The law of diminishing returns is something you typically hear in the context of economics. If you’re unfamiliar with it, the dictionary defines it as a term “used to refer to a point at which the level of profits or benefits gained is less than the amount of money or energy invested.” So you must be wondering how a term from economics applies to triathlons?
Many triathletes started off in one of the three sports before making the jump into competing in triathlons. Obviously this would mean those particular triathletes are much stronger in one sport than the other two and you wouldn’t need to spend as much time on it.
Now we can see how the law of diminishing returns applies to triathlons. However, there is one sport that is affected more than the others.
Due to how disproportionate the length of time the swim takes in relation to cycling and running, swimmers are at a disadvantage. If you’re a really good swimmer, you don’t need much time in the water. Based on your existing abilities, you will see minimal gains in relation to the amount of effort you are putting in. You could probably get away with two days a week in the pool.
So my advice to swimmers: spend less time in the pool and more time working on the other sports. You’ll need to make your weaknesses your strengths.