Five quick, easy ways to test your health and fitness

Try these simple ways to assess your fitness to race, from resting heart rate to the 'brownie point deficit'


Here are our top five tips for ensuring you are fit to race, or at least your fitness programme is on target


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Resting Heart Rate (RHR)

If this is significantly raised (>10%), you’ve had cold symptoms or are feeling a bit off-colour, it’s a safe bet that signing up to race at the moment is not advised.


If you’ve been irritable, lacking in a sense of humour and just generally not your usual self, you might be ‘season-tired’ – others may be a better judge of this.

Weight loss/gain?

Due to fatigue affecting appetite athletes can either crave sugary food and overeat or be turned off food completely. This can result in big fluctuations in weight. Habits around food can be very insightful.

Race pace?

Your ability to produce race effort versus perceived exertion of effort can be tested over short periods (5-10mins). If you’ve done it for 20mins or 30mins but fail to even make 5mins, I’d say more recovery is required.

The brownie point account

If you’re in worse deficit with your partner/family/friends than Greece with the EU, it may be wise to drop racing and rebuild bridges. A visit to the in-laws won’t be so terrible – after all, there might be cake….

(Images: Jonny Gawler / ITU / iStockPhoto)


For lots more performance advice, head to our Training section