead of wasting your time doing countless laps in the pool with no direction or purpose, a swim analysis will tell you what you need to work on and how to improve it.
- Bike Fit:
Cost: Varies from $150-$450
Return: pleasure and comfort on all those hours you will or are putting on the bike while preventing injuries and strains. Being able to stay in the aerobars for longer periods of time and thus decreasing drag is an added bonus.
The bike is where we spend most of our time in the race and training. So you should be comfortable doing it.
- Strength and mobility program routine:
Cost: Varies from free to $250 a month for a personal trainer, and 20 min a day to an hour a week.
Returns: decreased injury risk, a better body, and more flexibility.
Spending as little as 20 min a day can help reduce your risk of injuries, improve muscle imbalances, and make your body look better. For a good routine I like to do before my swims check out this video: click here, and for the stretch that every triathlete should be doing: click here.
- Structured training program
Returns: hours of time saved, accountability, and better times come race day.
While programs vary in their focus or methodology, they all share one thing in common: getting you to the start line with confidence and the fitness you need. If you think self-coaching is the way to go, you still need structure and a plan to make the gains that you want.
- Early bird race pricing:
Cost: Varies depending on the type of race
Return: $25-$200 dollars up front in savings plus the motivation of having a race on the calendar
Also, you can opt for the race day insurance if you are concerned about injuries or a family emergency. Or, look into whether the race offers transfers to a later or earlier race, which many race directors now allow.
Consider these the safest investments you can make in the world of training today. Invest now and you will be swimming in time savings, confidence, comfort, and yes a bit of cash later on.