SLOWER SPIN, FASTER RUN
While common in pro cycling, high cadence pedaling is probably not the best choice for long distance triathlon. Remember, pro cyclists don’t get off their bikes and run a marathon!
Research suggests that high RPMs (90+) sustained over the 4:30 to 6:30 hours of an IRONMAN bike leg leads to greater neuromuscular fatigue. Fast spinning elevates heart rate and is less economical for most triathletes, making it more difficult to finish with a fast run.
Many experts support the case for lower cadence. Champion triathlete and successful coach Siri Lindley contends that 80-84 rpm is the sweet spot for IRONMAN age groupers. TrainingPeaks founder Joe Friel agrees, noting that cadence in the 80–90 rpm range is common in longer steady-state races where pedaling economy was especially critical.
With this knowledge, you can train your body to handle optimal cadence by including plenty of low gear work in your program. Doing so will allow you to get off the bike just a little bit fresher, and target a faster turnover in your run stride where higher cadence delivers a greater benefit.
Coach Annie Oberlin-Harris specializes in freestyle stroke correction for endurance swimming. She describes 9 freestyle mistakes commonly made by triathletes and then recommends how to correct them.
By asking “What do elite open water swimmers and triathletes do?”, she frames these issues in a context most relevant to us and provides practical solutions that actually work.
Read through this list to identify which mistakes you might be making. Then experiment with her prescribed corrections, which are tailored to wetsuit-wearing, open water racing triathletes… like you!
How long does it take to lose your fitness — or become “detrained” — during a layoff?
Triathletes already know that peak fitness is a fleeting state. It takes about as long to lose fitness as it took to gain it.
But detraining can be a valuable tool, if managed properly. During rest weeks, or in the offseason, training layoffs can help accelerate recovery.
Learn more about what happens to your body during the detraining cascade — and how to minimize its negative effects — in this article on TrainerRoad.
FINIS understands the unique needs of triathletes, and has a line of innovative products that will make you a confident, faster and more efficient triathlon swimmer.
If you’re stuck indoors, then check out their Slide Dryland Trainer stretch cords. Its clever design provides constant (not variable) resistance throughout the swim stroke cycle. Use it to maintain freestyle tone now, then take it with you for pre-event warmup when we finally get back to racing.
FINIS created the center-mount snorkel in 1995 and their newest iteration – the Speed Stability Snorkel – is comfortable and stable. Triathletes can use a snorkel with fins to focus on body position and pull technique.
Best of all, TriathlonWire readers get a 20% discount by using the coupon code TRIWIRE20 at checkout.
Are you guilty of biking too hard, then fading on the run? If so, then Lifesport coach Jeremy Howard might have the solution.
He contends that — to post a faster run — you should come out of T2 easier than usual.
In fact, try to perform the first 20% of your run a few seconds slower than your goal pace. This will allow you to settle into your targeted speed, stay relaxed, and ensure that you have those elusive “extra gears” when needed at the end of the race.
- Reading List
Called the “undisputed classic of running novels,” Once a Runner by John Parker is an essential read for any endurance athlete. In this beautifully written story, the author provides a rare and accurate portrayal of the intense monastic life of an elite distance runner.
- No Bike Needed
Launched by a crazy Swedish bet, ÖTILLÖ Swimrun has quietly grown into an impressive international race series. 2-person teams – always keeping within 10m of each other – alternate between running and swimming over a wild course, usually between islands and lakes. If you’re looking for a fun (and sometimes brutal) endurance event, consider an ÖTILLÖ race as your next challenge.
- Tweet of the Week
A slo-mo video is worth a thousand words, and nothing illustrates the power of a high elbow set like this clip of Olympian Kaitlin Sandeno as she engages the front end of her stroke. Thanks to GoSwim.tv for this glimpse of what our freestyle should look like.