IN THIS EDITION…
- Cooling methods for more speed
- Upper body endurance strength
- Challenges of altitude training
- 3 tips for a better freestyle pull
GOLDEN PULL RULES
Perhaps there’s no such thing as the perfect freestyle arm stroke, but Andrew Sheaff presents 3 golden rules for vastly improving your pull.
He focuses on hand depth, hand position and the path of the pull. Sheaff includes links to several short videos that illustrate proper mechanics and demonstrate useful drills to help you get the hang of the technique.
The concept is to create as large a “paddle” as possible with your hand and arm, and maintain this “paddle” in an optimal position for as long as possible throughout the pull.
Doing so will help ensure you move a lot of water and swim faster.
We’ve all heard of athletes who attempt to use altitude training camps to stimulate the production of red blood cells, but it’s far more complex than you might think.
It turns out that the pursuit of mythical gains from training at elevation can actually undermine your performance if improperly executed. Workout intensity can be suppressed, recovery slowed, and sleep interrupted.
For actionable tips on this misunderstood training method, give a listen to this Fast Talk podcast with experts Dr. Peter Hackett and Jon Jonis.
They clearly explain how to design an effective altitude camp, and why it often is the wrong training strategy for many age group athletes (and what you should do instead).
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!
Some of triathlon’s greatest races take place in very hot and humid environments, so being well-versed in the latest cooling science can pay huge dividends.
It’s no secret that when we overheat in a triathlon, our race suffers. What’s new, however, is the discovery that just a very small temperature increase will erode performance, even when it’s not that hot.
Ultra-running coach David Roche outlines 4 practical guidelines for cooling your body during a race. Experiment with them in training, and don’t be surprised if you see an immediate benefit.
If you’re not including upper body work into your routine, then there are huge holes in your training that must be addressed. A stronger upper body means improved stability and less wasted energy.
Strength training must become a non-negotiable component of your program. You require a strong upper body for faster freestyle; maintaining an aero position and generating power on the bike; and to ensure a stable and economical running gait late in the race.
Get started by aiming to surpass the minimum standards of these 2 simple and familiar exercises. Weakness is no excuse.
- The Right Zone
This Twitter post by Alan Couzens – and the accompanying discussion thread — is pure gold for anyone interested in perfecting their training zones. If your zones aren’t set correctly, your training is probably being wasted.
- Power on the Champs
How much power does it take to win a sprint in the Tour de France? A lot. Read this fascinating analysis of Andre Greipel’s 2016 victory in the final stage in Paris to learn the source of all that energy.
- Twice the Fun
Forever changing its 40 year old Kona Race Week schedule, IRONMAN announced that its “experimental” 2-day event format for the Hawaii World Championships will continue in 2023. That means 1,200 additional entry slots and a dedicated women’s race. Sounds exciting!