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Carefully Curated Triathlon News for April 18, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Proven method for increasing your VO2max
  • 9 exercises to attain the optimal aero bike position
  • Strength training that complements tri performance
  • Why you should never ride a road bike in a triathlon
  • Mark Allen’s 3 tips for faster triathlon running

GRIP’S RUN TIPS

6x IRONMAN World Champion Mark “The Grip” Allen – once considered the World’s Fittest Man – was feared for his devastating run.

Check out his 3 battle-proven tips to improve your triathlon running.

As we leave T2 our cadence, footstrike and fatigue are very different than when we’re running on fresh legs.  Allen’s advice will help prepare you for what you’ll experience in the race.

RACING UPHILL

To fully understand the profound benefits of a tri bike over a road bike, read (or listen) to coach Michael Liberzon’s advice for racing on a hilly course.

Over 70% of your power is used to overcome aerodynamic drag.  Even on mountainous bike courses at races like Nice and Lanzarote, the aerodynamic superiority of a TT bike outweighs the weight savings of a road bike.

To fully exploit these advantages, Liberzon stresses the importance of a proper bike fit (to maintain your aero orientation).  He also encourages regular shifts in seating position throughout your ride, and careful integration of your hydration system.

The bottom line?  If you average 200w in a full-distance IRONMAN, a well-fitting tri bike can save you more than 17 minutes

LONGER & LOWER

Now that you understand why it’s so vital to ride a tri bike, how can you capture all its aerodynamic benefits?

In his 2-part series, bike fit expert Neill Stanbury outlines the 3 common limitations that prevent optimal aero positioning and the reasons that cause them.

The good news is that you can overcome these limitations.  In part 2 Stanbury offers a variety of exercises and drills that fix these impediments.

Dedicated bodywork designed to reduce your coefficient of drag is one of the best ways to gain speed on the bike.

TOOLS FOR THE JOB

There’s no better way to level up your swim skills than by performing the proper drills with the right training accessories.  That’s where FINIS comes in.

FINIS understands triathlon swimming.  They design and manufacture the most innovative swim products in the sport, engineered to help you become faster and more proficient.

Strengthen your kick with the Long Floating Fin (Dave Scott’s favorite).  Refine your entry and pull with the world’s best selection of swim paddles.  Discover how the Tempo Trainer can increase and optimize your stroke rate (key for open water speed).  Or finally correct your timing and body rotation by drilling with the Stability Snorkel.

No matter what element of your stroke you want to improve, FINIS has a product that will shorten your learning curve.

As always, TriathlonWire readers get 20% off your purchases with coupon code TRIWIRE.

TRI-SPECIFIC STRENGTH

So you’ve been diligently doing your strength training, but is it translating into faster performances on the road?

Elite triathlete Kelly Fillnow shares her insights on building race-specific strength.

She emphasizes heavier weights and fewer reps early in the year, followed by power-focused objectives as competition approaches.

Follow her sample training weeks and notice how her work in the weight room complements her triathlon performance.

YES YOU CAN

You might have heard the old rule-of-thumb that VO2max is nearly untrainable.  No matter how many HIIT workouts you performed, you’re stuck with what you were born with.

However work by Alan Couzens and others indicates otherwise.  With the proper training, Couzens demonstrated that VO2max can be increased by over 20%!

The catalyst for these improvements is low-intensity, high volume training.  In other words, lots of Zone 2.  This lower intensity maximizes cardiac stroke volume and mitochondrial development.

Learn more about the physiology of why this works and apply it to your own program.  Paradoxically you might find that fewer high intensity efforts will increase your VO2max and overall performance.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Pull Into Breath
    Breathing too late during the stroke compromises your freestyle mechanics.  Correct this problem with Brenton Ford’s cue to pull into your breathwhile practicing full extension.
  • Himalayan Dream
    Looking for the ultimate triathlon adventure?  Then check out the 2024 XTERRA Nepal.  Scheduled for mid-November, this multisport festival offers numerous race options and its host city of Pokhara is the ideal base for post-event Himalayan treks.
  • Repair the Band
    Eliminate the pain of IT Band Syndrome once and for all with Jeff Cavaliere’s IT band fix that will relieve the tension at the knee and along the entire iliotibial band.  You’ll never foam roll the IT band again!
April 17, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for April 11, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 6 tips for faster 70.3 bike splits
  • How to build bulletproof shoulders
  • 3 myths of post-workout recovery nutrition
  • Learn & improve the elements of faster freestyle
  • Why you shouldn’t run a marathon

FASTER FREESTYLE

There’s a reason why this video has over 2.7 million views.  Decorated coach David Marsh presents a series of progressive drills that will guide you to faster freestyle.

Finally, understand why certain drills work to enhance specific components of your stroke.

This video has helped countless swimmers transform their technique, and learn how to cut through the water like a speedboat, not a barge.  It will change your approach to freestyle.

HALF BIKE

3-time Kona podium finisher David McNamee offers 6 prescriptive tips for faster 70.3 bike splits.

He reveals his favorite on-the-bike strength session, and shares his hydration plan.  He even describes the structures of his ultimate interval and endurance workouts, specifically designed for IRONMAN 70.3.

This level of detail is rarely shared by triathlon’s top pros, so study carefully and apply them to your own training for better bike results.

MARATHON’S PLACE

For serious long-distance triathletes, there’s only one place for a marathon, and that’s after a 2.4-mile swim and a 112-mile bike.

According to coach Russell Cox, competing in an open marathon has no place in your IRONMAN training program.

Learn why you should avoid running a marathon during your IRONMAN build, and what to focus on during your run training instead.

FUEL TO WIN

UCAN’s proprietary SuperStarch (called LIVSTEADY) is a low-glycemic, complex carbohydrate that has changed the way triathletes train and race.

The flavors are subtle and not too sweet.  With zero sugars and zero stimulants, UCAN provides sustained energy throughout the race with no GI or stomach upset.

We demand steady energy and sharp mental focus throughout the race day.  That’s why champions like Katie Zaferes, Tim O’Donnell, Emily Sisson and Meb Keflezighi rely on UCAN to fuel their performances.

As always, readers of TriathlonWire receive incredible discounts on all UCAN purchases by using this linkCheck out their complete line of drinks, energy bars and snacks and – for a limited time – take advantage of their FREE SAMPLES!

BUILDING BLOCKS

Few topics stir the pot more than post-workout nutrition.

In this article Chris Carmichael and Jim Rutberg address and dispel 3 misconceptions about protein’s role in recovery.

They explain how to pace protein ingestion throughout the day, and discuss whether older athletes should increase protein consumption due to their declining efficiency of muscle protein synthesis.

They also clarify whether we should load up on protein immediately following a workout, and why – after a long, difficult session – carbs should take priority.

SHOULDER THE LOAD

Bulletproof shoulders and scapula require strength, stability and suppleness.

Enhance muscle control and mobility – while reducing the chance of injury — with coach Lawrence Herrera’s recommendations for building sturdy shoulders.

These simple exercises are easy additions to your pre-swim warm up.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Fluid Dynamics
    Until now, determining your hydration and electrolyte needs required complicated sweat testing or lots of guesswork.  With FLOWBIO S1’s wearable sensor, athletes can get ongoing hydration analysis without interruption and personalized recommendations for optimal performance.
  • Going In Seine
    The water of the Seine River – site of this summer’s Olympic triathlon swim – has repeatedly registered an alarming level of E. Coli and other bacteria, indicating the presence of fecal matter.  It remains uncertain how decontamination will occur, suggesting that the Paris event will become a real doo-athlon.
  • Blazing Boston
    22,019 runners competing in next Monday’s Boston Marathon had to run at least 5 minutes 29 seconds faster than their age-adjusted BQ time to secure their bibs. Over 9,000 outpaced their qualifying standard by more than 10 minutes, but over 11,000 who narrowly beat their BQ time were turned away because they were not quite fast enough.
April 10, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for April 4, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Why over-40 athletes need intervals
  • 3 drills performed by most elite swimmers
  • Treating & preventing hip flexor pain
  • 3 freestyle mistakes and how to fix them
  • Science-based tips for your pre-race taper

TAPER TECH

Looking to lock-in a measurable race day improvement?   Then stop treating your pre-race taper as an afterthought.  Executed correctly, the taper will boost your VO2max, improve your economy and top-up your glycogen stores.

Coach Mikael Eriksson presents a comprehensive guide: the art and science of tapering and peaking

Get research-backed recommendations on the ideal duration of your taper and how to balance reductions in volume and intensity.  Understand why you should individually fine-tune the taper for swim, bike and run.

For any triathlete serious about performance, this is a must-read.

3 THAT MATTER

Matt Zachan, head coach of Davis Aquatics Masters, produces useful instructional videos for swimmers of all levels.

In this episode he shares the 3 most common freestyle mistakes he sees being made every day.  These are particularly relevant to triathletes who must deal with crowded, choppy swims that disrupt stroke mechanics.

His easy-to-follow drill progressions deliver steady, incremental improvements that translate into faster swim splits.

OVER-40 INTERVALS

We all must eventually deal with age-related slowdown.  The good news is that – in well-trained runners — that slowdown is only a few seconds per mile for each year over 40.

With aging comes reductions of VO2max and aerobic capacity.  However, the rate of decline can be slowed with regular doses of high intensity training.

Joe Friel shares his thoughts on how masters athletes can safely unlock the benefits of interval workouts.  He prescribes a 3-step framework for re-introducing HIIT training to your schedule if you’ve been mainly doing long, slow distance.

PRIORITIZE SKIN HEALTH

Despite all the benefits of triathlon, we frequently subject ourselves to excessive sun exposure.

Most of us understand the risk of skin cancer.  But did you also know that sunburn suppresses our ability to dissipate heat, potentially compromising performance?

Fortunately now you can prioritize skin health with the full line of products by Dermasport.

Designed specifically for athletes, Dermasport protects, hydrates and repairs skin from excessive exposure to sun and chlorine.

Check out Dermasport’s complete skin care line for endurance athletes, and save 20% by using coupon code TRIWIRE at checkout.

ELITE DRILLS

Coach Brenton Ford discovered that most elite swimmers practiced these 3 go-to freestyle drills to enhance the most important components of technique.

Each drill helps you improve timing and develop a full-body connection for your stroke.

Understand why and how to perform these exercises, and learn the cues that will help perfect their execution.

MAJOR FLEX

In each of triathlon’s three disciplines, the hip flexors are vulnerable to overloading.  If not properly trained they can become the weak link, preventing you from achieving the results you expected.

Corrective exercise specialist Eric Lister takes a close look at hip flexor anatomy and explains how the demands of swimming, cycling and running challenge this vital muscle group.

He also offers 5 strategies for addressing hip flexor pain and reveals why a strong core is critical for preventing future overuse injuries.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Your New Mantra
    Alan Couzens distills how to reach your full potential as an endurance athlete into two simple words.  This could become the new mantra of aspiring triathletes everywhere.
  • Indoor Options
    Training efficiency is everything, and oftentimes that means an indoor bike session.   Check out these 4 proven indoor trainer workouts, designed for each triathlon distance.
  • Strength of Field
    This weekend the 2024 IRONMAN Pro Series kicks off with a bang at the IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside.  Over 100 pros are registered in a very stacked field.  Headliners include Taylor Knibb (USA), Patrick Lange (GER), Paula Findlay (CAN),  Sam Long (USA) and many more.
April 3, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for March 28, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • The ultimate 70.3 brick
  • Your shoulder position is preventing a high elbow catch
  • Did IRONMAN replace Gatorade Endurance?
  • 11 tips for better tri running
  • How poor sleep prevents fat loss

RUN INTERVENTION

One of triathlon’s most trusted coaches, Mikael Eriksson, examines why triathlon running is so challenging.

As most experienced triathletes know, running off the bike requires a different set of skills and fitness compared to free running.

Check out Eriksson’s 11 tips for faster triathlon running for athletes of all levels.

It’s likely you can apply one or more of these suggestions for dramatic improvement.

SHOULDER SEASON

Your shoulder position might be preventing you from getting a high elbow catch.

In this video Brenton Ford clarifies why this is such a critical skill to master.  He also explains how a low shoulder often prevents swimmers from attaining an early vertical forearm.

One of his favorite drills for improving shoulder position is the Shoulder2Cheek Scoop.  Practice it to achieve the breakthrough in freestyle technique that you’ve been missing.

SWIM FASTER NOW

Nothing helps you build the strength, endurance and technique required for successful triathlon swimming than the training accessories offered by FINIS.

Consider the FINIS Tempo Trainer Pro.  This unobtrusive underwater metronome will help raise your turnover to the ideal 35 strokes per minute. It will also help smooth your power curve and increase your efficiency.

You’ll also benefit from their variety of innovative swim paddles, like the strapless Floating Agility Paddles or the innovative Freestyler Paddle.

Or elevate your swim-specific strength and warm-up routines by grabbing a set of Slide Dryland Cords that mimic the entire swim stroke cycle with consistent resistance.

Best of all TriathlonWire readers get a 20% discount by using the coupon code TRIWIRE at checkout.

TRIPLE BRICK

If your standard brick sessions are getting stale, then consider Mike Ricci’s advanced version, specifically designed for IRONMAN 70.3.

This challenging workout requires precise intensity management as you work through a race-paced swim followed by a run – indoor bike – run.

Ideally performed 8 and 4 weeks prior to your event, it will confirm your pacing targets and fueling plan are on target for a great performance.

GATOR GONE

Since 2015 Gatorade Endurance has been served on-course at all North American IRONMAN events.  Love it or hate it, it’s available everywhere and is familiar to almost everyone.

Now there’s a new drink in townMortal Hydration — from the Boulder-based kombucha manufacturer, Mortal.

While we’ve seen no official announcement from IRONMAN, Mortal Hydration is featured on the IMTX Facebook page, on official course maps and in the aid station handouts distributed at recent volunteer meetings.

Why is this important?  Mortal Hydration’s formulation contains stevia, higher levels of sodium and only 40 calories per serving.  This is substantially different from Gatorade Endurance, so athletes must test the product and possibly modify their race day nutrition plan for optimal fueling.

Learn more about how to adapt to this new on-course hydration drink in this post by sports nutritionist and age group champion Marni Sumbal.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Sleep It Off
    If you’re trying to lose a bit of weight while continuing to train, then pay attention to your sleep quality.  Research shows that – with just a slight reduction of sleep – fat loss was hampered, but loss of lean body mass was increased.
  • Crowded Beach
    The IRONMAN Pro Series kicks off on April 6 at the 23rd annual 70.3 Oceanside.  Over 100 pros and 3,000 age groupers will compete for $50,000 in prize money and world championship slots.  Notably the top 5 women in each age group will also qualify for the full-distance title race in Nice, FRA.
March 27, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for March 21, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 30 speed workouts to reinvigorate your runs
  • 10 myths of faster freestyle
  • Better than fast finish: the Squires Long Run
  • How to harness the benefits of heat training
  • 3 interval sessions for more bike power

ALL-OUT MIRACLE

After one of her athletes sustained a broken collarbone, master coach Gale Bernhardt designed a plan that combined short, intense efforts with ample rest to minimize the pain.  She called these Miracle Intervals.

The results were impressive.  Average power increased after 10 weeks of limited training.

Since Bernhardt’s experiment, science has validated her approach.  Low volumes of short, high intensity sprints combined with consistent endurance training deliver increased muscle activation and higher power output.

This is exciting news for time-crunched triathletes.  You can adopt these simple and efficient sessions to improve your performance on the bike.  To get started, try these 3 proven examples of Miracle Interval workouts.

ADVANCED LONG

To prepare for the demands of running at race speed on tired legs, consider the precisely paced Squires Long Run.

If you’re already experienced with the classic “fast finish” long run, then the Squires Long Run might be the logical next step for improving your off-the-bike performance.

At the core of these demanding sessions are sustained but controlled surges at marathon pace Coach Brittany Peterson details how to prepare for these workouts, when to schedule them and how to execute them flawlessly for greatest impact.

THINK DRAG

For a fresh and practical perspective on your performance in the water, check out Gary Hall Sr.’s 10 myths of freestyle swimming.

During his career, Hall, Sr. held 10 world records.  Since 2006 he’s dedicated his life to swim coaching.

This article will help you focus on what really matters.  We especially appreciate his observations on the importance of reducing frontal drag, and how to do it.

NAIL YOUR NUTRITION

UCAN’s proprietary SuperStarch (called LIVSTEADY) is a low-glycemic, complex carbohydrate that has changed the way triathletes train and race.

UCAN products provide athletes with steady, long-lasting energy without the spikes and crashes associated with sugary gels and drinks.

Best of all, the flavors are subtle and not too sweet.  With zero sugars and zero stimulants, UCAN provides sustained energy throughout the race with no GI or stomach upset.

We demand steady energy and sharp mental focus throughout the race day.  That’s why champions like Katie Zaferes, Tim O’Donnell, Emily Sisson and Meb Keflezighi rely on UCAN to fuel their performances.

As always, readers of TriathlonWire receive incredible discounts on all UCAN purchases by using this linkCheck out their complete line of drinks, energy bars and snacks today!

MENU FOR SPEED

For long distance triathletes, run speed training isn’t about full-on sprinting; it’s about learning to intentionally vary your pace between fast and slow efforts.

To help you get your head around how this works, Paul Larkins curated 30 speed workouts that will improve your run pace.

He suggests one speed session every six run workouts.  Apply this straightforward formula for stronger and faster race finishes this summer.

FORGED IN FIRE

It turns out that training in high temperature boosts performance in all conditions, not just in hot weather races.

After one to two weeks of heat training, athletes experience increased blood plasma volume and enhanced sweating efficiency.  After four weeks, it’s common to see increases in VO2max and sustained power production.  Best of all, these gains are relatively easy to obtain and maintain.

If you have a priority race scheduled for later in the year, it’s not too early to harness the benefits of heat training.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Watts Warning
    In this fascinating study, athletes tried to hold the power calculated from a 20-minute FTP test.  Those with higher VO2max lasted longer, but none could sustain the prescribed power for an hour.  So, take care when setting your training zones.
  • Fists & Horns
    In swimming, it’s common for the simplest drills to be most effective.  Andrew Sheaff reveals the benefits of closed fist freestyle, and offers 2 alternative exercises to further improve your feel for the water.
  • Fit for Fast
    If you’re unable to hold your aero bike position because you’re uncomfortable, nothing else matters.  Fit Svengali Dave Ripley examines the 3 priorities of an ideal bike fit and explains why comfort is the most important of all.
March 20, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for March 14, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 10 variations of lunges for stronger running
  • Are you missing this often-depleted supplement?
  • Why triathletes need low cadence bike training
  • The best workout for a stronger run finish
  • Why SSS is the best swim drill for efficiency

SUPER SLOW

Champion swimmer Ryan Lochte once said that training slowly was the only way to improve technique.

Slowing down allows you to truly focus on the proper mechanics of freestyle, and make changes that translate into more efficiency and speed. 

Coach Olivier Poirier-Leroy believes that super slow swimming (SSS) is the best drill you can do, because it immediately highlights the faults and weaknesses of your stroke.

Follow these 5 tips for how to use SSS in your training.  Because efficient swimmers are fast swimmers.

LUNGE FOR THE RUN

Improve your stride length, increase your turnover and protect against injury by adding lunges to your strength training routine.

Lunges mimic the running motion and strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and quads.  With their single-leg isolation, they also improve stability and balance.

Check out these 10 variations of lunges described by the Runner’s Blueprint.  Perform them 2 to 3 times per week for 5-10 minutes, and you’ll soon notice marked improvements in your performance.

BIG STOMP

Sometimes referred to as strength training on the bike, weekly low cadence-high torque sessions – performed seated in the aero position — will make you faster on race day.

Coach Matt Hill calls it Stomping.  Its goal is to recruit more muscle fibers, learn to preserve your “running muscles” and build muscular endurance.

Perfectly suited for the ERG mode on an indoor trainer, check out these big gear sessions by Heather Jackson, Lauren Brandon and Sarah Crowley.

STOP SWIMMING BLIND

The innovative FINIS Smart Goggle discreetly displays your real-time swim data in the corner of your field-of-view.

Powerful metrics – like stroke rate, lap count, split time, rest intervals and more — help optimize your speed and efficiency, and allow you to get the most from every workout.

No subscription required.  It even integrates with Strava!

As a TriathlonWire reader, get 20% off your purchase of the FINIS Smart Goggle and other world class swimming accessories by using coupon code TRIWIRE at checkout.

TAKE IT UP

Success in the triathlon run requires strength and durability.  Few workouts deliver a better ROI than a well-designed hill session.

With a few important exceptions, uphill running can be employed year-round for better strength, power, speed and efficiency.  Overcoming the pull of gravity improves multiple markers of fitness, biomechanics and mental toughness.

Coach Torsten Abel explains how and when to integrate hill training into a well-rounded program for maximum benefit.

MEGA MAG

If you’re searching for marginal gains to improve your endurance performance, you’ll want to consider magnesium supplementation.

Research indicates that magnesium deficiencies are common among runners.  Not only is it difficult to absorb, it’s also easily lost through sweat.

Magnesium plays a critical role in regulating nerve and muscle function.  Its benefits include optimization of sleep, reduction in cortisol, enhancement of testosterone and cramp prevention.

Learn more about this often-overlooked essential mineral and how to integrate it into your nutrition protocol.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Tag & Follow
    For added security and peace-of-mind, consider adding an Apple AirTag beneath the saddle of your bike.  Dan Empfield tells us how Doing so allows you to track the whereabouts of your most expensive piece of gear.
  • Placid Return
    To the delight of 3,200 triathletes, popular announcer Mike Reilly will return to the microphone for the 25th annual IRONMAN Lake Placid this July.  Finishers will once again hear those iconic words coined by Reilly, “You are an IRONMAN!”
March 13, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for March 7, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • How to design a strength program for triathlon
  • Identify your swim threshold and training zones
  • Spend 1 week being coached by Crowie
  • 3 drills for mastering your freestyle catch
  • Make the most of your long rides

A BETTER LONG RIDE

As most long-distance triathletes have painfully discovered, lots of 5-hour mostly easy rides are not enough for a good performance.

The problem is that the human body is too efficient.  These long aerobic rides only recruit what’s needed, which turns out to be about 30% of your slow twitch muscle fiber.  After cycling 75 mi (120 km), these fibers often fatigue.  If you haven’t trained to engage more available muscle, then you’ll find yourself in deep trouble during the late stages of a race. 

Coach Woody Woodward offers 2 killer workouts that will help you switch on more muscle and make your long endurance rides more purposeful.

One option embeds low gear, high power intervals into the long ride.  The other calls for a double bike day scheduled into your training week.  Learn how to implement both strategies in this informative article.

HACK YOUR CATCH

The journey to improve freestyle stroke mechanics is never-ending, especially when trying to establish a proper catch.

Coach Andrew Sheaff introduces 3 deceptively simple but effective drills that will help you better understand the nuances of setting up the stroke and understanding the connection between forearm and hand.

Setting up the stroke and executing the catch often seem needlessly overcomplicated.  These drills, cues and commentary will simplify the concepts and transform your technique.

CAROLINA ON MY MIND

Space is still available to join 5x triathlon world champion Craig “Crowie” Alexander when he returns to host his US training camp this April.

Based at the beautiful First Bourn training estate in North Carolina, this camp provides a week of purposeful instruction guaranteed to make you a faster triathlete.

The program at First Bourn North Carolina is cycling-focused, perfect for elevating your climbing power and descending skills!  You’ll also receive one-on-one swimming instruction and plenty of run training.

In addition to the unparalleled curriculum where you’ll train side-by-side with Crowie, you’ll enjoy incomparable amenities, and a personal phone consultation from Craig prior to your trip.

TriathlonWire readers save $50 off camp tuition with coupon code TRIWIRE50 when registering.

BLUEPRINT FOR STRENGTH

Triathletes often worry that strength training will produce unwanted bulk or otherwise hinder performance.

To perform to your potential, it takes more than swimming, biking and running… basic resistance training is also required.

Here’s how to construct a strength program specifically designed to complement your triathlon training.  Learn what exercises to prioritize, when to perform them and how to vary your program throughout the different phases of your season.

THRESHOLD SWIM

You’re familiar with FTP for cycling and LT for running, but what’s the equivalent yardstick for intensity in swimming?

To determine your threshold pace in the pool, you’ll use Critical Swim Speed (CSS).

Coach Sandra Yaworski describes 2 ways to determine CSS.  Once you know your threshold swim pace, she explains how to translate CSS into practical training zones and offers examples of effective workouts that take advantage of intentional variable pacing.

QUICK HIITS:

  • For Serious Runners Only
    Considered by many to be one of the best distance running books of all time, Daniels’ Running Formula will help you with all aspects of your running.  We especially like his method of demystifying how to find the appropriate training pace for your targeted race times.
  • Don’t Know Squat
    Any strength training program should include some version of a squat.  For increasing strength, power and metabolic adaptations needed for triathlon, this could be your best exercise.  Learn the 5 vital components of a perfect squat by Dr. Aaron Horschig.
  • Self Talk
    Quiet the mind; improve your performance.  Coach Steve Magness explains why mantras work during stressful situations (like when racing).
March 6, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for February 29, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Why, how & when triathletes must lift weights
  • 3-part framework for training mental toughness
  • 11 physiological benefits of easy runs
  • Progressive race pace management
  • 5 do’s & don’ts for faster triathlon swimming

SCIENCE OF EASY

Why do we turn most of our “easy runs” into semi-tempo efforts when the science clearly confirms the benefits of low intensity sessions?

If you’re guilty of frequently pushing the pace, then break the habit by reviewing these 11 proven benefits of easy running

Physiological adaptations on the cellular level, improved economy, effective active recovery… There are many reasons why easy running should account for 70-80% of your workouts.

Stop chasing speed and embrace slow and steady Z1-Z2 run training It’s doing far more good than you ever realized.

MORE HEADROOM

Coach Gordo Byrn explains the importance of managing your efforts across all three disciplines during a long distance triathlon.  He refers to this as Progressive Pacing.

It’s based on his belief that you should leave “headroom” for higher intensity later in the race, when it gets more difficult to sustain speeds that earlier felt easy.

So how do you determine your race pace targets?  By identifying benchmark intensities during the second half of your biggest training days, after you’ve accumulated some meanigful fatigue.  These benchmarks will help inform what you’ll be capable of delivering during the actual race.

LIFT IN SPEED

It’s proven to work, so why are so few of us doing it?  Strength training allows us to run faster and more efficiently over longer distances.

We need to lift heavy.  We need to lift consistently.  And we need to schedule our lifting at the right times during our training week.

In this comprehensive guide, coach Whitney Heins presents the why, how and when endurance athletes should lift weights for better performance.

If you’re serious about stronger, faster finishes this season, then don’t wait.  Start lifting now.

FREE FUEL FROM THE FEED

There’s no better time to dial-in your sports nutrition than during these long training days of the pre-season.

To give you a jumpstart, Craig Alexander invites you to use his personal code to unlock your own sponsorship from The Feed.

Registration is free. You can get started with an immediate $20 credit, then every 90 days you’ll receive $20 more in credit.

Now you can to train with what’s on course to ensure you’re fueling properly… or try something new that sounds good!

Expand your nutritional horizons… Get started today

TRAINED FOR TOUGH

We’ve all had moments of uncertainty during races when we wonder if we can even continue.  How we handle these rough patches depends on our mental toughness which, fortunately, can be trained.

Performance psychologist Dr. Justin Ross provides a 3-part framework for mental toughness.  He goes on to explain how you can incrementally strengthen your mental toughness while training so it can be called upon when needed during an event.

DO’S & DON’TS

Experienced coaches implore their athletes to “touch the water more often.”  It turns out that frequency of training is one of the critical variables for improving swim speed.

Coach Clint Lien outlines what really makes a difference in his 5 do’s and don’ts for becoming a faster swimmer.

Focus on what matters most and ignore the rest.  Not only will you get faster in the water, but your overall triathlon performances will improve, too.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Endurance Diet
    It’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed by the infinite choices of “best” sports diets.  Take a deep breath and focus on Chis Hague’s 5 traits of effective diets for endurance sports Their proven fundamentals will fuel your triathlon performance and long-term health.
  • Just 1 Hour
    “Time-crunched” is commonly used to describe triathletes.  But even with just one hour you can log a productive workout and make progress towards your goals.  Give this efficient 60-minute bike session a try the next time your schedule gets pinched.
February 28, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for February 22, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 3 Workouts for faster triathlon runs
  • Science-based benefits of swim paddles
  • 5 Reasons why it’s time to start strength training
  • Average, good & great triathlon times
  • Phases of proper freestyle arm movement

TRI STRENGTH

One sure way to go faster is by increasing the force production of your muscles.  This can be achieved through weightlifting.

Coach and physical therapist Amber Sayer details 5 benefits of strength training for triathletes.  These benefits translate directly into better performance. 

Increasing strength requires heavy resistance.  Progressively heavier weights trigger the desired adaptations.  Don’t worry: you won’t get bulky!

Ready to finally commit to the gym?  Then start with this well-designed program It will elevate your strength, mobility, balance and overall fitness.

ARMED & DANGEROUS

This concise video dissects the phases of freestyle arm movement, and provides actionable cues and tips for instant improvement.

Coach Brenton Ford shares insights on the nuances of proper front-end technique.  We appreciate his explanation for why you always want to keep your hands moving, and how gentle body rotation is critical for establishing rhythm in your stroke.

Be sure to practice his favorite drill for ingraining the ideal position throughout the entire arm path, and soon you’ll be swimming faster with less effort.

SWIM FASTER NOW

Nothing helps you build the strength, endurance and confidence required for successful triathlon swimming than the training accessories offered by FINIS.

Consider the FINIS Tempo Trainer ProThis unobtrusive underwater metronome will help raise your turnover to the ideal 35 strokes per minute. It will also help smooth out your power curve and increase your efficiency.

You’ll also benefit from their variety of swim paddles, like the strapless Floating Agility Paddles or the innovative Freestyler Paddle.

Or elevate your swim-specific strength and warm-up routines by grabbing a set of Dryland Cords.

Best of all TriathlonWire readers get a 20% discount by using the coupon code TRIWIRE at checkout.

SPEED INJECTION

Here are 3 workouts for developing a faster IRONMAN marathon by coach Greg McMillan.

These sessions emphasize better economy at elevated pace, which will help you break out of the one-speed running rut.

With just one of these workouts a week aimed at improving LT and speed, you’ll soon be on the path towards a marathon PR.

PADDLE SCIENCE

Most triathletes have them in their gear bag.  Olivier Poirier-Leroy takes a technical look at why swim paddles are vital for improving your technique.

Paddles increase stroke length and speed. They can also refine our feel for the water and teach us to generate more power with greater efficiency.

To help ensure you’re getting the most from your paddles, check out this effective power set by coach Richard Smith.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Building Blocks
    Are you getting enough protein? This study shows that men and women endurance athletes require nearly 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight daily to ensure post-exercise recovery… Far higher than the RDA.
  • Red Light, Green Light
    Look for innovative electronic drafting detection technology, Race Ranger, to be adopted by all IRONMAN pro races, beginning in April at the 70.3 in Oceanside, CA.  One can only hope that it eventually trickles down to age group competitors to finally reduce cheating… and the guesswork of officiating for it.
February 21, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for February 15, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Train with Crowie in North Carolina
  • What is VI and why does it matter?
  • Blueprint for optimizing carb absorption
  • How to prepare for hot races
  • 4 elements of proper freestyle hand alignment

BETTER ALIGNED

Swim straighter and you’ll swim faster which is critical in the open water.

Join coach Paul Newsome as he presents a master class on hand alignment in freestyle.  He details the key elements of proper alignment and explains how to systematically make the modifications required to prevent crossing over and snaking.

Learn how to use the javelin drill to refine all 4 aspects of alignment, and set yourself up for a superior catch.

LEARN YOUR RATIOS

If you’re determined to optimize your carbohydrate intake this season, then you’ll want to read the recommendations of Asker Jeukendrup.

He describes how the rate of absorption is usually the limiting factor in delivering carbs to the muscles.  But by combining different types of carbs (like glucose with fructose), you can increase absorption by almost 50%.

For most athletes the optimal glucose-to-fructose ratio changes as the amount of total carbs ingested goes up.

Follow Jeukendrup’s suggestions on how to dial-in and test your tolerance for higher amounts of carbs to fuel your best race ever.

STEADY PEDAL

For long course triathletes, a smooth ride is usually rewarded with a faster run Conversely, too many Zone 4 spikes on the bike can be a silent killer of run performance.

That’s why coach Noel Bonk emphasizes the importance of understanding your Variability Index (VI), which is a reflection of bike pacing effectiveness.  Measured by your power meter, a VI close to 1.0 suggests a well-paced and disciplined ride.

Terrain, weather and pedaling style all affect VI.  By minimizing spikes in power, you’ll preserve glycogen, “burn fewer matches” and increase the probability of a strong run.

GOIN’ TO CAROLINA

Reserve your spot to join 5x triathlon world champion Craig “Crowie” Alexander when he returns to host his US training camp this April.

Based at the beautiful First Bourn training estate in North Carolina, this camp provides a week of personalized instruction guaranteed to make you a faster triathlete.

The curriculum emphasizes critical triathlon skills for athletes of all levels. Improve your climbing power and descending skills, receive one-on-one swim analysis and master Crowie’s favorite brick workouts.

You’ll train side-by-side with Crowie, enjoy incomparable amenities, and receive a personal phone consultation from Craig prior to your trip.

TriathlonWire readers save $50 off camp tuition with coupon code TRIWIRE50 when registering.  Enroll today in this incomparable training experience!

FORGOTTEN ZONE

We’re often warned about the dangers of going “kinda hard” too often.  Is this the dreaded grey zone, or do sweet spot workouts make important contributions to our fitness?

In this ultimate guide to Zone 3 training, the experts at INSCYD contend that carefully deployed Zone 3 efforts are critical to a well-rounded training program.

Zone 3 sessions improve metabolic flexibility.  They also provide the ideal combination of intensity and volume, while minimizing recovery time.

By understanding the benefits – and risks – of Zone 3 training, you can apply them to supercharge your current training plan.

NEED FOR HEAT

To properly prepare to race in the heat, you must train in the heat.

Enjoy James Witts’ inside look at Lucy Charles-Barclay’s heat acclimation strategy that ultimately led to her victory in Kona.

The main goal of heat training is to increase blood plasma volume and sweat rate, which leads to better cooling and lower heart rate.

Learn some of the science and tricks that increase the probability of a good performance in your next hot race… when others around you are wilting.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Get Off the Brakes
    One of the most common mistakes make by emerging swimmers is over-reaching on the entry, which often results in the “palm brake.”  Improve the angle of your hand, and watch your swim splits immediately get faster.
February 14, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for February 8, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 5 tips for mastering threshold intervals
  • How to sustain productive long runs
  • 5 cues for instant swim speed
  • Key biomarkers to track in blood tests
  • 2 exercises for defeating IT Band Syndrome

IMMEDIATE SPEED

Here’s a useful video that delivers 5 tips for an instantaneous increase in swim speed.

What makes this video different is how succinctly Brenton Ford provides practical cues for improving your technique.

He explains how to stop swimming short, press with the chest, stroke slow-to-fast and never pat the cat!

LONG QUANDARY

Long runs are a critical component of marathon training.  They build cardiovascular strength, improve muscular durability and increase mitochondrial density.

But how do IRONMAN triathletes incorporate them weekly while avoiding excessive fatigue that could potentially compromise subsequent training sessions?

Coach Thomas Watson offers a solution to this problem, and provides 2 ways to ensure you’re getting the necessary speedwork (outside of your weekly long run).

By following his approach you’ll train with more consistency, reduce chronic soreness, and perform better on race day.

FASTER & TOUGHER

Improving bike performance is usually the single best way to lower your overall race time.

According to coach Mike Fielder, the cycling workout most important to master is threshold intervals.  Over time they allow you to go faster for longer, increase your FTP and promote mental toughness.

Check out these 5 tips for mastering threshold training, and try the sample workout.

These challenging sessions will help you shave minutes off your bike split and make you a stronger triathlete.

CAMP WITH CROWIE

In response to overwhelming demand, 5x triathlon world champion Craig “Crowie” Alexander will lead two US training camps this April.

Hosted at the beautiful First Bourn training estates in Virginia and North Carolina, each camp provides a week of purposeful instruction guaranteed to make you a faster triathlete.

Which should you choose?  The camp at First Bourn Virginia is ideal for triathletes of all levels who are looking for holistic improvement across all disciplines.  The week at First Bourn North Carolina is more cycling-focused, perfect for elevating your climbing power and descending skills!

In addition to the unparalleled curriculum, incomparable amenities, and a personal phone consultation from Craig, TriathlonWire readers save $50 off camp tuition with coupon code TRIWIRE50 when registering for Crowie’s training camp in Virginia or North Carolina.

MARKED IN BLOOD

To help fine-tune their training, many triathletes turn to comprehensive blood tests to obtain deep insights about their responses to training stress, recovery and nutrition.

However, to make truly informed decisions, a general understanding of the test results is required.

Coach Nick Busca provides a glossary of blood biomarkers important for endurance athletes.

Armed with this information, you can take a more proactive role in your health and fitness.

BAND OF ATHLETES

It’s estimated that iliotibial (IT) Band syndrome accounts for 12% of all long-distance running injuries.

Perhaps you’ve suffered from this overuse injury that causes inflammation of the tendon that runs down the side of your leg from pelvis to knee.

Weakness in the glute medius is frequently associated with IT band syndrome, so you might be able to treat – or even avoid — this painful condition by practicing these 2 exercises advised by Dr. Brandon Steele.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Super Big
    The indefatigable IRONMAN Hall of Famer and voice of endurance Bob Babbitt just bought a Super Bowl ad that celebrates the pursuit of athletic dreams.
  • Triathletes Have Spoken
    IRONMAN just announced its 2023 Athlete Choice Awards to recognize the best full-distance and 70.3 races, as voted on by participants.  If you’re considering entering in any of these races, you’d better act fast!
  • Stretchin’ It
    There’s a reason why this is called the World’s Greatest Stretch.  Start by using this routine as a means of improving your hamstring, thoracic and hip flexor mobility.  Then, once you’ve grown accustomed to the movement sequence, make it part of your pre-workout warmup.
February 7, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for February 1, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • An Olympian’s lactate threshold calculator
  • 4 reasons why you must know your FTP
  • Bust through that running plateau
  • 3 ways to improve the catchup drill
  • Bulletproof your back with these exercises

HOLD THE CATCHUP

One of the most common swim drills is the classic catchup stroke.  Triathletes often perform this on autopilot, with little attention to how it can improve stroke symmetry, extension and balance.

This video unlocks the 3 true benefits of the catchup drill and provides useful cues for performing it flawlessly.

It also introduces 2 progressive catchup variations to further refine your freestyle and help you get the most from this popular exercise.

THE GREY ZONE

If you tend to always run “kinda hard” and are stuck on a plateau, then coach Andrew Simmons will help you break that unproductive habit.

Simmons convincingly makes the case that the quickest way to faster racing is an abundance of slower Zone 2 training, combined with limited speedwork.  If this sounds like polarized training, that’s because it is.

Commit to running slower in training.  You’ll fortify your aerobic base and improve the quality of recovery between sessions.  Best of all, in as little as 4 weeks, you’ll experience a noticeable jump in fitness.

STRONGER BY SPRINGTIME

Starting this Friday, 5x world champion Craig Alexander is launching his free Zwift training program called Crowie’s Stronger By Springtime.

Craig will host three weekly workouts over a variety of Zwift routes that – when performed consistently – will deliver an impressive boost in your FTP.

Of course, while riding (during the easy parts!), Crowie will answer your questions about training & racing and talk triathlon.

All participants receive his custom in-game kit.  Plus there will be opportunities to win real life prizes.

So why not make the most of your indoor cycling and get Stronger By Springtime (Zwift subscription required.)

CYCLE BACK

Back pain is the most common ailment reported by triathletes.  If left untreated, it can limit your time on the bike or reduce the power you can apply to the pedals.

The best way to prevent back pain is with a professional bike fit… and consistent strength training and stretching.

Master coach Chris Carmichael shares his favorite exercises for a bulletproof back.  Start doing them now to avoid interruptions when your training volume increases.

CONTROLLED INTENSITY

Cycling coach Dave Schell outlines 4 reasons why triathletes must know their Functional Threshold Power (FTP).  With it, you can make informed decisions about your training and racing.

He goes on to prescribe 3 reliable ways to determine FTP on your own.

When you’re ready to get to work, then check out these 3 workouts designed to increase your FTP by Pau Salva Martinez.  Integrate them near the end of your base training, and you’ll reap the rewards in the upcoming season.

QUICK HIITS:

  • On the Threshold
    Knowing your lactate threshold (LT) is critical for dialing in your training zones and managing race pace.  Use this convenient online LT calculator by Olympian Pete Pfitzinger to quickly estimate your threshold.
  • Fast Science
    The fastest running shoe for one athlete might trip up another.  So engineers at MIT Sports Lab are experimenting with predictive shoe design to produce 3D-printed footbeds that optimize your stride and truly personalize your performance.
  • Golden Rule
    Let’s close this week’s edition with a little pearl of wisdom from exercise physiologist Alan Couzens.  It’s a key training principle and relates to a choice you must make frequently during your training cycles.
January 31, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for January 25, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 5 stroke modifications for open water
  • How to perfectly execute your long run
  • Blueprint for consistently better recovery
  • 5 marathon mistakes… and how to avoid them
  • Ride uphill faster with these workouts

CLIMB FASTER

Want to ride faster uphill?  Then now’s the time to incorporate low cadence, high torque intervals into your program.

Over-geared sessions promote the recruitment of more muscle fibers that results in a greater generation of force… and quicker climbing. 

Coach Jim Rutberg shares his favorite low-cadence workout structure.  These intervals are equally effective on an indoor trainer or outdoors on a 10-minute climb.  Regardless they’ll make you a faster climber by building more power.

OPEN DIFFERENCES

New triathletes quickly realize that swimming in the open water is different than training in the pool.

Masters coach Linda Irish Bostic examines how to adapt freestyle technique for open water.

She details the 5 stroke components that must be modified for faster triathlon swimming.

MARATHON MISTAKES

Successfully executing a long-distance triathlon run relies on thorough practice and preparation during training.

Make the most of every run workout by avoiding the 5 most common marathon training mistakes and, instead, following coach Jeff Gaudette’s guidelines.

Of particular importance for triathletes is setting a realistic goal time and then practicing the appropriate pacing.  Gaudette’s article explains how.

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND

In response to overwhelming demand, 5x triathlon world champion Craig “Crowie” Alexander will lead two US training camps this year.

Hosted at the beautiful First Bourn training estates in Virginia and North Carolina, each camp provides a week of purposeful instruction guaranteed to make you a faster triathlete.

How do you choose?  The camp at First Bourn Virginia is ideal for triathletes of all levels who are looking for holistic improvement across all disciplines.  The week at First Bourn North Carolina is more cycling-focused, perfect for elevating your climbing power and descending skills!

In addition to the unparalleled curriculum, incomparable amenities, and a personal phone consultation from Craig, TriathlonWire readers get $50 off camp tuition with coupon code TRIWIRE50 when registering for Crowie’s Virginia camp or North Carolina camp.

A BETTER LONG RUN

The weekly long run is a staple of full-distance triathletes.  Coach Greg McMillan explains how to determine the length and pace of this key workout.

What makes his process unique is that he begins with a formula for calculating your longest training run based on your target race pace.  Then he provides tips on long run pacing and how to build up to this maximum distance to avoid injury.

Apply his personalized recommendations to your next training cycle and you’ll be running off-the-bike stronger than ever.

RECOVERY BLUEPRINT

One fundamental of triathlon success is training consistently.  To ensure consistency, you must dial-in your daily recovery protocols.

We know that optimized recovery is built upon a foundation of adequate sleep and nutrition.

Coach Linda Wallenfells outlines her proven post-exercise recovery routineShe explains how to take advantage of the 2 windows for recovery fueling, and provides often over-looked tips for optimizing your sleep.

Focus on these two variables, and you’ll notice improvements in your training almost immediately.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Saddle Up
    Finding the right saddle is a never-ending quest of triathletes everywhere.  To help you indentify the perfect perch, Dan Empfield examines the latest technology in tri bike saddles.
  • Andalusian Iron
    This week IRONMAN revealed that its 2025 VinFast 70.3 World Championships will be held in Marbella, Spain.  A fantastic location but – in what might just be a trend – the event will be held after the full-distance title races in Nice and Kona.
January 24, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for January 18, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 5 endurance workouts for triathlon swimmers
  • What really is the “Norwegian Method”?
  • 9 tips for building off-season bike speed
  • Which comes first: weights or cardio?
  • Is fructose detrimental to athletes?

HARVESTING SPEED

The off-season is a great time to level up your cycling.  But beyond spending countless hours on the indoor trainer, you should also plan and prepare for improving your aerodynamics and rolling resistance.

To ride closer to your potential, Conrad Goeringer provides a 9-point checklist for harvesting more bike speed

We especially like his tips for optimizing body position and hand height.  Learn why you don’t just want to get lower, but you’ll also benefit from becoming narrower.

WHICH COMES FIRST?

Should you do weights and cardio on the same day?  That’s one of the most common questions among those trying to maximize their training on a time-crunched schedule.

In this comprehensive article, coach Katelyn Tocci looks at the latest science to formulate recommendations you can use now.

While double sessions are valuable – and probably necessary – you’ll be interested to learn that the order and timing of your two-a-day workouts are critical.

Tocci spells out the details and even provides a sample training week schedule to design a program that works best for you.

EPIC DISTANCE

To post better IRONMAN swim splits, you need to train like a real distance swimmer.

Here are 5 challenging endurance swim workouts curated by Olivier Poirier-Leroy that will teach you how to swim faster over longer distances.

For any level of fitness, these sessions can be personalized by adjusting the number and pace of each interval.  Use them as a template for your own training to achieve a breakthrough in your triathlon swimming.

SWIM FASTER NOW

Nothing helps you build the strength, endurance and technique required for successful triathlon swimming than the accessories offered by FINIS.

Consider the FINIS Tempo Trainer Pro.  This unobtrusive underwater metronome will help raise your turnover to the ideal 35 strokes per minute. It will also help smooth out your power curve and increase your efficiency.

You’ll also benefit from their variety of swim paddles, like the strapless Floating Agility Paddles or the innovative Freestyler Paddle.

Or elevate your swim-specific strength and warm-up routines by grabbing a set of Slide Dryland Cords that mimic the entire swim stroke cycle with consistent resistance.

Best of all TriathlonWire readers get a 20% discount by using the coupon code TRIWIRE at checkout.

NORWEGIAN INTENSITY

In what might be the clearest definition yet of the “Norwegian Method,” coach and elite cyclist Dylan Johnson investigates the training techniques that have made Norway a dominant force in endurance sports.

What’s their secret?  Johnson believes it comes down to an obsessive adherence to managing training intensities through careful lactate-guided interval sessions.

In his informative video he also explains pyramidal, polarized and sweetspot training and when to use them in your own program.

FRUCTOSE FEAR

Fructose – and the related sweetener high fructose corn syrup – is often vilified as a cause of obesity and metabolic illness.

Fortunately for athletes, when energy expenditure is high (i.e., when training or racing), consuming fructose in the presence of glucose or maltodextrin allows for greater carbohydrate absorption and better endurance performance.

Dr. Asker Jeukendrup examines how athletes can benefit from fructose consumption while avoiding its negative effects.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Commit to the Plan
    Take a lesson from 2-mile world record holder, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, on the importance of training consistently and sticking to the fundamentals.  Don’t focus on heroic one-off workouts.  Don’t go too hard in training.  Every session in your program must have its purpose and contribute to your overall training goal.
January 17, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for January 11, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Find the threshold test that works for you
  • The definitive guide to triathlon strength training
  • 3 strategies for more run speed & endurance
  • How to use drill sets to combat freestyle deterioration
  • 1-hour bike workout when time is short

STRONG IS FAST

We know that stronger triathletes are faster triathletes.  But what are the most effective exercises and when should you do them?

Look no further than this definitive guide to triathlon strength training by Mikael Eriksson.

Included are science-backed regimens and advice that will improve your swimming, cycling and running.

We especially appreciate his 10 commandments that concisely summarize how to implement strength training in your own program.

PULLING LEVERS

Before you put the final touches on your 2024 training and racing plan, check out this short video by coach Jason Fitzgerald.

In it he discusses the 3 levers you can pull for more run speed and endurance.

Examine your run program to ensure that you’re optimizing each of these variables.  Get them right and your training will seem easier, you’ll avoid injury and will run off-the-bike better than ever.

BEST YEAR EVER

There’s no better way to jumpstart your season than by joining 3x Hawaii IRONMAN World Champion Craig Alexander at his pre-season training camp on March 9-16, 2024 in the endurance sports paradise of Mallorca, Spain.

Tailored for triathletes of all levels, it’s guaranteed to be an unforgettable 7 days of incredible training, technical instruction and informative workshops.

All participants receive a one-on-one pre-camp phone consultation with Crowie, the training plan of their choice, cool camp swag, post-camp follow-up and much more!

Discover why Mallorca is a multisport training mecca during this once-in-a-lifetime triathlon experience.

TriathlonWire readers save $50 off your camp tuition with coupon code TRIWIRE50.  Click here for more details and to make your no-risk reservation.

ACE THE TESTS

Threshold tests are painful and disruptive, but are necessary for dialing-in your personal training zones to ensure you’re working at the appropriate intensities.

Fortunately triathletes have many options to determine and track their LTs, including tests that are shorter and more manageable than the classic 1-hour time trial.

Dave Schell summarizes 14 different field tests to estimate thresholds for swim, bike and run. Now there’s no longer any excuse to maintain accurate zones for the most effective training possible!

PARDON THE INTERRUPTION

It’s one thing to have good swimming form for a couple laps, but how can we maintain great technique for 2.4 miles?  The trick is to address both fitness and form.

We know that fatigue causes the deterioration of stroke mechanics.

To combat this, coach Andrew Sheaff suggests breaking up your workouts with short but frequent drill sets.   These will help get your technique back on track, even as you’re getting tired.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Slippery Bottles
    To help you determine the best water bottle placement on your tri bike, the team at Aerocoach shared its extensive testing data Learn which position results in the lowest aerodynamic penalty (the results might surprise you).
  • Faster 100s
    Coach Brenton Ford presents a powerful case study on how an age group triathlete improved her freestyle by 20 seconds per 100m.  Packed full of practical advice, you’re likely to find something that you can apply to your own stroke.
  • Just 1 Hour
    If you’re pressed for time and only have one hour for a workout, then Will Kirousis recommends this bike interval sessionSometimes all it takes is 60 minutes to build a little fitness.
January 10, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for January 04, 2024

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Dr. Stephen Seiler’s 12 rules of endurance training
  • Stroke adjustments for open water success
  • How to avoid running injuries
  • Build a winning off-season
  • 2 workouts for aerobic endurance on the bike

CYCLING ENGINE

Building aerobic endurance on the bike is one of the keys to unlocking faster IRONMAN performances.

While experts tell us to spend most of our time in Zone 2, there’s lots of room between a recovery pace and LT to spice up your workouts. 

Chris Carmichael offers 2 interval sessions for building aerobic endurance: Aerobic Tempo intervals and Sweet Spot Tempo intervals.  Perform them a couple days per week (indoors or out) to accumulate more time-at-intensity.

OFF & RUNNING

The off-season is critical for all triathlon disciplines, but especially for running.  It allows you to fully recover, build strength and enhance biomechanics.

Unfortunately many athletes don’t schedule a true off-season, for fear of losing fitness.

Dr. Ellen Foster explains why this is a mistake, and presents guidelines on how to modify your off-season running to ensure improvement in all 3 areas.  Follow her advice and you’ll be well-prepared for your next training cycle.

NAIL YOUR NUTRITION

UCAN’s proprietary SuperStarch (called LIVSTEADY) is a low-glycemic, complex carbohydrate that has changed the way triathletes train and race.

UCAN products provide athletes with steady, long-lasting energy without the spikes and crashes associated with sugary gels and drinks.

Best of all, the flavors are subtle and not too sweet.  With zero sugars and zero stimulants, UCAN provides sustained energy throughout the race with no GI or stomach upset.

We demand steady energy and sharp mental focus throughout the race day.  That’s why champions like Katie Zaferes, Tim O’Donnell, Emily Sisson and Meb Keflezighi rely on UCAN to fuel their performances.

TriathlonWire readers receive incredible discounts on all UCAN purchases by using this linkCheck out their complete line of drinks, energy bars and snacks today!!

IN THE OPEN

In this fascinating conversation between Brenton Ford and former pro Tim Reed, they discuss how to adjust from pool to open water for maximum race speed.

They explain the risks of only swimming with a masters group and reveal Reed’s process for identifying your optimal open water stroke rate.

Additionally Reed clarifies the true goal of a triathlon swimmer, and offers his practical tips for improving your technique.

QUICK FIX

To avoid a debilitating running injury you must act immediately when you first feel unusual tightness or pain.  But what exactly should you do to expedite healing and recovery?

Coach Greg McMillan’s proven 4-step injury prevention protocol will help you respond and adjust, so you can keep your training on track.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Feel Better
    Sculling is a subtle drill you can use to improve your feel for the water and reinforce good technique.  Follow Olivier Poirier-Leroy’s 5 tips for better sculling to master this important skill.
  • 12 Rules of Endurance
    Get 2024 off to a great start by applying Dr. Stephen Seiler’s 12 rules of endurance training into your own program.  It’s gonna be a great year!
  • Building Back
    The reasons for your absence don’t matter; it’s time to return to the pool.  Use these 6 tips to accelerate your return to swimming by Ryan Heisler, and you’ll be back to full speed before you know it.
January 3, 2024|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for December 21, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 10 tips for IRONMAN swim success
  • 3 exercises for a stronger posterior chain
  • 5 tips for the ideal off-season
  • The importance of race pace intervals
  • An alternative method for base building

PRACTICE PACE

Do you schedule workouts at your target race pace?  If not, you should.

Matt Fitzgerald details the 2 key benefits of training at your IRONMAN race speed

Research confirms that lots of low intensity training is the bedrock of successful long-distance racing.  However you also need some moderate-paced training to reach the heights of your full potential.

Learn more about the importance of intentional pace variation, and apply it to your training in 2024 for your best year ever.

BASE WASTE?

In this GCN video, former pro Si Richardson argues that hours and hours of Zone 2 riding isn’t the only way to build base fitness.  Besides, most time-crunched athletes don’t have 25 hours per week to train, anyway.

Instead he and coach Neil Henderson explore how to work on your weaknesses in the off-season, by combining easy low-volume workouts and sweetspot sessions, peppered with plenty of strength training.

Absorb this approach with an open mind, and remember that one type of training doesn’t fit everyone.

SWIM THE DISTANCE

Although less than 10% of the overall IRONMAN distance, if you nail your swim then you’re set up for race day success.

Coach Andrew Potter provides a goldmine of useful information, including a 10-point checklist of training tips for open water racing.

Follow his advice and you could chop minutes off your next swim split.

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD

As 2023 comes to a close, it’s time for us to ask for your feedback.

Just like you, all of us at TriathlonWire are committed to improving during the off-season.

Please help us out by completing this short, 90-second survey that will tell us what you value and what we can do better.

We’ll use the results to guide us in 2024.

Thank you, and Happy Holidays!

POSTERIOR BUILD

Posterior chain muscles are critical for all phases of triathlon, but are often neglected.

They run from your traps and lats to the lower back, hamstrings, gluteals and calves.  They’re responsible for generating power, stabilizing your body and preventing injury during all three disciplines of our sport.

Chris Case of Fast Talk Laboratories outlines a simple strength training routine that challenges 3 fundamental movements of the posterior chain.

GOLDILOCKS OFF-SEASON

If you’re like most triathletes — already dreaming about how to kick more ass in 2024 – then you must dial-in your off-season.

Balance and progression are vital. Back off the volume and intensity, but maintain training consistency throughout the winter.  Doing so will allow you to recharge and refresh, while building upon your accrued fitness year over year.

Coach Matt Dixon shares his 5 elements of a successful off-season that you can use for your own program.  Follow his guidance and in just 6 to 12 weeks you’ll have a bulletproof foundation of fitness.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Traveling & Training
    Thanks to Zafiri Sports Travel, endurance athletes don’t have to compromise their workouts when on the road.  This collection of 50 free city guides list the best places to train — including pools, gyms, group rides, bike & run routes and much more — at each location.
December 20, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for December 14, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 4 mistakes in freestyle hand entry
  • Blueprint for the perfect off-season plan
  • 3 proven strategies for healthy weight loss
  • How to develop multiple swim speeds
  • Extreme carb consumption

MORE GEARS

One mark of an advanced swimmer is their ability to change speeds during a race.  In contrast, less experienced swimmers typically have only one gear.

Elite swimmers often speak of having 3 speeds.  You might be surprised to learn that they vary by only about 2 seconds per hundred.  However they can call upon these different paces at will. 

Coach Brenton Ford provides some practical tips for developing your own swim gears, and describes the technical mistakes to avoid when you start trying to swim faster.

Master this important pacing skill, and soon you’ll be racing the swim in your next triathlon… not just surviving.

TRANSITION SEASON

Champions are made in the off-season, but finding the right balance in your pre-season training can be tricky.

Coach Tatjana Ivanova offers a useful guide on how to navigate this transition season.

For her athletes she focuses on functional strength and improving swim technique.  In contrast, she de-emphasizes running.

Learn how you can set yourself up for success next year by adopting a well-designed transition training season plan now.

RESIST THE CARBOLUTION

Recently we’ve all been reading that very high carbohydrate consumption is driving the high speeds of the pro cycling peloton.

Sports scientist and world’s top IRONMAN age grouper Dr. Dan Plews is not convinced.

In fact he contends that – for long distance triathletes – ingesting more than 90 grams of carbs (or 360 calories) per hour is not worth the risk of bloating and nausea caused by the excess accumulating in your gut.  It might even stimulate the breakdown of the very glycogen stores you’re trying to preserve!

Read this well-researched article and formulate a personal fueling strategy that really works.

WHO’S WINNING NOW?

There’s no better collection of gifts for triathletes than the swimming accessories offered by FINIS.

Consider the FINIS Tempo Trainer Pro.  This unobtrusive underwater metronome will help raise your turnover to 35 strokes per minute (or higher). Using it will smooth out your power curve and increase your efficiency.

Get Santa’s elves working on a variety of swim paddles, like the strapless Floating Agility Paddles or the innovative Freestyler Paddle.

Or level up your strength and warm-up routines by grabbing a set of the Slide Dryland Cords that mimic the entire swim stroke cycle with consistent resistance

Best of all TriathlonWire readers get a 20% discount by using the coupon code TRIWIRE at checkout.

ENTER BETTER

Once you’ve perfected your head position, it’s time to address your freestyle hand entry.

A precise orientation of your hand’s entry into the water helps ensure optimal body position, maintains forward momentum and allows you to drop into a proper catch.

Of course, hand entry isn’t as simple as it seems.  Check out these 4 common hand entry mistakes and the drills to correct them.

OLDER BUT LEANER

In this video, 41-year cyclist Cam Nicholls documents how he reduced his body weight while increasing lean muscle mass in just 12 weeks.

Best of all, no starvation or crazy diets were required.  Nicholls claims that these changes were not hard to sustain.

What we found most interesting was his strategic fueling surrounding workouts, which oftentimes resulted in him eating more than usual at certain times of the day.

Nicholls followed 3 simple practices to manage his performance-focused diet that you can integrate now to help prevent going off-the-rails during the upcoming Holiday season.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Winter Zwift
    Whether you’re after the most challenging courses to build mental toughness, or more modest routes for Zone 2 workouts, this Zwift guide for triathletes by Jenny Lucas-Hill will help you get the most out of your winter indoor training.
  • Glory Days
    Need a Holiday gift for the triathlete who has everything?  Then get a personalized message of congratulations or encouragement recorded by iconic IRONMAN announcer Mike Reilly that will allow them to relive their glory days just by pressing “play.”
December 13, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for December 07, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 3 sessions for cycling durability
  • 6 tips for running after injury
  • Why you should consider sweet spot training
  • How to perfect your freestyle timing
  • 8 reasons to swim with fins

SHORTER & SWEETER

Despite the well-documented benefits of Zone 2 training, most time-crunched triathletes don’t have 16 to 20 hours each week for the easy winter miles needed to produce the desired base.

Fortunately, for those on a tighter schedule, there is an alternative.  It’s called sweet spot training.

Typically performed at between 85-95% of FTP (the upper range of Zone 3), these challenging but repeatable aerobic intervals can produce impressive improvements in mitochondrial density, eventually helping you hold efforts near threshold for longer.

A little sweet spot training goes a long way.  Just two sessions per week are usually all that’s needed.  To get you started, try these 3 sweet spot workouts by Matt Bottrill and Luke Rowe.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

One of the secrets to great freestyle is mastering the timing of your stroke.

More specifically, finding that ideal rhythm between the downbeat of the kick relative to when you start the anchor of your catch.

In this video pro triathlete Josh Lewis dives into this technical nuance, and demonstrates the three-quarter catchup drill that will help you refine this important skill.  The end result will be swimming more efficiently with less effort.

RETURN TO RUNNING

As long-distance triathletes, most of us will eventually suffer a running injury.  To ensure we get back to training as quickly as possible, it’s important to have a return to running strategy.

Ultrarunner Adam Campbell shares his 6 proven guidelines for easing back into running after an injury.

Follow his tips and you’ll minimize your downtime, get back into your routine and stay healthy.

2024 BEGINS NOW

Now’s the time to make 2024 your best year in triathlon ever.

There’s no better way to jumpstart your season than by joining 3x Hawaii IRONMAN World Champion Craig Alexander at his pre-season training camp on March 9-16, 2024 in the endurance sports paradise of Mallorca, Spain.

Tailored for triathletes of all levels, it’s guaranteed to be a fun week of incredible training, technical instruction and informative workshops.

All participants receive a one-on-one pre-camp phone consultation with Crowie, the training plan of their choice, cool camp swag and much more!

Discover why Mallorca is a multisport training mecca during this once-in-a-lifetime triathlon experience.

TriathlonWire readers save $50 off your camp tuition with coupon code TRIWIRE50.  Click here for more details or to make your no-risk reservation.

DURABLE SPEED

Durability is a measure of how long you can go before starting to fatigue.  It requires both cardiovascular fitness (which is usually not a problem for IRONMAN triathletes) and strength.

Coach Steve Brandes outlines 3 winter cycling workouts for improved strength and durability.

These durability sessions effectively blend strength-building drills with sustained endurance efforts.  Performed regularly, they will not only make you a stronger cyclist, but will enable you to run faster off the bike.

(F)IN CONTROL

You’ve seen other triathletes use them, and maybe you even have a pair, but do you really know how to make the most of your swim fins?

Fins are a versatile training tool that can help you improve your technique and speed.

Learn 8 reasons why you should be drilling with fins by A3 Performance.  Other than strengthening your kick and enhancing ankle flexibility, regular fin work will improve your balance and body position.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Where’s the Ride?
    Strava’s newest feature allows you to exchange messages with other users directly within the app.  DC Rainmaker explains why you need this and how to use it.
  • Mobility Flow
    If you’re ready to improve your mobility this off-season, here’s a fantastic movement flow by Steph Rose that is guaranteed to elevate your range-of-motion, agility and strength.   Use it as its own bodyweight workout or as a warmup.
December 6, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for November 30, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • How to schedule recovery from HIIT
  • 6 rules for faster masters
  • When to strength train for maximum gains
  • Discover the 4th fuel for endurance performance
  • Training zones: theory & practice

WHEN TO LIFT

It’s an age-old question: should you lift weights on the same day as a ride or run?

What’s the issue?  It turns out that the biochemical adaptations caused by lifting weights are blunted by endurance training… and vice versa.  Fortunately this “Interference Effect” can be managed and minimized by some simple but intentional scheduling choices designed to separate these disparate sessions. 

Coach Jim Rutberg provides some clear answers, supported by science, that will help you make the most of your precious time in the gym.

THE FOURTH FUEL

You’re familiar with the 3 traditional macronutrients: proteins, carbohydrates and fats.  Lately, however, another energy source – often referred to as the fourth macronutrient — has captured the attention of elite athletes worldwide.

Called ketones, these compounds are naturally produced as an alternative fuel under a narrow range of extreme physiological conditions.  They can also be ingested as a nutritional supplement to enhance cognitive acuity and physical performance.

Use of exogenous ketone esters has been popularized by pro cycling teams.  According to WADA they’re legal… But do they work?  And are they a viable option for age group triathletes?

Learn more about the potential benefits of this exciting nutrient, how to use ketones and whether they might be right for you.

INTENSE RECOVERY

Strategically scheduled high intensity efforts are critical for your development as a triathlete.

How should you program these key workouts – and schedule your recovery from them — for optimal results?

Coach Sergio Santos outlines his guidelines for determining recovery times from various types of HIIT sessions.

Discover what factors dictate length of recovery and learn why higher intensity workouts don’t always require a longer recovery period.

2024 BEGINS NOW

There’s no better way to jumpstart your season than by joining 3x Hawaii IRONMAN World Champion Craig Alexander at his pre-season training camp on March 9-16, 2024 on the island of Mallorca, Spain.

Tailored for triathletes of all levels, it’s guaranteed to be a fun week of incredible training, technical instruction and informative workshops.

All participants receive a one-on-one pre-camp phone consultation with Crowie, cool camp swag and much more!

Discover why Mallorca is a multisport training mecca during this once-in-a-lifetime triathlon experience.

TriathlonWire readers save $50 off your camp tuition with coupon code TRIWIRE50.  Click here for more details or to make your no-risk reservation.

ZONED IN

Zone-based training ensures you’re working at the ideal intensities at the right times.  They help you achieve specific goals from each session and fine-tune your training plan for truly personalized results.

But determining your training zones can be confusing.  Should you use a three, five or seven zone system?  Are more zones better?  And how do you calculate them in the first place?

Check out this informative video that cuts through the confusion, and helps you nail your zones so you can train more precisely and efficiently.

IRON FOR IRONMAN

What’s one of the most important nutrients for endurance athletes?  Iron.  It’s responsible for delivering oxygen to the working muscles and bolsters your immune system.

It sounds weird, but chronic aerobic training reduces the body’s iron storesStudies show that up to 50% of athletes exhibit some degree of anemia.

Dylan Johnson explains why iron plays such a critical role in performance, what causes iron-deficiency, and how you can maintain optimal iron levels.

QUICK HIITS:

  • 6 for 40+
    There might not be an antidote to aging, but you can slow age-related declines in performance.  Timeless pro Melanie McQuaid shares her top 6 tips for continued improvement after 40.  For most of us, this advice will work at any age!
November 29, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for November 16, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Endurance swim sets for IRONMAN
  • How does your VO2max compare?
  • 5 ways to boost cycling power
  • Joe Friel’s 9 top indoor bike sessions
  • Prehab to prevent swimmer’s shoulder

INSIDE RIDES

With winter around the corner (at least in the northern hemisphere), it’s time to fully commit to an indoor cycling strategy.

Joe Friel can help, by sharing his 9 favorite indoor cycling workouts from his book, Ride Inside.

This collection includes sessions proven to build your aerobic engine, increase your force on the pedals and tolerate longer stints at threshold intensity.  He also outlines test sets and a recovery ride.

Integrate these workouts into your winter plan, and you’ll emerge a stronger, faster cyclist in the spring.

SPECIFICALLY LONGER

Completing an IRONMAN swim requires about 4,000 arm revolutions.

The only way to build swim-specific muscular endurance is to consistently log the appropriate types of swim workouts.  If a 70.3 or IRONMAN race is in your future, then purposeful endurance sessions specific to your race distance are a must.

Elite triathlete and coach Ayesha Rollinson explains why it’s critical to train at both your tempo and endurance paces.  She also describes how to determine these important swim speeds.

Finally, she suggests when to schedule these sessions into your plan.  Doing so will boost your fitness, skills and confidence that will power your next race.

POWER BOOSTERS

Would you like to increase the watts generated on the bike?  Yeah… Us, too.

Coach and author Tyrone Holmes shares 5 specific ways you can boost your cycling power.

All of them can be implemented whether you’re training indoors or IRL, so there’s no excuse for not getting started today.

GEL US

Whether you need a stocking stuffer for an athlete in your life, or you want a little something for yourself (go ahead… you deserve it!), then look no further than this incredible Black Friday deal from The Feed.

For a limited time you can snag 2 dozen SIS Go Isotonic Gels for 24 bucks. That’s just $1 per gel… Amazing!

Science In Sport (SIS) – one of the world’s leading performance nutrition brands – fuels the INEOS Grenadiers, USA Triathlon and countless endurance athletes worldwide.

Check out all the current SIS deals at The Feed and stock up now.  No coupon code necessary.

VO2MAX TARGETS

Have you ever wondered how your VO2max measures up against others of the same age and gender?  Or what is the VO2max of the world’s top athletes?

The folks at INSCYD have compiled a collection of charts so you can compare your VO2max to those of other athletes (rather than the general population).  That’s important because sedentary people lose their VO2max twice as quickly as active individuals.

It turns out that even men in their 60’s can improve their VO2max by almost 20% after just 9 months of endurance training.

SHOULDERS OF STEEL

Nothing derails your progress in the pool like a lingering case of swimmer’s shoulder.

Avoid the pain and frustration of swimmer’s shoulder by preventing it in the first place with Chris Ritter’s effective prehab routine.  These 5 dryland exercises designed to strengthen the rotator cuff, improve mobility and reduce the risk of impingement.

Perform them regularly, and you’ll provide the shoulder reinforcement necessary to tolerate the demands of repetitive overhead rotation required in freestyle.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Kick Like Lidecky
    Enjoy this master class in kicking technique as you watch Olympic champion Katie Lidecky dominate the 1500m freestyle.  Notice how she switches between 1-beat, 2-beat and 4-beat hybrid kicks throughout the race.
  • Fastest Feet
    Indicating how quickly the footwear industry has progressed, the fastest runners in the 2023 IRONMAN World Championships wore super shoes from a wide variety of brands.  Check out who wore what during the run in Kona.
  • First By A Whisker
    Thanks to a remarkable engineering breakthrough borrowed from another industry, Nike is reportedly poised to release its newest super shoe, designed to shave even more time off your marathon PR.
November 15, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for November 9, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Better rotation means more swim speed
  • Amazing peak & fade intervals
  • Heat acclimation in the hot tub
  • Pacing with your power meter

POWER PACING

During the bike leg of a triathlon, all watts are not created equal.

Coach Hunter Allen explains how experienced triathletes achieve their ideal bike pacing – and their best runs – by focusing on the smooth and steady output of power.

Surges on the bike are your enemy.  Whether caused by reacting to rivals, overcoming climbs or simply over-biking, they result in unnecessary energy expenditures that will hamper your run.

Learn how to identify your optimal bike speed in training, and how to govern it during your race.  Doing so will unlock your best performances.

ROTATION MATTERS

How does body rotation contribute to faster freestyle?

It primarily relates to the transfer of energy from your hips and core to your back, shoulders and arms to generate more propulsive force.  It also involves the more streamlined body position that’s achieved through proper rotation.

Find out about this critical swimming dynamic and learn 2 great drills for improving the timing and efficiency of your rotation.

TOOLS FOR THE JOB

Like most of us, you plan to improve your swimming technique during the off-season.   Fantastic!

There’s no better way to level up your swim skills than by performing the proper drills with the right accessories.  That’s where FINIS comes in.

FINIS understands triathlon swimming They design and manufacture the most innovative swim products in the sport, engineered to help you become faster and more proficient.

Strengthen your kick with the Long Floating Fin (Dave Scott’s favorite).  Refine your entry and pull with the world’s best selection of swim paddles Discover how the Tempo Trainer can increase and optimize your stroke rate (key for open water speed).  Or correct your timing and body rotation by drilling with the Stability Snorkel.

As always TriathlonWire readers get 20% off their FINIS purchases with coupon code TRIWIRE.  Try it now!

PEAK & FADE

Top athletes often perform peak and fade intervals, where each effort starts at a very high intensity to pre-load the muscles before settling into the desired pace (commonly at threshold) for the remainder of the interval.

This advanced workout structure helps athletes tolerate higher lactate concentrations, improves the anaerobic energy system and builds mental toughness.

If you want to experiment with these potent sessions in your own training, then read INSCYD’s guide to designing your own peak and fade workouts.

HOT OPTION

While social media influencers rave about the subjective benefits of cold plunges, recent research indicates that a hot bath immediately following exercise produces measurable benefits when performing in the heat.

In one study, 6 days of a 20-minute hot bath after training resulted in a significant improvement in 5km run times.  Other studies show that consistent time in the tub results in increased levels of mitochondrial enzymes that translate into improved fitness.

Hot baths can be a practical and cost-effective heat acclimation alternative compared to relocating for weeks to a warm environment.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Mobility Boost
    Increasing the range-of-motion of key joints can have a profound effect on athletic performance, but making progress can be slow.  Fast-track your improvements with kinesiologist David Liira’s 3 loaded movement routines for better mobility.  Performed 2 or 3 times weekly, you’ll soon be moving with more control and less impingement.
November 8, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for November 2, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 20 fitness rules for masters athletes
  • 4 practical ways to use CGMs
  • Why you’ll love Fartlek swimming
  • 12 strength exercises for faster running
  • 3 reasons why you need weekly speed work

SPEED WEEKLY

Now’s the time of year when many of us focus on training to stay fit.

Renowned run coach Jeff Gaudette outlines 3 reasons why you should maintain speed work in the off-season, even if you’re not training for a specific event.

It doesn’t require much.  Weekly injections of increased pace are enough to help maintain neuromuscular efficiency, avoid winter weight gain and contributes to overall health.

FARTLEK SWIMMING

Fartlek running has been a training staple for decades, but what about Fartlek swimming?

Coach Olivier Poirier-Leroy says that this style of workout is the remedy for long, boring endurance sets that lead to loss of concentration and sloppy technique.

By inserting random bursts of speed into your longer efforts, you’ll develop the ability to change gears at a moment’s notice (just like in a race).  You’ll also log more focused yardage, improve your feel for the water and generally spice up your workouts!

To get you started, Poirier-Leroy presents 2 examples of Fartlek swim sets guaranteed to deliver fun, low-pressure speed work.

20 FOR OVER 40

Let’s pull back from the minutiae of workout reps and sets, and examine our overarching approach to a fitness-focused lifestyle.

In this comprehensive article, high performance coach Dan Go outlines his 20 fitness rules for master athletes.

We’re certain that you’ll learn something new that can be immediately applied to your own training, and help ensure a lifetime of continued gains.

BUILDING FASTER TRIATHLETES

Since 2014 Craig “Crowie” Alexander has guided over 7,240 athletes to exceptional performances through his Sansego Triathlon Club.

STC members are stronger, faster and more confident… Isn’t that your objective, too?

Whether building towards your “A” race, or aiming to improve your weaknesses while between triathlons, Sansego Tri Club will elevate your game.

STC’s unparalleled training resources, elite team of coaches and experts, and a supportive community of triathletes like you will take your racing to the next level.

For a limited time, TriathlonWire readers can join this extraordinary community and save $47 off an annual membership with the coupon code STC47OFF

With its 100% no-risk guarantee, there’s no reason not to join today!  As Crowie always says: Faster Triathlon is Fun!

411 ON CGM

You’ve probably noticed Kristian Blummenfelt, Lisa Norden and other pros wearing a patch on the back of their triceps.  These are Continuous Glucose Monitors (or “CGMs”) that measure real-time levels of circulating glucose in the blood.

Often (and erroneously) termed a “fuel gauge” for sports performance, it can be hard to know exactly how a CGM can be used by everyday athletes.

Fortunately Asker Jeukendrop has published a series of blogs that provide accurate and actionable information about this high tech tool.  He describes what CGMs can (and can’t) measure, and clearly explains 4 ways that a CGM can be used by triathletes.

We especially like his advice on how to use a CGM to dial-in your pre-race meal.

If you’re considering experimenting with this technology, then shorten your learning curve and lock-in its practical applications with these fantastic articles.

LOVE OF STRENGTH

Research confirms that triathletes know they should be strength training, but the majority have no clue about what to do when they finally get to the gym.

If that sounds like you, then try these 12 strength exercises to get you started by elite runner and coach Rachel Tomajczyk.

She recommends lifting on the same days as your main workouts to ensure that easy days are kept easy.

Use this and other tips to confidently integrate strength training into your weekly routine.  It will help make you stronger and faster next season.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Cure the Achilles
    If you’ve ever suffered from Achilles tendonitis, then you’ll want to bookmark this remarkable 6-step exercise sequence by PT Tom Broback that delivers relief and gets you back to running after 4 weeks.
November 1, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for October 26, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • How Kona’s best AG bike split was built
  • 4 keys to improving in your 50s
  • Why is Lucy so fast in the water?
  • 2 tough run sessions for your next marathon
  • 3 ways super shoes make you faster

DISSECTING VICTORY

Lucy Charles-Barclay is well-known for her swimming dominance.  In the 2023 IRONMAN World Championship, she set up her overall victory with another untouchable swim split.

What makes her so damn fast?  And can age groupers adopt her strategies and techniques to improve their performances?

In this insightful video Brenton Ford reveals the 5 startling reasons why LCB is unstoppable in open water.  You’ll discover countless technical nuances and tips to apply to your own training.

POSITIONED FOR SPEED

This year Jana Richtrova posted the fastest amateur bike split in the Hawaii IRONMAN.

Her story is a relentless quest for optimized bike fit, the most sustainable aerodynamic position, the best equipment and uncompromising training consistency.

Learn how coach Jorge Martinez guided Richtrova to a bike leg that helped make her a 3x age group world champion.

IMMERSIVE TRIATHLON

There’s no better way to jumpstart your 2024 season than by joining 3x Hawaii IRONMAN World Champion Craig Alexander at his pre-season training camp on March 9-16 in Mallorca, Spain.

Train side-by-side with Crowie and receive personalized instruction and critical guidance that will level up your multisport performance.

Tailored for triathletes of all levels, this camp is guaranteed to make you a faster, more proficient triathlete.  Plus, it’s a whole lot of fun!

The camp includes pre-trip assessments and follow-up consultations.  Check out all the benefits here and learn what makes Crowie’s spring training camp so unique.

TriathlonWire readers save $50 off your camp tuition with coupon code TRIWIRE50.  Make your no-risk reservation today.

SUPER WEAPONS

The unignorable trend in running is that almost every recent road race and IRONMAN winner has worn super shoes to propel them to victory.

There are 3 ways super shoes impact run speed, the most important being improved running economy.

Of course, the benefits are different for every athlete.  In this article run coach Ashely Mateo explains an at-home treadmill test you can use to determine just how much super shoes might affect your performance.

FASTER MASTERS

As a masters endurance athlete you’ll eventually face the reality of diminishing physical capacity and longer recovery times.  However, that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to make gains.

Coach Jim Rutberg outlines 4 components of fitness that masters athletes should prioritize.

If you consistently attend to these, you’ll lessen the negative effects of aging and maintain – or even improve – your fitness and performance for years to come.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Iron Grit
    If you know her harrowing story of surviving a shipwreck, then the tenacity of Els Visser will come as no surprise.  In 6th place with 35 kilometers remaining in the Hawaii IRONMAN bike course, a broken pedal forced her to ride into T2 with just one leg.  She ended up in 15th overall, still in the prize money.  Amazing grit.
  • Locked-In Pace
    Squeeze more benefit from your long runs by adding intentional variations of speed into one session per month.  Here are 2 advanced long run workouts designed to reinforce and lock-in your race pace.
October 25, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for October 19, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 3 proven run workouts
  • Why it’s time to try a bottle fairing
  • 5 tips for tri-specific swim speed
  • Run tall, run fast
  • 2023 Kona bike count

BOTTLED SPEED

You’ve probably noticed the latest trend among pros: they stuff a water bottle down the front of their trisuits prior to rolling out of T2.

While not UCI-legal, the belly bottle is permitted (for now) in triathlon.

When positioned properly, the bottle acts as a chest fairing and can deliver up to a 9% reduction in drag, saving many minutes and watts over 112 miles.

Learn how to fine-tune this aero hack for your next IRONMAN.  It might be the easiest way to truly get free speed on the bike.

RE-ENGINEERED RUNNING

Long distance triathletes don’t need to over-complicate their run training.  In fact coach Sergio Borges contends that the sweet spot for greatest progress is to run just 3 times per week.

The trick to making this run schedule work is to be intentional with your volume and intensity.

Coach Borges outlines his method for delivering the ideal combination of endurance, strength and speed sessions.  He also provides a sample week of run workouts that you can immediately integrate into your own program.

JUMPSTART YOUR 2024

With Kona behind us, now’s the time to plan how 2024 will be your best year in triathlon ever.

There’s no better way to jumpstart your season than by joining 3x Hawaii IRONMAN World Champion Craig “Crowie” Alexander at his pre-season training camp on March 9-16, 2024 in the endurance sports paradise of Mallorca, Spain.

Tailored for triathletes of all levels, it’s guaranteed to be a fun week of incredible training, technical instruction and informative workshops.

Train side-by-side with Crowie and his team of amazing coaches during this once-in-a-lifetime triathlon experience.

TriathlonWire readers get $50 off your camp tuition with coupon code TRIWIRE50.  Click here for more details or to make your no-risk reservation.

UNLOCK SWIM PACE

Successful triathletes are obssessed with training efficiency, and nowhere is that more important than in your swim workouts.

Coach Dave Burgess provides 5 triathlon-specific swim tips to help make the most of your time in the water.

Pay particular attention to tip #2.  He explains why it’s vital to build your workouts around your base 100 time.   Once you’ve mastered this basic training skill, you’ll unlock additional gears to elevate your swim pace.

RUN TALL

Posture is how you carry your body, and good posture is both a position and a process.

Proper posture is critical for fast and efficient running, since it supports a full range of motion, enhances your biomechanics, optimizes lung capacity and helps prevent injury.

Sustaining good running posture – often referred to as “running tall” — can be challenging, especially when fatigued.  Check out Dan Go’s 5 best exercises for improving your posture In just 5 minutes a day, you’ll improve your body’s alignment and begin running faster with less effort.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Bike Count
    It’s always enlightening to learn what gear is used by the world’s best triathletes.  Check out the 2023 Hawaii IRONMAN Bike Count to see what bikes, cycling components and gear are trending.
  • Historic
    Despite the naysayers, last weekend’s women’s-only 2023 IRONMAN World Championship was a massive success.  16 athletes went under 9 hours!  Here’s our favorite recap of this historic race.  It relives the dramatic wire-to-wire win of Lucy Charles-Barkley in 10 compelling stories from race day.
October 18, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for October 05, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • How training slower makes you faster
  • More carbs quicken recovery
  • A world champ’s tips for triathlon running
  • 6 proven drills for faster freestyle

NOTE: There will be no edition of TriathlonWire next week.  Our team will be in Kona for the IRONMAN World Championships.  We’ll see you again on October 18.

EFFICIENT & FAST

Scottish pro and newly-minted Olympic distance world champion Beth Potter shares her keys to successful triathlon running.

She reveals her weekly run volume (surprisingly low) and the distribution of her workout pace (mostly slow, some fast).

Potter also explains why she’s obsessed with biomechanics and the role strength training plays in maintaining her pristine form.  As others are breaking down late in a race, Beth’s strong posture and fluid gait allow her to sustain run speed with less effortUsually for the win.

DRILLED & SKILLED

Which swim drills should we choose and how do we weave them into our workouts?

Coach Olivier Poirier-Leroy cuts through the confusion with his 6 drills for faster freestyle.

These proven exercises break bad habits, make you more efficient in the water and improve your body position.

As a bonus Poirier-Leroy offers 4 tips for how to get the most from your freestyle drills.  Adopt these to supercharge your swimming.

SMART FUEL

Smart athletes fuel with UCAN, the choice of champions like Tim O’Donnell, Katie Zaferes, Sara Hall and Meb Keflezighi.

UCAN’s proprietary LIVSTEADY SuperStarch is a low-glycemic, complex carbohydrate that has changed the way triathletes train and race.

UCAN products provide athletes with steady, long-lasting energy with no spikes and crashes associated with sugary gels and drinks.  That means UCAN Energy Gels last for up to 75 minutes.

The subtle flavors are not too sweet.  Zero sugars and zero stimulants, UCAN provides sustained energy throughout the race with no stomach upset.

TriathlonWire readers receive 15% off their UCAN purchases with coupon code TRIWIRE15.  Take advantage of this great deal and stock up now!

GO EASIER, GET FASTER

If you’ve ever wondered how low-intensity training improves top-end performance, then coach Landry Bobo has your answer.

He succinctly explains how easier Zone 2 training promotes the creation of mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles within our cells.  More mitochondria mean better aerobic metabolism and higher FTP.

We know it feels good to go fast.  But, for continued improvement, aim for more Zone 2 training and limit high intensity efforts to just 5-15% of total training time.

WHEN MORE IS BETTER

It turns out that the right amount of carbs does more than just fuel your efforts.  Carbs are also critical for expediting recovery.

Studies with trained cyclists and ultrarunners indicate significantly improved next-day performance and reduced post-exercise muscle damage when high levels of carbohydrates were consumed during their activities.

Specifically, athletes who consumed 120 gm of carbohydrates per hour displayed lower metabolic stress and higher preservation of muscle function compared to athletes who ingested the commonly recommended 60 to 90 grams of carbs per hour.

Condition yourself to tolerate higher carb consumption to improve recovery and you’ll be able to increase the number of high quality training sessions per week.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Narrow Focus
    Here’s a tip by Brenton Ford to enhance the finish of your freestyle pull.  Master this refinement and you’ll be more streamlined, have better hip rotation and gain more distance per stroke.
  • Not Fast Enough
    Competitive runners are finding it increasingly difficult to gain entry into the Boston Marathon.  For the 2024 edition, athletes needed a qualifying time 5 min 29 sec faster than their BQ standard to secure the coveted bib.  That leaves 11,000 marathoners on the sidelines.
  • Chrissie’s Last Kona
    As we look ahead to next weekend’s IRONMAN World Championship, take a moment to relive what might be history’s most dramatic Kona comeback. In 2011 Chrissie Wellington, suffering from a crippling injury, overcame a 22-minute deficit in T2 to take the win.
October 4, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for September 28, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 4 vital workouts for IRONMAN swim pacing
  • Harness the incredible benefits of exogenous ketones
  • 12 reasons to embrace uphill running
  • Why relaxing your hands will transform your freestyle

STRIKE THE RIGHT ‘TONE

Recent research has demonstrated that the consumption of exogenous ketones delivers groundbreaking benefits for endurance athletes.

Notably, a group of well-trained recreational cyclists ingested 2 daily doses of ketone esters during a 3-week training block.  They exhibited a 40% increase in capillary development and a 26% increase in serum EPO, which translate into a meaningful ergogenic boost.

Furthermore, when ketones were combined with a bicarbonate supplement, cyclists saw a 5% increase in power.

Exogenous ketones have already transformed World Tour cycling, and are increasingly making their mark in triathlon.  Many pros are sponsored by ketone manufacturers, and well-heeled age groupers have access to this expensive but promising supplement.  It might be time for you to give them a look.

PACE THE DISTANCE

Proper pacing for the IRONMAN swim requires an elusive combination of fitness, technique and self-confidence.

Coach Lindsay Zemba Leigh describes 4 types of swim workouts for IRONMAN success.

Leigh leans heavily on 400m repeats.  She believes it’s the ideal distance for working on both speed and endurance, while maintaining good form.

Use these workouts to smash your next IRONMAN swim.

FASTER IN 2024

Craig “Crowie” Alexander is returning to the multisport training mecca of Mallorca, Spain to lead a pre-season training camp on March 9 – 16, 2024.

Don’t miss your opportunity to join this 5x world champion and his team of expert coaches for one week of training, personalized technical instruction and fun.

Tailored for triathletes of all levels, this camp is guaranteed to jumpstart your season.  Learn Crowie’s insights first-hand on nutrition, strength & conditioning, bike fit and race tactics to elevate your performance to the next level.

Space is very limited, so book your spot today by making a no-risk deposit!

TriathlonWire readers save $50 off your camp tuition with coupon code TRIWIRE50.

HEAD FOR THE HILLS

Triathletes often rely on hill repeats for their combination of speedwork and strength training.  But uphill running also offers much more.

Coach Amber Sayer reveals more about this potent training strategy in her 12 benefits of hill running for triathletes.

Running uphill helps to fine-tune your biomechanics, increase LT, improve balance, reinforce durability and enhance mental toughness… all attributes critical for successful triathlon running.

SHOW OF HANDS

You’ve probably heard that keeping your hands relaxed during freestyle creates a larger paddle that will move more water.

That’s true.  But coach Mandy Bradley explains the other surprising benefits of why swimming with relaxed hands will transform your technique.

If you’re interested in expanding your range of motion, improving your catch and simply moving more freely and easily through the water, then check out this video.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Under An Hour
    Pinched for time?  Then you’ll love Jim Rutberg’s 3 indoor cycling workouts under 1 hour Speed intervals, over-unders, power intervals… You’ll find what you need for efficient training, even if time is short.
  • Pre-Swim Activation
    Prepare your shoulders for your next swim workout or race with this 2-minute deck activation routine.  Coach Geordie McConnell demonstrates a quick and effective 6-move warm-up sequence that you can perform before every session.
  • Star-Studded
    The 2023 Vinfast IRONMAN World Championship is just a couple weeks away, and boasts an incredibly deep field of top-ranked female pros.  Stars to watch include Chelsea Sodaro, Daniela Ryf, Anne Haug and Lucy Charles-Barclay, with the expectation of Taylor Knibb still high.  We can’t wait for the fireworks!
September 27, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for September 21, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Level up your swimming in the off-season
  • 7 speed workouts for the run
  • Fix swimmer’s shoulder with 3 exercises
  • Step-by-step plan for mastering bike pace
  • 3 common mistakes in freestyle breathing

BULLETPROOF BIKE PACE

Experienced triathletes know that staying within your intensity sweet spot on the bike will ensure relatively fresh legs for an awesome run.

Over-biking in an IRONMAN can cause you to run up to 90 minutes slower than expected, so must be avoided at all costs.

Coach Taren Gesell lays out a step-by-step plan for nailing your bike pace for best overall triathlon performance.

He begins with a method for determining the most appropriate bike speed based on your fitness and race distance.  He then explains how to use a weekly succession of race simulation brick workouts to dial-in and reinforce your ideal race day effort.

Follow his tips and you’ll shorten the learning curve for mastering triathlon pace management.

OFF-SEASON SWIM

If your objective is to improve your swimming during the off-season, then Conrad Goeringer’s 5-point off-season framework for freestyle progress is just what you need.

Swimming is a technique-focused discipline. You’ll see the greatest advances by increasing your frequency of weekly workouts, and then performing each session with intention.

Goeringer offers a methodical approach for prioritizing and achieving your goals.  Follow it to take full advantage of the upcoming break from racing.

WIN BIG

Take a shot at winning your share of over $4,000 worth of awesome prizes by entering Curad’s Never Miss A Day Giveaway.

Curad is the official medical supplier of the 2023 IRONMAN North America Series, and offers a full range of products that help you recover more quickly and maintain your training consistency, so you Never Miss A Day™.

You could win HOKA shoes, a Hyperice Hypervolt 2 massage gun or even a personalized 12-week training plan from 5x world champion Craig “Crowie” Alexander.  There are 33 prizes in all.

Get in on the action and register for free here.  Act fast, because the deadline to enter is Friday (that’s tomorrow!), September 22 at 11pm PT.  No purchase necessary.

7 FOR RUN SPEED

Because your goal is not to simply finish the marathon but to run it as quickly as you can, you know that weekly speedwork is required.

Coach Greg McMillan outlines his 7 favorite marathon speed workouts that elevate your lactate threshold and VO2 max.

He also suggests when to schedule them and how to get maximum benefit from these tough sessions.

SHOULDER THE LOAD

One of the most common chronic injuries reported by triathletes is swimmer’s shoulder.  Those afflicted are typically advised to perform stretches, which often cause more pain.

According to physical therapist Alex Ewart angry muscles don’t like tension, and stretching an inflamed muscle or tendon can make the injury worse.

Instead, eliminate the nagging discomfort of swimmer’s shoulder by focusing on these 3 strength exercises They will enhance stability, reduce muscle imbalance and provide relief.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Avoid the Loss
    Strength training is a proven way to resist age-related decline, and is a non-negotiable component for optimal performance.  If you’re over 40 and haven’t yet committed to strength training, then check out this graph of age-related muscle loss.  It’ll provide all the motivation you need to start lifting.
  • Every Breath You Take
    Proper breathing technique forms the foundation of a solid freestyle stroke.  Coach Stu Kahn reviews the 3 most common breathing mistakes and provides tips on how to correct them.
  • Fast or Fiction?
    Much attention has been paid to Sam Laidlow’s aero cycling socks worn during his recent victory at the IRONMAN World Championship in Nice, FRA.  Are aero socks a viable gear upgrade for free speed?  Check out the deep dive here.
September 20, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for September 14, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Comfort = speed on your tri bike
  • 8 Reasons to swim with fins
  • 1-Hour IRONMAN improvement
  • Are you swimming ladder sets?
  • Personalize your recovery weeks

ONE HOUR FASTER

In this revealing case study, we get a behind-the-scenes look at how a 36-year-old age grouper improved his IRONMAN time by 1 hour.

While there are 5 main factors that contributed to his success, underlying it all was a commitment to training consistency that was guided by his coach.

Most interesting were his adoption of a periodized nutrition strategy and swimming with a group only part of the time.

Check out this real-life path to improvement It will help shape your roadmap to faster racing in 2024.

CLIMB THE LADDER

One of the best swim sessions for triathletes are ladder set workouts.

Instead of swimming long dull intervals, ladder sets break up your workout into a variety of intensities that each have a specific purpose.

Ladder sets teach pace management, develop speed and let you focus on different elements of your technique during each effort.

Coach Matthew Edde provides some practical examples of ladder sets – like the broken 1500 – which you can immediately put to use.

COMFORTABLE SPEED

Congratulations… You have a sleek and slippery tri bike.  But if you can’t hold an aero position for most of the race, then you’ll leak minutes during your bike split.

Tri bikes are unusual.  Their steep seat tube angle and low front end impose a position that takes getting used to.

Finding and maintaining a fast aero position requires a relentless quest for comfort.  If it feels good to be in the aero bars, then you’ll stay there longer.

Get yourself dialed in with these 6 tips for more comfort and speed, and finally reap the benefits that your tri bike offers.

FEELIN’ LUCKY?

Take a shot at winning your share of over $4,000 worth of awesome prizes by entering Curad’s Never Miss A Day Giveaway.

Curad is the official medical supplier of the 2023 IRONMAN North America Series, and offers a full range of products that help you recover more quickly and maintain your training consistency, so you Never Miss A Day™ .

Who knows?  You could win HOKA shoes, a Hyperice Hypervolt 2 massage gun or even a 1-on-1 consultation and training plan from 5x world champion Craig “Crowie” Alexander!

Get in on the action and register for free here No purchase necessary.

FASTER FLUTTER

Most of us have pull buoys and paddles in our gear bag, but here are 8 reasons why you need swim fins.

One of the common weaknesses that fins help correct is a poor up-kick.  Fins strengthen posterior chain muscles that promote narrow, compact and balanced kicks.

Learn how to select swim fins with the proper length and flexibility, and then use them regularly.  You’ll soon notice improvements in your ankle flexibility, body position and speed.

DOWN A NOTCH

We all know the importance of scheduled recovery to get the most from our training.  But, as super-motivated Type A endurance athletes, it can be difficult to implement periods of bona fide rest.

In this article coach Jim Rutberg discusses how to structure a personalized recovery week.

He explains how to know when it’s time for a recovery week, and what to do during this period of rest.

Intentional recovery will amplify your training adaptations and allow you to squeeze maximum benefit from all your hard work.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Narrow Margins
    How much more aerodynamic are narrow handlebars?  What about angled brake hoods?  Do these tweaks reduce drag enough to matter to an age grouper?  The results from this wind tunnel test will answer these questions and help you choose your best cockpit setup.
  • Repeat After Me
    Quiet the mind, improve your performance.  Coach Steve Magness explains why mantras work during stressful situations (like when racing).
  • Balanced Victory
    According to Gustav Iden, the age of super-bikers is over.  He observed that the top performers in Nice were “thinking like triathletes” and not overcooking their rides to ensure a balanced performance and the fastest possible run.
September 13, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for September 7, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 9 hip exercises for faster running
  • Probiotics for endurance athletes
  • How to train in super shoes
  • 3 stroke tweaks when wearing a wetsuit
  • Improve your bike cadence

JUST SUPER

If you’ve invested in super shoes but are saving them just for racing, then you’re making a big mistake.

It turns out that the thick-soled, springy running shoes that have rewritten marathon record books also offer numerous benefits when worn while training.  Among them are improved long interval performance, ability to tolerate greater training volume and quicker recovery. 

The net result: faster race times.

However, wearing super shoes all the time is not productive.  Doing so can suppress training adaptations in key muscles and tendons.

POLARIZED CADENCE

The precise management of your cycling cadence is a critical variable in executing a successful race.  Our goal is to produce maximum power on the bike while conserving energy for the run.

While there’s no universally ideal cadence, there is a sweet spot for optimal force production and pedaling economy.  For most triathletes, this falls between 70 and 90 RPM.

Coach Sergio Borges reviews the pros and cons of high and low bike cadence.  He explains the factors that influence your choice of cadence, and suggests an effective polarized cadence training session that will help you develop a more efficient pedal stroke.  Give it a spin!

SUIT YOURSELF

Originally adopted to prevent hypothermia, triathletes know that wetsuits provide multiple advantages to swimming performance.

It’s not uncommon for athletes to experience an improvement of 20 seconds per 400m, swimming 5 to 10% faster in their wetsuits.

However, to maximize the potential gains in speed and efficiency, wearing a wetsuit necessitates 3 critical changes to your freestyle technique.

Coach Michael Collins walks you through these vital stroke adjustments and provides sample workout sets to ensure you make the most of your neoprene.

PICK UP YOUR TEMPO

Many triathletes overthink their freestyle stroke.  By trying to focus on too many cues for improving technique, their stroke rate drops and they develop deadspots that kill speed.

One way to avoid this is to increase your stroke rate by training with the FINIS Tempo Trainer Pro.  Using this unobtrusive underwater metronome, you can raise your turnover to 35 strokes per minute (or higher). Doing so will smooth out your power curve and increase your efficiency.

Additionally a higher turnover is better in the open water where other swimmers, waves and chop frequently disrupt your forward momentum.

As always, TriathlonWire readers get a 20% discount by using the coupon code TRIWIRE at checkout. Get on it!

STRONGER LATER

A stronger triathlete is a faster triathlete, especially when it comes to running.

If you’re not sure where to start, then try these 9 hip-strengthening drills for runners by coach Andrew Simmons and Dr. Jesse Riley.

Stronger hips result in better stability throughout your stride, improved biomechanics and increased neuromuscular control even when fatigued late in a race.

GO PRO

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that colonize and support your gut’s microbiome.    Perhaps best known for their ability to enhance immune cell function, probiotics provide numerous other health benefits that can be particularly relevant for athletes.

Most interesting for long-distance triathletes is how probiotics improve gut function during exercise in the heat.

Check out this article on MySportsScience that provides more details and prescribes what to look for when choosing a daily probiotic.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Merci, Jan
    This weekend marks the final pro race of Jan Frodeno.  The 3x IRONMAN World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist has been one of triathlon’s greatest ambassadors, on and off the racecourse.  Enjoy Bob Babbitt’s interview with the GOAT Then stay tuned to see if 42-year-old Jan has one more ace up his sleeve at this Sunday’s championship.
September 6, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for August 31, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 6 hill workouts for stronger running
  • The best science-based cycling HIIT session
  • In-season strength training
  • How freestyle rhythm produces more speed

SCIENCE OF SPEED

Not all bike speedwork is created equal.

In this revealing study by sports physiologist Dr. Stephen Seiler, four groups of amateur cyclists were tested to determine the optimal length and number of reps required to produce head-turning improvements in VO2max and lactate threshold

It turns out that small differences in interval duration and intensity result in significant variations in training responses.

Learn why 4x 8 minutes HIIT twice a week might be your best choice for greatest adaptive gains.

FEEL THE RHYTHM

Often-overlooked, establishing a relaxed but fluid freestyle rhythm is vital for unlocking faster swim pace.

In this video coach Brenton Ford provides 3 tips for establishing proper stroke rhythm that will result in breakthrough performances.

He covers concepts like slow-to-fast, front quadrant swimming and rocking, not rolling.  He even provides a mantra you can use during warm-up that will help you “tune in” to your cadence.

Once you master the timing of your stroke, suddenly you’ll notice that you’re swimming faster with less effort.

REINVENTED VISION

Comfort, Clarity and Security: THEMAGIC5 has reinvented the swimming goggle to deliver exactly what triathletes demand.

Individually custom-fit to your unique facial features, THEMAGIC5 uses advanced facial scanning technology to ensure a comfortable and leak-free fit every time you swim.  In fact, they guarantee a 100% perfect fit!

Worn by Olympic swimmers and IRONMAN champions (including Jan Frodeno), these are the best goggles for triathletes at all levels. TriathlonWire readers now get 15% off any purchase from THEMAGIC5 by using this link.

You spend hours in the pool… Why not treat yourself to comfortable, leak-proof custom-fit goggles!

HEAD FOR THE HILLS

Experienced long distance triathletes know that hill workouts are a secret weapon for improving run performance.

They help build power, raise VO2max and reduce the risk of injury often associated with flatland speed training.

Learn Greg McMillan’s 6 types of hill workouts plus 3 plyometric hill drills, and how and when to integrate them into your training plan.

IN-SEASON LIFT

We’re sold on the benefits of strength training for triathlon, but should we continue it during race season?

Short answer: Yes!  Coach Taylor Thomas outlines 6 areas of focus for in-season strength training.  Use them to help maintain core strength, improve mobility and prevent injury.

It’s important to continue strength training year-round but, during competition season, adapt your routine to enhance your racing.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Aloha, Taylor?
    After successfully defending her IRONMAN 70.3 world title, the buzz is that we’ll next see American Taylor Knibb in the women’s only IRONMAN championship in Kona this October.  Get to know this young, humble champion in her interview with Bob Babbitt.  We hope to see her in Hawaii!
  • Core Control
    One of the most important things you can do to improve your run off the bike is strengthen your core.  Follow these 5 critical core exercises just twice a week for more control of your running form.
August 30, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for August 24, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Why you need longer swim sets
  • Fundamentals of faster triathlon runs
  • 5 principles for more cycling power
  • Blueprint for a 1-hour IRONMAN swim

1-HOUR SWIM

While a 1-hour IRONMAN swim might seem out of reach for most triathletes, adopting the process to attain this speedy goal will benefit athletes of all abilities.

Coach Dan Bullock reminds us that a 1-hour swim equates to 1:34 per 100m.  Many triathletes can already swim at that pace for short intervals, but are unable to sustain it over the full race distance.

Bullock offers 6 areas to isolate and improve for breakthrough IRONMAN swims We really like his monthly testing protocol that you can use to track your progress.

Remember: when swimming 2.4 miles, even tiny improvements will yield impressive time savings.

MARATHON PROGRESS

Jan van Berkel’s IRONMAN marathon time progression is a study of consistency, patience and doing the right training.

Initially considered a “B-level pro,” van Berkel became a feared runner who could regularly close with a sub-2:50 marathon.

Learn the 6 training fundamentals that transformed his ability to run off the bike.

Van Berkel’s journey reconfirms that, in triathlon, consistency and focus are rewarded over time.

SMART FUEL

Smart athletes fuel with UCAN, the choice of champions like Tim O’Donnell, Katie Zaferes, Sara Hall and Meb Keflezighi.

UCAN’s proprietary LIVSTEADY SuperStarch is a low-glycemic, complex carbohydrate that has changed the way triathletes train and race.

UCAN products provide athletes with steady, long-lasting energy with no spikes and crashes associated with sugary gels and drinks.  That means UCAN Energy Gels last for up to 75 minutes.

The subtle flavors are not too sweet.  Zero sugars and zero stimulants, UCAN provides sustained energy throughout the race with no stomach upset.

TriathlonWire readers receive 15% off their UCAN purchases with coupon code TRIWIRE15.  Take advantage of this great deal and stock up now!

POWER CYCLE

About 50% of your IRONMAN race time is spent on the bike.  It pays to prioritize the development of your cycling proficiency.

In this comprehensive review of over 50 research studies, Dr. Martin Bonnevie-Svendsen spells out 5 science-backed principles for boosting your pedaling power.

By distilling 18 years of cycling science, he provides a roadmap for what to do, and in what order, to achieve faster bike splits.

LONGER SETS

If you have a full-distance triathlon on your race calendar, then it’s time to commit to longer swim sets.

Too often triathletes – especially those who swim in a masters group — spend too much time on short intervals.

Aim to go longer than 3,200m at least once a week in your training.  The result will be a faster, more efficient and more confident performance on race day.

To get you accustomed to the distance, coach Clint Lien shares 2 proven longer-set workouts.  Integrate them into your program and 2.4 miles will seem less intimidating.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Like Silk
    If you’re a visual learner, then you’ll love watching Aussie Olympian Jono van Hazel swim.  Is this the smoothest freestyle stroke you’ve ever seen?
August 23, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for August 17, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • High hands for more bike speed
  • 6 exercises for a powerful freestyle pull
  • How to accrue more time at threshold pace
  • Balancing FTP and aerobic training

STACKING TEMPO

Running at threshold pace teaches your body how to burn lactate more effectively and is a proven method for getting faster.  Threshold — or tempo — running is an important component of training, but it’s hard.

Most runners can hold tempo pace for 20 to 40 minutes in training.  To accrue more time at threshold, break your workout into tempo intervals.  3 threshold segments of 20 minutes each delivers more cumulative time at this valuable speed than one sustained run.

Coach Jeff Gaudette explains how to implement tempo intervals in your own program.  Start stacking tempo segments and soon you’ll see big jumps in your run performance.

PULL FORCE

To accelerate the development of your freestyle pull, you must commit to strength training.

But what are the routines, reps and sets that will improve your swimming force without detracting from your time in the water?

Elite athlete and coach Abbie Fish (with that name, she must be a great swimmer!) shares her 6 dryland exercises for a better freestyle pull.  Give these a go to transform your stroke.

VISION REINVENTED

Comfort, Clarity and Security: THEMAGIC5 has reinvented the swimming goggle to deliver exactly what triathletes demand.

Individually custom-fit to your unique facial features, THEMAGIC5 uses advanced facial scanning technology to ensure a comfortable and leak-free swim.  In fact, they guarantee a 100% perfect fit!

Worn by Olympic swimmers and IRONMAN champions (including Jan Frodeno), these are the best goggles for triathletes at all levels. TriathlonWire readers now get 15% off any purchase from THEMAGIC5 by using this link.

You spend hours in the pool… Why not treat yourself to comfortable, leak-proof custom-fit goggles.

SMART AERO

Reducing aerodynamic drag on our TT bike is an obvious target for capturing free speed.

When optimizing bike position, a debate rages over which is faster: arms low and stretched on the aero bars, or raised into the “praying mantis” position?

Aerodynamicist Simon Smart has been a pioneer in making cyclists (and Formula 1 cars) more slippery.  He explains why he favors the higher hand position for most age group triathletes, and outlines how to set up the cockpit and choose an aero helmet that’s ideal for you.

POWER PROGRESS

As IRONMAN cyclists we have two goals:  building endurance and going faster for longer.

That means we must simultaneously enhance our aerobic base and increase our FTP.

In this comprehensive article coach Meghan Kelley explains why emphasizing FTP improvement is the most efficient way to achieve both of these seemingly conflicting objectives.

Her actionable advice includes 5 proven workouts for building FTP, and instructions on how frequently you should retake an FTP test.

QUICK HIITS:

  • 5 Days, 5 Drills
    Here are 5 different drill sets designed to improve your freestyle.  Each drill focuses on one stroke fundamental and can be integrated into your regular swimming routine to ensure steady progress.
  • Laundry’s List
    Pro Jackson Laundry shares his 10-year journey for increasing his FTP.  Discover his weekly training schedule that produced a 100 watt cumulative improvement over the course of his triathlon career.
  • If You Hate Math
    Precision pacing is the key to triathlon success.  For dialing in your race pace over any triathlon distance or dialing in your tempo speed, nothing beats the STRAVA Running Pace Calculator.
August 16, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for August 10, 2023

WELCOME TO OUR 150TH EDITION!

Today we Explore…

  • The 5 vital components of aerobic training
  • 3 rules for a better freestyle pull
  • How to pace a hilly IRONMAN bike course
  • What to look for in a sports drink

TO HILL WITH PATIENCE

Overexuberance on the bike has ruined many a triathlon.

Whether dealing with the punchy efforts in Wisconsin, the long rollers of Kona or the true mountain climbs of Nice, successful triathletes know how to master a hilly bike course

Avoid squandering too much effort early in the ride, when you’re fresh and well-fueled.  It will come back to haunt you during the run.

Coach Russell Cox shares his straightforward approach for managing your effort in hilly races.  Employ his advice for a fantastic overall performance.

FRAMEWORK FOR FAST

Training your aerobic threshold is the most important thing you can do to improve as a triathlete.

Coach Zach Nehr simplifies the often-confusing science and clarifies the 5 vital components of an effective aerobic training plan.  It balances progressive overload and structured recovery, with just the right amount of higher intensity work.

Follow these principles and you’re guaranteed to clear lactate more effectively, and go faster for longer.

LOOKING AHEAD

While some of you are putting the finishing touches on preparations for late-season championship events, many of us are starting to dream about what’s possible for next year.

Have you begun to formulate your 2024 training objectives or identified your key races?

If so, then we want to hear about it!   Please take 1 minute to complete our 5-question survey.

We’ll use your responses to help shape the content we curate and deliver in the coming months.

As always, thanks for being a TriathlonWire reader!

RULES FOR PULLS

Improving your freestyle stroke does not need to be complicated.  Just follow Andrew Sheaff’s 3 rules for a great pull.

To swim more quickly, we have one major goal: move more water backwards.

That requires a big paddle, which is achieved by following Sheaff’s 3 rules, and reinforced by practicing his 3 drills for building more stroke power.

Forget about arm angles and hand depths.  Just follow these 3 golden rules and you’ll discover effective pull mechanics that you can sustain for the entire race.

POUR ME ANOTHER

The market for sports drinks is flooded with options, making it easy to get confused by the nearly limitless choices.

We’re all looking for formulations that will keep us fueled and hydrated, without causing GI distress.

Coach Jim Rutberg lays out the 4 attributes of sports drinks critical for endurance athletes.  He explains why it’s not a good idea to dilute a sports drink, and makes the case for why simplest drinks are often best (and, sometimes, that means water).

QUICK HIITS:

  • Deal Me In
    Add variety to your swim sessions with free training cards by The Magic 5.  Each week they release a new, well-designed workout that will keep you engaged and progressing.
  • Pace Dreams
    Whether you’re strategizing – or dreaming – about your next performance, this free Triathlon Race Pace Calculator will show what’s needed to achieve your goal result.  Use its built-in sliders to adjust each split time to fine-tune your targets… or reflect reality.  Works for all distances.
August 9, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for August 3, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Roadmap to an IRONMAN PR
  • How visualization can provide a breakthrough
  • Prioritize endurance – not speed – for faster racing
  • Ensure adaptations for hot weather triathlons
  • 10 best drills for improved freestyle

BURNING DESIRE

Triathlon is famous for its hot weather races.  Coach Rick Lovett explains how to harness the principles of heat training so you can compete in the heat.

According to Lovett it takes about 14 days to acclimate to higher temperatures.  During that time your body makes significant adaptations to cope with heat stress.

Learn how and when to conduct your heat training to ensure you’ll be ready to roll on race day, even if the mercury is rising.

MIND’S EYE

We relentlessly train our physical abilities, but develop your mental strength and you can achieve true greatness.

One of the most effective ways of enhancing your mental game is through visualization.  When properly performed, visualization delivers 7 main benefits to triathletes including helping to overcome the inevitable race day challenges, providing tools for pain management and reinforcing self-confidence.

Former pro triathlete and sports psychologist Grant Giles reveals how to implement visualization to elevate your results. Don’t ignore this powerful tool.

DRILL IT

One proven strategy for developing faster freestyle is to break your stroke into chunks and use drills to refine the core skills required for each.

But with countless options, how do we choose the most effective drills to practice?

Elite swimmer and coach Olivier Poirier-Leroy cuts through the confusion by curating his 10 best drills for faster freestyle.

You’ll learn how, when and why to use each drill to build incremental improvements in your technique, which can be transferred to your regular stroke.

SMART FUEL

Smart athletes fuel with UCAN, the choice of champions like Tim O’Donnell, Katie Zaferes, Sara Hall and Meb Keflezighi.

UCAN’s proprietary LIVSTEADY SuperStarch is a low-glycemic, complex carbohydrate that has changed the way triathletes train and race.

UCAN products provide athletes with steady, long-lasting energy with no spikes and crashes associated with sugary gels and drinks.  That means UCAN Energy Gels last for up to 75 minutes.

The subtle flavors are not too sweet.  Zero sugars and zero stimulants, UCAN provides sustained energy throughout the race with no stomach upset.

TriathlonWire readers receive 15% off their UCAN purchases with coupon code TRIWIRE15.  Take advantage of this great deal and stock up now!

LONGER & SLOWER

Do you make every workout a race? By focusing too much on speed, you’re stunting your development as an endurance athlete.

Conversely, if you prioritize endurance, then you’ll extend your ability to perform in an aerobic state while withstanding fatigue.  Isn’t that our goal for achieving a superior IRONMAN performance?

Coach Jason Fitzgerald discusses the vital benefits of aerobically-centered training and offers 4 strategies for expanding your endurance capacity.

Embrace this training philosophy and you’ll be rewarded with next-level performances.

PATH TO PR

Some of the most valuable content for triathletes committed to improving comes in the form of case studies.  This remarkably substantive video from self-coached age grouper Patrick Delorenzi is one such athlete profile that’s a “must watch.”

In it he describes every major phase of his training journey that ultimately resulted in an IRONMAN PR.

Delorenzi generously shares the details of his program including sample training weeks, the data he measured and the gear he used.  He also provides thoughtful observations of how he dealt with injury and the distractions of everyday life.

Rarely do we discover such concise and actionable content.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Open Season
    Championship season kicks off with a bang at this weekend’s PTO US Open in Milwaukee, WI.  A star-studded field – including world #1 ranked Ashleigh Gentle and Kristian Blummenfelt — will face off for a share of $600,000 in prize money.  There are various options to watch the event live, so be sure to tune in.
  • Odd Couple
    Two of triathlon’s best storytellers got together to trade yarns and recount the formative years in Bob Babbitt’s recent conversation with Scott Tinley.  Considered one of our sport’s “Big Four”, Tinley is a 2x Hawaii IRONMAN World Champion and member of the IRONMAN Hall of Fame.  Save this interview for your next long Zwift session… It’ll make the time fly by!
  • Frodissimo
    It had to happen.  We sensed it was coming. But it was still a shock to learn that this will be Jan Frodeno’s last season as a pro triathlete.  Considered by many to be the most talented triathlete in history, due in equal parts to the breadth of his palmares, length of his tenure and overall class, we will miss this multifaceted champion.  We look forward to watching his last races in Milwaukee and Nice.
August 2, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for July 27, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Why masters athletes fuel differently
  • Cycling variability index: your key to success
  • Crowie’s 5 tips for running off the bike
  • How Dan Plews set the IRONMAN record

RUN, DON’T WALK

Even the best pure runners often find themselves forced to walk during a triathlon.  They discover one of the painful truths of our sport: triathlon running is different.

Triathlon running is a learned skill. To help shorten your learning curve, 5x world champion Craig “Crowie” Alexander offers his 5 top tips for running faster off the bike

Eliminate the frustration of walking, and finish your next race stronger than ever, with Crowie’s battle-tested advice.

SMOOTH OPERATOR

Your cycling Variability Index (VI) is a measure of the smoothness of your power output and could be the key to achieving a breakthrough in your next race.  It’s calculated by dividing your normalized power by your average power.

As a triathlete who must get off the bike and run well, steady is fast. Your goal is to avoid large spikes of power to keep your VI as close to 1.0 as possible.

Coach Maria Simone offers tips on how to develop a smoother application of power to avoid large fluctuations.  A lower VI reflects efficient energy management, and will help produce a stronger and faster finish.

UP, PERISCOPE

When FINIS introduced the first swimmer’s snorkel, it revolutionized how coaches taught stroke technique.  Today it’s required gear for triathletes committed to refining their freestyle.

By eliminating the distraction of rotating to breathe, the snorkel allows swimmers to focus on their rhythm, body position and alignment.

Every triathlete should have the FINIS Stability Speed Snorkel in their transition bag, and drill with it regularly.

As a TriathlonWire reader, get 20% off your purchase of the FINIS Snorkel and other world class swimming accessories by using coupon code TRIWIRE at checkout!

WINNING NUMBERS

You probably won’t post a sub 9-hour IRONMAN, but by studying the training strategies of the world’s top age group triathletes you can elevate your next performance.

In this rare glimpse behind the curtain, Dr. Dan Plews shares details of his 28-week preparation that led to an IRONMAN age group record.

Notice that his highest training load occurred early.  Also note that 75% of his training intensity was below LT1, to promote fat burning.

This is a goldmine of training insights for the serious IRONMAN triathlete.

MASTERS FUELING

We don’t need to be reminded that triathlon performance drops as we age.

Sports nutritionist Elizabeth Inpyn examines four areas of age-related physiological decline that can be mitigated through changes in our nutrition.

She also recommends two important supplements to consider for improved health and performance for masters triathletes.

The key takeaway: our nutritional needs are dynamic and must evolve as we get older.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Far Too Long
    It’s commonly believed that 165mm crank arms are only for short cyclists, but that thinking might be wrong.  Learn why triathletes of all heights should consider using shorter crank arms for more comfort, power and speed.
  • 3 Stages
    If you’re looking for a fresh competition format, then consider the top-rated Triton 3-day triathlon stage race in Portimao, Portugal on October 27-29.  With three race distances plus relays to choose from, there’s something for everyone.
July 26, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for July 13, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • How Lionel learned to swim
  • 3 critical bike workouts
  • Chrissie Wellington’s 10 tips for faster racing
  • Improve your LT run pace more quickly

FASTER, MORE QUICKLY

Tempo interval workouts are an efficient way to improve your lactate threshold and condition your body to run longer at — or above — threshold pace.

Although LT pace usually corresponds to an athlete’s half marathon speed,  most runners can hold their threshold pace for just 20 to 40 minutes in training.

Coach Jeff Gaudette details how to break tempo workouts into bite-sized chunks, which allows you to accumulate more time at threshold pace compared to typical sustained tempo run.

Try your own version of this tempo interval session once a week and you’ll soon be posting faster run splits.

CHRISSIE’S 10

Chrissie Wellington was undefeated in all 13 of her iron-distance races.  The 4x IRONMAN world champion broke Paula Newby-Fraser’s 17-year old Kona course record, and posted nine sub-9 hour times.

Chrissie’s straightforward and practical approach to the sport is distilled into her top 10 tips for faster triathlon.

Triathletes of all abilities will find value and actionable advice from her battle-tested point of view.

FASTER WITH FINIS

FINIS understands the unique needs of triathletes, and has a line of innovative products that will make you a better, faster and more efficient triathlon swimmer.

We especially like their Slide Dryland Trainer stretch cords.  Their clever design provides constant (not variable) resistance throughout the swim stroke cycle.  They’re perfect for pre-event warmupwhen we can’t get into the water before the race start.

We also love the Freestyler paddle for reinforcing a good catch, pull and stroke finish… It’s a game-changer for open water swimmers like us.

TriathlonWire readers get a 20% discount by using the coupon code TRIWIRE at checkout.

JUST 3 TYPES

Many triathletes are frustrated because they aren’t getting faster on the bike.   One all-too-common reason for this stagnation is their lack of structured cycling workouts.  Day after day of steady-state rides just won’t cut it.

Jumpstart your training with Mike Fielder’s 3 critical bike workouts for triathletes.

He explains the unique benefits of endurance, VO2 max and strength cycling sessions.  He also provides examples of each type of workout, and prescribes when to do them.

LIONEL LEARNS TO SWIM

Lionel Sanders is well-known for his toughness and tenacity.  These traits are the drivers behind his ascent to the top tier of the pro ranks.

However, as an athlete who was introduced to swimming as an adult, he needed an uncharacteristically subtle and nuanced approach for improvement.

In this enlightening video Lionel shares how he evolved from trying to overpower the water, to developing a relationship with it.

Learn from his willingness to be a beginner to achieve consistent progress.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Less Was More
    What allowed Daniela Ryf to deliver the fastest iron-distance of all time at the recent Challenge Roth Triathlon?  She thinks it was holding back in her training, and not letting her motivation overpower her carefully designed workouts.
July 12, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for July 06, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • How to safely unlock more run speed
  • Triathlete’s guide to strength training
  • Improve swim technique, even when fatigued
  • Joe Friel’s tips on training zones

SWIM TIRED

Triathlon swimmers have two competing objectives: We need exceptional speed endurance, but we also must maintain excellent technique when we’re tired.

Improving skills requires precise mechanics in the absence of fatigue; but enhancing endurance requires fatigue to stimulate the desired adaptations.

How do we train for both?

Coach Andrew Sheaff offers a 3-step process that integrates skill development with endurance work.  Most notably the main set is occasionally interrupted by short segments of drills that reinforce proper technique, even when tired.

Use this workout structure to address your own weaknesses, and watch your swimming dramatically improve.

ZONE CLARITY

We all want to get the most from our workouts. Using training zones to dictate the intensities of our efforts is one of the best ways to maximize the ROI from every session.

However it can be complicated to understand, calculate and apply zones to your training program.

Fortunately master coach Joe Friel cuts through the confusion in his comprehensive guide to setting up your training zones.  He offers various options for benchmarking your lactate threshold for swimming, cycling and running.

Use his easy-to-follow instructions and soon you’ll be fitter and faster in all three disciplines.

SWIM TEMPO

A major problem of many triathlon swimmers is overthinking their freestyle stroke.  By trying to focus on too many cues for improving technique, their stroke rate drops and they develop deadspots that kill their speed.

One way to avoid this is to increase your stroke rate by training with the FINIS Tempo Trainer Pro.  With this unobtrusive underwater metronome, you can aim to raise your turnover to 35 strokes per minute (or higher). Doing so will smooth out your power curve and increase your efficiency.

Additionally a higher turnover is more conducive for success in the open water where other swimmers, waves and chop frequently disrupt your forward momentum.

Best of all, TriathlonWire readers get a 20% discount on Tempo Trainers and other innovative FINIS products by using the coupon code TRIWIRE at checkout. Get on it!

LET’S GO FAST

By this time of year, your aerobic endurance should be well established.  Now’s the time to build upon that solid base and improve your speed and strength.

For coach Alun Woodward, “speed” does not mean “all-out sprinting”… it means introducing segments of precisely controlled faster pacing.

Experiment by adding small sets of higher intensity, like these examples of bike and run workouts, and you’ll unlock advances in your economy and speed.

HOW MUCH & WHEN?

Triathletes need strength training, but many truly don’t know how to fit it in.

According to strength & conditioning coach Kriss Hendy, you need 2 to 3 sessions per week for meaningful benefits.  Check out his suggestions for various ways to integrate bodywork into your busy schedule.

He also addresses whether you should strength train before or after your swim, bike and run workouts, and if you should continue strength train during race season.

By adopting his advice, you’ll enhance your triathlon performance by strength training the right way.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Above Average
    If you have a half-distance triathlon scheduled for the second half of the year, then you’ll appreciate this analysis of average times for the IRONMAN 70.3 Compare how you stack up to the mean performances in your age group for overall race time and in each discipline.
  • 12-Minute Truth
    The Cooper Run Test has stood the test of time as a straightforward way to measure aerobic fitness.  After a generous warmup, run as far as you can in 12 minutes.  Enter your results into this calculator and instantly get your estimated VO2 max.
  • Bigger, Stronger & Faster
    The optimal weight of an athlete is largely based on certain fixed metrics, like bone and organ mass.  Lighter weight is not always faster.  Lose too much weight and you’ll risk diminished VO2 max and power output.
July 5, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for June 29, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • How to prep for a hot race
  • David McNamee’s 70.3 bike tips
  • Is sugar bad for triathletes?
  • 20 tips for faster triathlon swimming

STRAIGHT TALK 20

Triathletes don’t have time to waste, so you’ll appreciate some straight talk from coach Joe Filliol as he outlines his 20 rules for faster triathlon swimming.

Although swimming accounts for the smallest portion of your overall race time, Filliol makes a powerful case for why developing swim fitness is so crucial to overall performance.

His nuggets clarify the most important drivers of improvement, and call out numerous mistakes that most of us have made in our swim training.  Apply his advice and focus on what matters most… Only then will you experience substantive progress.

FEEL THE HEAT

The thought of racing in a hot, tropical environment can strike fear into even the most experienced triathlete.

The good news is that you can prepare for these extreme conditions by employing a straightforward heat acclimation protocol in the weeks leading up to your event.

This comprehensive and practical guide by MyRaceKit describes how to most efficiently acclimate to anticipated heat stress.  It provides options for using relatively accessible tools like hot tubs and saunas to achieve your desired adaptations… all without compromising your training.

RIDE TO WIN

2x Kona podium finisher David McNamee knows how to ride his TT bike.

In this article he offers 4 tips for improving your IRONMAN 70.3 bike split and shares a few of the secrets behind his medal-winning rides.

He also describes two of his favorite bike sessions that will develop your cadence, strength and pace.

REAL FIREWORKS

To help Americans celebrate Independence Day, Ekoi Helmets is launching some of its own fireworks… by offering a whopping 50% off everything on its website.

Experts in lightweight and aerodynamic protection, Ekoi meets the uncompromising standards of 4 teams in the pro cycling peloton.

Ekoi also produces the official helmet of IRONMAN, and is worn by champion triathletes like Patrick Lange, Annie Haug and Rudy von Berg.

These amazing 50% off discounts are good from now through July 5, so don’t miss out!

SUGAR TIME

Global health experts preach about the risks of eating too much sugar, but the fastest and fittest athletes fuel their best performances on high amounts of carbs.  How can we reconcile these two apparently contradictory positions?

Asker Jeukendrup cuts through the confusion in his examination of athletes’ consumption of sugars.

Research indicates that high sugar intake – when offset by elevated metabolism during exercise — creates no negative health effects.  The sugars ingested during exercise are used to satisfy your increased energy demands and help restore depleted glycogen.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Otherworldly
    Triathlon history was made last weekend in Roth, Germany where Daniela Ryf and Magnus Ditlev shattered the best-ever full-distance times with their utterly dominating races.  While there were other impressive performances on the day, these two champions reset the standards of our sport.
  • Freestyle Pyramid
    If you’re in need of a fresh swim workout, then look no further than India Lee’s long distance pyramid.  With options for every ability, this challenging session will teach you how to hold race pace.
June 28, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for June 22, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 5 tips for faster open water swimming
  • The perfect 70.3 brick session
  • Road to a 10-hour IRONMAN
  • Avoid these 3 taper mistakes
  • Discover your best running cadence

TAPER TROUBLES

There are many ways to refine your pre-race taper, and maybe even more ways to get it wrong.

To arrive at the start line in an optimal state – both physically and mentally – avoid coach Jeff Gaudette’s 3 common tapering mistakes (and do this instead)

The ideal taper is a balancing act between sharpening and resting.  Follow these tips and you’re likely to get it right.

PURPOSE-BUILT BRICK

Do you want to improve your 70.3 performance?  Then it’s time to incorporate workouts designed specifically for that race distance.

Coach Philip Hatzis offers up one of his favorite brick workouts for the demands of middle-distance racing.  It includes just the right combination of intensity and endurance required to achieve a breakthrough result.

ROAD TO 10 HOURS

In this classic article, coach Russell Cox shares his path to a sub-10-hour IRONMAN.  While everyone’s journey is different, there is plenty to learn here.

Nearly every week he averaged under 20 hours of training, divided among 4 sessions per discipline.  He optimized his training efficiency by defining the purpose of each workout. The bulk of his time was spent on the bike.

Despite a well-structured training program, like many of us, his race didn’t go according to plan.  However, thanks to his solid foundation, he gave himself a generous cushion for when things got tough in the latter half of the run, allowing him to ultimately achieve his goal.

TRAVEL LIKE A CHAMPION

If you’ve qualified for a championship triathlon – whether in Kona, Milwaukee, Nice or Lahti – then you know that success depends on attention to every detail.

You’ve obsessed over your training, equipment and nutrition… But what about your travel?

Experienced athletes know that a race can be ruined if a bike goes missing, an airline connection is missed or they get stuck in a noisy hotel.

For more than 35 years Premium Plus Sports Travel has provided all-in-one travel and logistics for triathletes who leave nothing to chance.   Check out their comprehensive travel packages to triathlon’s major events.

Athlete-based itineraries, onsite concierge services, gear rentals, and more… Book with Premium Plus Sports Travel for an optimal championship experience.

SPEED IN THE OPEN

Champion swimmer Adam Walker provides a fresh perspective on triathlon swimming in his video, 5 tips for better open water technique.

His take on body rotation, body position and balance are especially interesting for any triathlete who is searching for more speed.

Experiment with his advice during your next open water session to go faster and save energy.

TURNING THEM OVER

One proven way to log faster, more sustainable IRONMAN marathons – and reduce the risk of injury — is by increasing your running cadence… usually with a shorter, quicker stride.

Triathletes often display a relatively slow stride frequency after getting off the bike.  Combined with heel striking, this amplifies the pounding forces that transmit through the body with every step.

Research indicates that increasing turnover by 15% reduces the loading of hips and knees.

Learn how to gradually increase your stride rate with Allie Burdick’s drills for raising your running cadence.  As leg speed increases, you’ll likely reduce the impact on your body and improve your biomechanics.  Just what we need in the long run.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Taylor Made
    Just like pro cyclist and triathlete Cameron Wurf, IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Taylor Knibb has become a 2-sport professional by signing with pro cycling team Trek-Segafredo Always somewhat of a cycling prodigy, she’ll be put to the test at this weekend’s USA Cycling National Championships in Knoxville.
  • Core Values
    A strong core is vital for triathlon, but core strength training needn’t be complicated.  Check out Dan Go’s 5 daily core exercises that will deliver improved performance and injury resistance.
  • Keeping Up With the Jones
    Join Mike Reilly in his wide-ranging conversation with Olympic medalist and multiple world champion and triathlon legend Michellie Jones.  Learn what drives her competitive fire and how she now channels that intensity into her coaching business and equestrian sports.
June 21, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for June 15, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 9 bike workouts for IRONMAN success
  • Why metabolic flexibility is so important
  • 2 proven pull buoy strategies
  • Avoid these 5 recovery myths
  • 6 tips for faster marathons off the bike

RUN FOR DOUGH

To race to your potential, you must finish your IRONMAN with a strong marathon.

Unfortunately most triathletes don’t come close.

Run the race you know you have inside you with Matt Fitzgerald’s 6 tips for faster IRONMAN marathons.

According to Fitzgerald a strong triathlon run is built brick by brick (pun intended).  It relies on a solid foundation of bike strength, fueled by a carefully honed – and practiced – nutrition strategy.

Triathlon running is different.  After reading this article, we think you’ll approach your own training with a new perspective.

BUOY OH BUOY

A favorite triathlon swim accessory is the pull buoy.  You probably have one in your gear bag now. But are you using it correctly?  Or is it simply a crutch that reinforces poor body positioning?

In this article Andrew Sheaff provides 2 great strategies for using a pull buoy that will improve your mechanics and increase your stroke rate.

His drills and tips will help you take advantage of the pull buoy to move more water and generate more speed.

RECOVERY MYTHOLOGY

We want to get the most from every workout, especially the hard ones.

Recovery is where the gains are made.  Unfortunately, many athletes unintentionally undermine their toughest sessions by practicing outdated or unproven recovery modalities.

Coach Jeff Gaudette outlines 5 of the most common recovery mistakes he observes among distance runners (and we see among triathletes).

Avoid these post-workout practices and you’ll enhance your recovery and lock-in the training adaptations you need.

UP, PERISCOPE

When FINIS introduced the first swimmer’s snorkel, it revolutionized how coaches taught stroke technique.

By eliminating the distraction of rotating to breathe, the snorkel allows swimmers to focus on their rhythm, body position and alignment.

Every triathlete should have the FINIS Stability Speed Snorkel in their transition bag, and drill with it regularly.

As a TriathlonWire reader, get 20% off your purchase of the FINIS Snorkel and other world class swimming accessories by using coupon code TRIWIRE at checkout.

RIDE WITH PURPOSE

Cycling endurance, strength and speed are required for long-distance triathlon success, and demand more than just lots of long Zone 2 rides.

Kona age group recordholder and coach Dr. Dan Plews breaks his training into 3 well-defined phases: building the base, developing race-specific strength, and sharpening for the event.

During each phase he performs various combinations of his 9 types of bike sessions, each with its own purpose.

By understanding when and why to schedule these workouts, you can intentionally build the cycling performance you need for an exceptional race.

CAN’T SUGARCOAT IT

For optimal long-distance fueling, it’s vital to strike the right balance between fat and carbs in your diet.  Coach and sport scientist Alan Couzens explains why.

Low carb, fat-focused athletes produce less energy per liter of oxygen.  However “sugar burners” are susceptible to running out of fuel after about 3 hours of racing.

That’s why metabolic flexibility is crucial for long endurance events.  Train your body how to use both carbs and fats, and you’ll reach a higher level of performance.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Handle This
    For all you indoor cyclists, check out the new Zwift Play controllers that attach to your handlebars.  According to DC Rainmaker, they’re surprisingly useful and provide new levels of in-game precision and engagement.
  • 3 Long Tips
    American pro Sam Long is a beast on the bike.  His 3 tips for faster cycling aren’t complicated, but have proven to be very effective!
June 14, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for June 08, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Minimum viable strength training
  • Galloway Method for an IM run PR
  • Stretch cord sequence for faster freestyle
  • 5 variables to nail a successful taper
  • Cam Wurf reveals tips for a better bike leg

TALE OF THE TAPER

The pre-race taper is a vital phase of long-distance triathlon training.  Its goal is to reduce overall training load in the weeks prior to competition to decrease fatigue and optimize race performance.

But do you actually know what makes a taper effective?

Carol Passarelli examines the cardiovascular, metabolic and neuromuscular impact of the race taper.  Then she applies this science to the 5 variables of a successful pre-race taper, and suggests how you might manage repeated tapers in a busy racing season.

CAM SPEED

Records come and go, but Cameron Wurf has arguably been the best and most consistent IRONMAN cyclist over the past few years.  That should be no surprise, since his “day job” is riding in the pro peloton for the INEOS Grenadiers!

In this video Cam shares 5 refreshingly practical tips for improving your triathlon cycling.

Learn where he’d spend his hard-earned money to gain more bike speed.  Hear his take on aero helmets,  and how to manage the inevitable bad patches in a race.  His tips can be adopted by triathletes at all levels for better IRONMAN riding.

BAND PRACTICE

Resistance bands are a valuable addition to your training gear.  Not only are they effective for dryland strength training (especially for developing the shoulder rotators), they’re also ideal for pre-race warm-ups when access to the water is unavailable.

Take your stretch band sessions to the next level by following this comprehensive exercise progression for swimmers by Paragon Training.  It will isolate and improve all aspects of the front of your stroke.

PICK IT UP

A major problem of many triathlon swimmers is overthinking their freestyle stroke.  By trying to focus on too many cues for improving technique, their stroke rate drops and they develop deadspots that kill their speed.

One way to avoid this is to increase your stroke rate by training with the FINIS Tempo Trainer Pro.  With this unobtrusive underwater metronome, you can aim to raise your turnover to 35 strokes per minute (or higher). Doing so will smooth out your power curve and increase your efficiency.

Additionally a higher turnover is more conducive for success in the open water where other swimmers, waves and chop frequently disrupt your forward momentum.

Best of all, TriathlonWire readers get a 20% discount by using the coupon code TRIWIRE at checkout. Get on it!

THE GALLOWAY PR

For many time-crunched age-groupers, running the entire marathon in an IRONMAN can be challenging, if not impossible.  Adopting an intentional run-walk strategy is often the best solution for posting your best possible run time.

Called the Galloway Method, it involves frequent but short walk breaks scheduled throughout the run, starting from the very beginning.  Studies indicate that the Galloway Method produces less muscle fatigue and pain, delivers steadier pacing and often results in impressive marathon splits.

Learn how to personalize the Galloway Method with the Magic Mile pace calculator to achieve your running goals… and don’t be surprised if you complete your next IRONMAN faster and more comfortably than ever.

LIGHT LIFT

What’s the minimum amount of strength training required to benefit long-distance triathletes?

According to coach and exercise physiologist Martin Spierings, it might be just one hour, divided into two 30-minute sessions per week.

Check out his series of 9 triathlon-specific exercises designed to add strength, prevent injury and improve movement economy.   All it takes are some dumbbells and a desire to get stronger.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Handy Tips
    Achieving faster freestyle is a game of nuanced adjustments.  Here are 4 common hand entry mistakes to avoid to improve your stroke and preserve the health of your shoulders.
  • Rolling with TO
    During the past decade, Tim O’Donnell quietly established himself as America’s top male lRONMAN triathlete, then shocked the sport by surviving an in-competition “widowmaker heart attack.  Get to know this humble and articulate star in Rich Roll’s recent podcast interview.
June 7, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for June 1, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 4 proven workouts for better 70.3 racing
  • Poker pacing to develop marathon speed
  • Fresh cues for faster freestyle
  • Strength training for the hips
  • Delay age-related declines in performance

VINTAGE SPEED

Although we can’t outrace Father Time, by understanding the physiology of aging we can maintain and even improve our speed into our 50’s and 60’s.

As we enter our 50’s we experience drops in VO2max, testosterone and muscle elasticity (among other things).  While not something any of us look forward to, it can be managed. 

It turns out that our best defense against age-related performance decline is a more strategic approach to training, which prioritizes quality over volume.  That means eliminating junk miles focusing on strength and scheduling ample recovery.

By learning how to evolve your training, you’ll slow the natural decline in performance and continue full speed towards your triathlon goals.

POKER PACING

Former pro and respected author Gordo Byrn has a surprisingly simple method for dialing in your IRONMAN run speed He calls it Poker Pacing and it’s based on the concept of Green Zone training.

Designed to reveal your stamina, fatigue resistance and pace control, the Poker Pacing workout is a 1-to-2-hour session that’s separated into pace-based thirds.  The intensity of each third builds very slowly and is guided by heart rate.

Learn how to harness the power of Poker Pacing to reach new heights in training consistency and your best run performance ever.

ESSENTIAL HIPS

Not sure where to begin your strength training?  Then coach Andrew Simmons wants you to start with your hips.

Hip strength is vital for the mechanics of all three triathlon disciplines.

Follow his 9 hip exercises for balance and strength You’ll feel a difference in your freestyle kick, on long rides and deep into the late stages of a run.

WINNING TRAVEL

Traveling to races is expensive. That’s why we’re excited to introduce you to TripBeat!

Whether it’s your next event, a family vacation or last-minute business travel, TripBeat is your best option for saving money on travel.

TripBeat is powered by the booking platform of Travel + Leisure Network, the world’s largest travel exchange company.

For a limited time you can claim your free 60-day trial of the premium version of TripBeat – where you’ll save up to 60% on hotel stays – with the activation code Triwire60.  Use it for two months with no cost or obligation.

Best of all no credit card is requiredjust click the link, create your free account, and lockdown affordable travel options with discounts of up to 60%

DISSECTED FREESTYLE

Triathletes who are feeling frustrated trying to coordinate the elements of their freestyle will appreciate this dissection of freestyle’s basic elements by coach Johnny Rocket.

His clear descriptions of the stroke’s major components – head position, pull and kick – will provide a fresh perspective for improving your mechanics.  Use his helpful cues during your next session.  You’ll be shocked by your gains in speed and efficiency.

FOUR TO FASTER

If you’re pinched for training time and are seeking the best workouts for your IRONMAN 70.3, then this article by coach Phil Mosley is just the ticket.

He outlines his 4 essential sessions, explains why they’re important and recommends when to perform them.

If only all of your training could be so straightforward!

QUICK HIITS:

  • Pumped Up
    With the increased adoption of wider tubeless tires, tire pressures have trended lower.  But how low should you go? To help determine what’s optimal for you, use Silca’s amazing tire pressure calculator.  It’ll ensure you’re riding with maximum speed and comfort.
  • Copenhagen Plank
    Danish researchers discovered a simple variation to the humble plank that could transform your running.  It strengthens your core, improves hip stability and helps prevent injury.  It’ll also leave you gasping for air.
  • Better Necking
    If you sit all day – or swim freestyle (!) – then you’ll benefit from improving the mobility of your neck.  Try Dan Go’s 3-minute neck mobility sequence to keep it healthy & pain free.
May 31, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for May 25, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Tips for in-season strength training
  • Why you need to master the 2-beat kick
  • Personalized fueling plan for IRONMAN 70.3
  • Get the most from back-to-back long rides
  • Workouts that lock-in your run pace

NAILING RUN PACE

Our long runs are precious workouts.  They require longer recovery time than our bike sessions and swims, so we can’t afford to do too many of them.  That’s why it’s critical to make each one count.

Age group champion, Olympian and coach Chris Hauth offers his personal tips on how to determine the length and intensity of the long run based on your fitness and goals.

He also shares his perspective on the 3 different types of long runs and offers 7 long run workout recipes that will keep you mentally fresh and deliver top results.

BACK-TO-BACK

If you’re struggling to find enough training time, then consider scheduling two long rides on the weekend.

These 2-day training blocks cause significant muscular and cardiovascular overload, resulting in adaptations that lead to improvements in performance.

To get maximum benefit from back-to-back long days, focus on intentionally managing your fueling and recovery throughout the weekend.

For master coach Chris Carmichael, details matter.   Follow his 6 detailed tips for riding stronger on back-to-back days.  His advice will help you make the most of your valuable weekend training.

2-BEAT

After surviving the intensity of the first 400m of the swim start, many triathletes prefer to settle into a 2-beat kick.

A 2-beat kick offers numerous advantages including a lowered heart rate, improved streamlining and more speed for the effort.  It also amplifies the connection between your kick and core, helping to initiate a more effective body rotation.

The secret to an effective 2-beat kick is proper timing.  In this video Brenton Ford presents a useful method for mastering this subtle skill.  With a 2-beat kick in your toolkit, you’ll complete your swim more efficiently and enter T1 ready to ride.

RESTOCK NOW

Need another reason to love UCAN sports nutrition?  How about 25% off with coupon code SUMMERSUB25 !

UCAN’s proprietary LIVSTEADY SuperStarch is a low-glycemic, complex carbohydrate that has changed the way triathletes train and race.

UCAN products provide athletes with steady, long-lasting energy without the spikes and crashes associated with sugary gels and drinks.

The subtle flavors are not too sweet.  Zero sugars and zero stimulants, UCAN provides sustained energy throughout the race with no stomach upset.

Get yours today and receive 25% off your UCAN purchases with coupon code SUMMERSUB25.  This amazing deal ends on May 30, so act fast!

FUELING 70.3

Determining your optimal race-day nutrition strategy is elusive, complex and very personal. It’s also a major source of pre-event anxiety and concern.

No two triathletes are alike.  That’s why we appreciate this comprehensive blueprint for IRONMAN 70.3 fueling by Dr. Alex Harrison.  Instead of dictating what products to consume, he outlines a process that will help you arrive at a consumption strategy based on your body weight and racing ambitions.

Additionally Harris offers conservative and aggressive fueling recommendations, and explores the benefits and risks of each.  Now there’s no excuse for not entering your next race with a proven and effective fueling plan.

YEAR-ROUND STRENGTH

Strength and mobility form the foundation of superior endurance performances.

Former pro cyclist Gavin Mannion shares his insights on how he and other riders maintain their strength throughout the year, even during race season.  His tips are relevant to time-crunched triathletes.

Of course, during the season his strength training became lighter in volume and weight, and more focused on pre-workout activation and stretching.  Single-leg and bodyweight exercises were favored to avoid compromising their riding.

Study how these pros integrate strength training into their routines, and then apply their tactics to your training.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Zone Width
    In this Tweet Alan Couzens clarifies the breadth of Zone 2, reassuring us that it’s wide enough to realistically manage – and stay within – while training.
  • Myo What?
    One under-appreciated benefit of strength training is its stimulation of myokine production.  These remarkable peptide compounds are released by skeletal muscle and regulate many vital functions.  Learn 9 amazing benefits of myokines that will provide even more reasons to prioritize your time in the gym.
  • Final Transition
    The global endurance community says a heartfelt goodbye to Rick Hoyt, 61, who passed away unexpectedly this week due to respiratory complications. Wheelchair-bound Rick was famously pushed by his father, Dick, to over 1,000 race finishes including 255 triathlons, 32 Boston Marathons and a run across the USA.
May 24, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for May 11, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Why fartleks are ideal for triathletes
  • Body rotation: the key to faster freestyle
  • You need to be doing over-unders
  • How to avoid intensity blindness
  • 10 truths for faster bike splits

CYCLING COMMANDMENTS

For many of us, getting faster on the bike is the best way to significantly improve our IRONMAN finish time.

These days there are plenty of devices, diets and hacks that promise to improve our cycling but, as coach Chris Carmichael reminds us, these are often distractions that prevent us from making real progress. 

Getting faster isn’t complicated, but there are no shortcuts. Apply his 10 fundamental truths about bike training to your own program and watch your bike splits drop.

AVOID INTENSITY BLINDNESS

Research has confirmed that training 80% of the time at lower intensities, and just 20% at higher efforts, delivers optimal benefits to endurance athletes.

However, many of us spend most of our training in the “messy middle,” at moderate intensities that prevent us from realizing the full benefits of our workouts.

According to coach Matt Fitzgerald, properly managing an 80/20 program starts with slowing down what you perceive to be low intensity sessions.  Most of us tend to train slightly too hard, shifting us into that moderate intensity rut.

Follow Fitzgerald’s useful tips to get training intensity under control, and watch your progress accelerate.

PERFECT ROTATION

Did you know that, in properly executed freestyle, the hips do not rotate at the same time as the shoulders?

You can perfect the transfer of energy between the arms and legs during your freestyle stroke – generating more power — with a short pause in your body rotation.  This will help you stay taller and more streamlined for longer, preserving speed.

Check out this interesting video that illustrates the nuances of this critical skill, and learn useful drills and cues to improve body rotation for faster swimming.

TECHNIQUE IS EVERYTHING

The secret to better swimming is an obsessive commitment to improving your technique.  The purpose-built swim products by FINIS will get you there faster.

Their first-to-market Stability Snorkel teaches proper head position and facilitates critical drills.

A wide variety of Paddles helps to optimize hand entry & exit, and various phases of the catch and pull.

The innovative design of their Edge Fins promotes a kick that starts at the hips and not at the knees.

TriathlonWire readers get 20% off by using the coupon code TRIWIRE at checkout.  Stock up now!

HURTS SO GOOD

If you want to improve how you manage the accumulation of lactate while cycling at or above your FTP, then consider the over-under workout.

The “over” segments of the workout flood your body with lactate and other metabolic byproducts (which can be quite uncomfortable!), and the “under” segments allow a brief and partial recovery.

With repeated over-under workouts, your body becomes more efficient at lactate management.  You’ll also accrue significant time at high intensity, and develop mental toughness.

If you’re ready to tackle this challenging workout, then check out these 4 over-under formats offered by Meghan Kelley.

SHIFTING GEARS

For developing aerobic capacity and improving running efficiency, it’s hard to beat the fartlek session.

Devised by Finnish coaches in the 1930’s, it’s become a mainstay of competitive runners and triathletes everywhere.

Unlike typical intervals, where it’s common to stop between efforts, fartlek workouts blend a variety of nonstop efforts to challenge multiple energy systems in one extended session.

Olympic coach Ben Bright thinks fartleks are ideal for triathletes, because they require you to run well when fatigued… Just like after getting off the bike during a race.  Give his favorite fartlek workout a try and you’ll quickly understand the power of this classic session.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Up We Go
    Inject some power into your run with regular hill repeats scheduled into your workout rotation.  This diabolical hill pyramid will definitely build strength and speed that you can call on during the later stages of your next IRONMAN run.
May 10, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for May 18, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • 12 Training rules of Lucy Charles-Barclay
  • Dial in your IRONMAN pacing
  • Laura Siddall’s swimming breakthrough
  • 7 Required runs for long distance success
  • How to build cycling endurance & speed

LONGER AND FASTER

To be competitive at IRONMAN, we must build a bulletproof base of endurance and enhance our speed.  How can we do both?

Hunter Allen, co-author of Training and Racing with a Power Meter, suggests how to achieve these seemingly opposing objectives. 

He explains how to plan and execute an effective endurance ride (based on your fitness level), and how to determine the ideal pace and distance of your tempo sessions.

Then he shares his advanced Kitchen Sink workout that combines both endurance and speed that will really boost your engine and improve your long distance triathlon performance!

IRON PACING

Regardless of your fitness, if you don’t effectively execute the right IRONMAN pacing plan, then you’re destined for disappointment.

This requires holding back in the early stages, precise fueling management, and an intimate understanding of your zones 2 and 3 (all of which can be honed and rehearsed in training).

To make sure you’re on track, Joe Friel dissects each leg of the IRONMAN and provides his proven pacing strategies and tips for race day success.

HEAD OF THE CLASS

Laura Siddall is one of those rare triathletes who started swimming late (at the ripe old age of 29) but progressed to the lead pro pack and a top-10 finish in Kona.  How did she do it?

Like many age groupers, Laura was always athletic and dedicated.  But that wasn’t enough; swimming remained her weakness as she rose through the ranks.

Learn what led to her breakthrough and review Siddall’s 5 top tips for faster triathlon swimming.  Hopefully her story will inspire you to take action.

CAMP WITH CROWIE

For the first time in 4 years, Craig “Crowie” Alexander is leading a triathlon training camp in the USA.

Don’t miss your opportunity to join this 5x world champion on July 9-15 for one week of training, personalized instruction and fun.

Hosted at the exclusive First Bourn estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains outside Asheville, NC, you’ll be treated to (and challenged by) one of the best training grounds in the eastern USA.

In addition to the unparalleled curriculum, lux amenities, and a personal pre-camp phone consultation with Craig, TriathlonWire readers save $50 off your camp tuition with coupon code TRIWIRE50

Space is very limited, so book your spot today by making a no-risk deposit!

7 RUNS

With limited time to spend on any single discipline, it can be difficult to log an adequate number of run workouts.

Coach Josh Muskin helps you keep things straight with his 7 types of runs needed for a successful IRONMAN marathon.

He explains the importance of each session and prescribes exactly when you should perform them.   Use this guide to confirm that you’re training as efficiently as possible.

TRAINING WITH LUCY

Journalist Yanar Alkayat was granted the unique privilege of shadowing superstar Lucy Charles-Barclay for a day.

The result is a rare glimpse into the world of one of triathlon’s top pros and reveals the 12 tenets of LCB’s training.

What’s particularly interesting is Lucy’s dedication to strength training and consistent commitment to rest and recovery.

Regardless of your level, you’re sure to learn something from Lucy’s IRONMAN training schedule.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Sneaky 7
    When prepping for a shorter triathlon, sharpen your form with US national team member Erika Ackerlund’s Sneaky 7 swim workout.  It’ll get you accustomed to swimming at race pace while maintaining good technique.
  • Best Seat in Kona?
    Triathlon guru Dan Empfield takes a close look at the most popular saddle among male pros at the 2022 Hawaii IRONMAN.  While admittedly a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to tri saddles, learn why he gives a thumbs-up to this particular model.
May 10, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for May 4, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • How long should your long run be?
  • 4 myths of strength training
  • How to calculate your best bike pace
  • Integrate your swim kick for more speed
  • Joe Friel’s guide to a marathon PR

FASTER MARATHONS

Master coach Joe Friel delivers the goods as he describes how triathletes can post a marathon personal best.

Increasing weekly volume is not the key.  Instead, he wants you to get more efficient by focusing on these 6 fundamental workouts. 

Then he explains how to organize these sessions into a 12-week schedule, which accommodates your swimming and cycling.

Finally he reveals how to put it all together on race day with a clever 3-phase marathon pacing plan.

POWER PACING

Pacing the bike leg of a triathlon is tricky business.  It’s all too easy to over-bike in the heat of competition, only to pay dearly for your overzealousness with a poor run.

Coach Russell Cox offers a simple, flexible and easy-to-follow bike pacing strategy that utilizes your power meter.

It’s based on identifying two upper limits – or caps – of your targeted power output, then trying to stay beneath them during the race.  The first cap dictates the effort of your steady-state riding, and the second governs your effort during surges and climbs.

Learn how to calculate your power caps, then practice them in training.  They will help you race with more speed and confidence.

WHAT A KICK

Don’t allow your freestyle kick to be an afterthought.  Use Brenton Ford’s 5 tips for improving your kick and make it an integral part of your stroke.

We especially like Ford’s concept of “Ballerina in a Bucket” to help visualize an efficient flutter kick with minimal drag.   His tip on how to properly time your kick with your catch will allow you to generate maximum power from proper body rotation.

Ford is an expert in helping triathletes become better swimmers, and this video explains how to make your freestyle kick work for you.

DRESSED FOR SUCCESS

We want to know what you wear when you race long-distance triathlons.

Please complete our 1-minute survey.

We’ll share the results in an upcoming edition of TriathlonWire.

Note: None of your personal identifying information is being collected or stored from this survey.  Your privacy is protected.

HOW LONG AGAIN?

The long run is one of the cornerstones of IRONMAN training.

Coach Whitney Heins explains everything you wanted to know about the long run, but were afraid to ask.  Included is a foolproof method to determine just how long your long run should be.

To cap off a successful race, you must get your long run right.  This article will help you do it.

MYTHS OF STRENGTH

You’ve heard it before: Weight training will bulk me up.”

That’s nonsense and, if it’s preventing you from integrating strength work into your triathlon training, then you’re making a critical mistake.

Strength training builds lean muscle mass, prevents injury and improves movement patterns (especially when fatigued).

Read about the 4 myths of strength training popular among endurance athletes, then get in the gym!

QUICK HIITS:

  • Back in Action
    Fast performances are built on core stability and a strong lower back. Check out Dan Go’s Twitter thread on the 4 pillars for building a stronger lower back.  He demonstrates 7 proven exercises that improve your speed and durability..
  • Odds in Ibiza
    The PTO European Open comes to Ibiza, Spain this Saturday.  Its star-studded men’s and women’s fields – energized by $600,000 in prize money — are guaranteed to serve up exciting competition.  Get a handle on who has the best odds of a winning performance with this analysis by TriRating.com.
  • Flora
    Enjoy Jack Kelly’s conversation with Commonwealth Games and Olympic champion Flora Duffy in this episode of the How They Train podcast.  Listen to her straightforward – but challenging – approach to training.  Learn why she avoids brick workouts.  Is this the greatest female triathlete of all time?  You decide.
May 3, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for April 27, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Ensuring long-term freestyle improvement
  • How to train between “A” races
  • Fuel your race like a pro
  • 3 rules for better speed workouts

RULES OF SPEED

Your fastest swimming, biking and running should occur during training, not in the race.

You need high intensity sessions in your program and, in this article, coach Matt Fitzgerald outlines the right way to do them in his 3 rules of speed training for triathlon

When executed properly, small doses of increased intensity enhance overall fitness and improve your fatigue resistance at faster speeds.

3 SIMPLE THINGS

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start when trying to improve your freestyle.

That’s why we like this approach by Andrew Sheaff, where he presents 3 aspects of freestyle critical for sustained long term improvement.

You’re probably already familiar with the importance of body position, pulling technique and body rotation.  Sheaff explains why each area is so critical and offers drills and cues that will result in immediate improvement.

CAMP WITH CROWIE

For the first time in 4 years, Craig “Crowie” Alexander is conducting a triathlon training camp in North America.

Hosted at the exclusive First Bourn estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains outside Asheville, NC, athletes will be treated to one of the best training grounds in the eastern USA.

Participants will be immersed in one week of personalized coaching and instruction, while training side-by-side with this humble 5x World Champion.

Secure your spot today by making a no-risk deposit.

In addition to the unparalleled curriculum, incomparable amenities, and a personal phone consultation from Craig, TriathlonWire readers save $50 off their training camp tuition with the coupon code TRIWIRE50

PRO FUELING

In this informative video, South African pro Leon Chevalier shares his winning IRONMAN fueling plan.

Chevalier is a heavy sweater and has trained himself to consume over 100 gm of carbohydrates per hour, so fueling precision is critical.

He describes how he schedules and audits his consumption of calories, electrolytes and hydration throughout the event. He explains where he carries his nutrition to be almost entirely self-sufficient throughout the ride, while remaining streamlined and aero.  He also reveals how he begins the run well-fueled.

One thing’s clear, Leon knows his numbers!  Follow Chevalier’s lead and repeatedly validate your own fueling plan during training.  It’ll build confidence, eliminate guesswork and result in a great day at the race!

TWEEN TRAINING

Most of us diligently follow a training plan during the last 12 to 18 weeks before a major race.

But what about during the periods between these event training cycles?

It turns out that many athletes simply noodle along with unstructured “maintenance training.”  Unfortunately doing so prevents breaking through plateaus and inhibits the continual accrual of fitness and speed.

In this article coach Jeff Gaudette discusses how to avoid this mistake by dialing down the intensity of your training while intentionally addressing your weaknesses.  This type of smart and specific program ensures continued improvement between race training cycles.

QUICK HIITS:

  • Fizzy Logic
    More and more endurance athletes are experimenting with topical and ingestable bicarbonate formulations, hoping to decrease the accumulation of lactate in muscles.  Tadej Pogačar’s coach, Dr. Iñigo San Millán, is not buying it.  Check out why he says the science just doesn’t support the products’ claims.  Buyer beware.
  • Highest Bidder
    If you’re having difficulty qualifying for a world championship but are determined to experience the top events in our sport, then IRONMAN Foundation’s annual charity bib auction might be for you.   Five entries are available to the highest bidders for each of 2023’s three World Championship races. Loosen up your paddle arms and wallets… all proceeds go to deserving organizations in the local host communities.
  • Science Between the Cheat
    Doping is cheating. Regarding the illegal use of EPO, it provides massive performance benefits and an unfair advantage.  Respected sports scientist and coach Dr. Dan Plews explains how and why EPO is such a powerful PED, reminding us why triathlon needs more drug testing and vigilance than ever before.
April 26, 2023|0 Comments

Carefully Curated Triathlon News for April 20, 2023

IN THIS EDITION…

  • Dialing in 70.3 bike pace
  • Tendon strength for more speed
  • Balancing aerobic and anaerobic workouts
  • 10 freestyle mistakes and their fixes
  • Maximizing training ROI

TRAINING ROI

In a fascinating self-experiment, coach Conrad Goeringer tried to post a sub-10 IRONMAN on just 10 hours of training per week.

Goeringer outlines his 4 principles for time-strapped triathletes, and describes what he emphasized – and what he sacrificed – to obtain the fastest possible result with the least possible training. 

He shares his thought-provoking and somewhat controversial views on indoor bike sessions, time in the pool, run frequency and nutrition.

Clearly Goeringer is a talented triathlete, and he pushed the limit to make a point. We’re not advocating for such minimal training, but this will get you thinking about how a well-structured, low-volume plan can lead to good results.

SPEED & DISTANCE

If marathon running is predominantly an aerobic activity, then why do we perform anaerobic workouts?

In this article Adam Rabo clearly explains why we need both aerobic and anaerobic training for the best race results possible.

He describes the 5 main benefits of aerobic training, and provides useful examples of aerobic workouts that you should be doing.  He outlines 3 reasons why anaerobic running is so important and, again, provides sample workouts for long distance runners.

When properly integrated into your training week, the right combination of aerobic and anaerobic workouts will improve your endurance and make you faster.

WEAK LINKS

Even the best swimmers can benefit from an occasional analysis of their freestyle stroke. Correcting the smallest flaws will improve speed and efficiency.

To help you evaluate your own technique, coach Christina Dorrer presents the 10 most common mistakes in freestyle.

Accompanying the description of each mistake is a concise explanation of how to correct it, including the best drills.  Use this as a roadmap to review and improve your stroke mechanics.

FINE-TUNED FUELING

UCAN’s proprietary LIVSTEADY SuperStarch is a low-glycemic, complex carbohydrate that has changed the way triathletes train and race.

UCAN products provide athletes with steady, long-lasting energy without the spikes and crashes associated with sugary gels and drinks.

Best of all, the flavors are subtle and not too sweet.  With zero sugars and zero stimulants, UCAN provides sustained energy throughout the race with no GI or stomach upset.

We require steady energy and sharp mental focus throughout the race day.  That’s why champions like Katie Zaferes, Tim O’Donnell, Emily Sisson and Meb Keflezighi rely on UCAN to fuel their performances.

As always, readers of TriathlonWire receive 15% off all UCAN purchases by using this link.  Check out their complete line of drinks, energy bars and snacks today!

HALF BIKE

A well-executed 70.3 bike leg is achieved through a combination of optimal fitness and precise pacing.

Coach Alison Freeman provides 3 essential IRONMAN 70.3 cycling workouts that will elevate your skills and confidence for race day.  These are specifically designed for the last two to eight weeks prior to your event.

We especially like her session that validates your race pace.  Once successfully completed, you’ll know that you’re on track for great performance!

STRONGER GRISTLE

Interested in building more power for running and cycling?  Then you should focus on enhancing your tendon and ligaments.

Tendons connect your muscle to bone, and ligaments connect bone to bone.  Together they deliver elastic recoil to help us perform with more speed and power.

Due to their limited blood supply, developing strength and optimal elasticity in tendons and ligaments takes time.  Coach William Ritter outlines