While most triathletes focus their training around volume and intensity, big gains can be realized by focusing on the bio-mechanics of each individual sport. This is mostly known for swimming, a sport that benefits more from technique than endurance or power, although cycling and running can also benefit from motor programming.
Since water is very dense, becoming “streamlined” is critical to improving your efficiency. Dedicate at least half of your time in the water (especially early in the season) to performing drills that improve your form. I am a big fan of the Total Immersion program, which provides excellent guidance on how to increase the efficiency of your body moving through the water. Both their book and DVDs are great resources.
Cycling, too, can benefit from improvements in bio-dynamics. Pay special attention to your stroke. Your goal should be to provide a smooth power transfer throughout the entire 360 degrees of your stroke, and not use a “push-pull” technique. Exercise “pushing your toes in shoes” and “scraping mud off your shoes” and do not be concerned with “pulling up”. Throughout these exercises keep your cadence high around 90 – 100 rpm.
Running has probably received the most attention recently in regards to bio-dynamic improvements. The barefoot running craze has reopened the conversation around strike efficiency and mechanics. No matter if you run barefoot, with lightweight trainers, or with supportive shoes, you will benefit from practicing a midfoot strike that avoids transmitting large loads through joints and create a breaking force that heelstrikes do. I recommend Chi Running to help you improve several aspects of your form–they offer several books and training programs.
By keeping bio-mechanics in mind and including technique focused drills in your workouts you can ensure that all that hard-earned endurance and power has the wanted effects on your swim, bike and run and set yourself up for a new personal best.