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IRONMAN POWER PACING
Are you uncertain about your bike pacing during an IRONMAN? If so, then this advice from coach Russell Cox will help.
With the aid of a power meter, Cox provides his athletes with a process for managing effort on the bike.
His method is based on identifying a steady top-end limit (or “race cap”) for your cycling effort that’s calculated from your FTP. This is the effort you should maintain for most of your ride.
From there Cox provides a strategy for keeping track of those brief but inevitable periods of higher intensity (your “push cap”) for when you’re overtaking a slower rider or when climbing.
Using this process reduces anxiety, builds confidence and delivers outstanding performances. Experiment with it in your next training block and it will soon become your secret weapon for better bike performances.
MASTER YOUR AEROBIC FITNESS
Developing aerobic metabolism should be the number one goal of any distance runner, and few coaches understand aerobic training as well as Jay Johnson.
Johnson teaches his athletes to perform these sessions without looking at their GPS watches to learn how to run by feel. While there’s a place for pace work, when building aerobic fitness he values consistency over workout speed.
His distance running methodology is based on 4 key workouts: Fartlek runs, aerobic repeats, progression runs and progression fartleks. Learn the details of each, and how to include them in your own program.
The good news is that aerobic fitness can be improved year after year, which explains why some of the best masters triathletes are so darned fast.
CYCLING FOR FASTER RUNS
This article explores what HIIT workouts are best for triathletes, describing research on how short versus long bike intervals affected cycling and running performances.
The most interesting finding was that the right bike interval significantly improved running, too.
Specifically, longer cycling intervals lowered 5km run times off the bike by up to 1 minute. That’s huge.
The bike session that delivered the best run result was 6 to 8 times 5 min at FTP, with a 60 sec rest between intervals. Get more details here.
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. Its clever design provides constant (not variable) resistance throughout the swim stroke cycle. Perfect for pre-event warmup when 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.
REDLINED IN T1?
By the end of a full-distance swim your legs are depleted of oxygen-rich blood; then you ask them to spring to life in T1. This often forces you to go anaerobic… burning precious glycogen in the first few miles of the bike, which you’ll need later in the race.
Avoid this common scenario of feeling redlined during the early stages of the bike leg by building swim-bike bricks into your program.
Check out the workout prescribed by Karl Hayes. He describes a swim-bike interval session that will help your body get accustomed to this critical transition from water to land.
Since the 1970’s we’ve known that caffeine improves endurance performance.
The science is complicated. Caffeine is thought to mobilize intracellular calcium, increase free fatty acid oxidation and serve as an adenosine receptor antagonist. Fortunately all you have to know is caffeine is a legal ergogenic aid used by millions of athletes.
But can this advantage be obtained by drinking coffee instead of taking pure caffeine supplements? Research says yes.
In fact, 2 cups of coffee have been shown to provide almost 5% improvement in endurance performance compared to a placebo!
- Mix It Up
On Tuesday of this week, the governor of Hawaii reinstated restrictions on major gatherings throughout the state, including events. If you’re hoping to travel to Kona this October for IRONMAN, be sure to buy travel insurance.
- Older AND Faster
Rising pro star Emma Pallant-Browne reveals what it’s really like to go through wind tunnel testing. She explains her newfound focus on aerodynamics, describes the thoroughness of the testing and lists the discoveries she made that have the greatest impact on aero efficiency.
- Kona Bound?
Last week we half-jokingly reported on newly minted Olympic gold medalist Kristian Blummenfelt’s ambition to win Kona this year. A few days later IRONMAN extended invitations to both him and the women’s winner Flora Duffy to compete in the Big Island this October. While it probably won’t work out for Duffy, we expect to see Big Blu’s bike on the pier. Stand by…