• How to predict your 10K & 5K pace
  • Structure an efficient off-season
  • Strengthen your freestyle position
  • Keys to successful base training
  • Limit tempo training for faster cycling


As coach Sandro Sket says, Base training matters.”

During this period – which might require 8 to 12 weeks — you’ll focus on fortifying your aerobic fitnessand improving your general speed.  Both are required to develop better race performances.

In this comprehensive article Sket outlines why base training is so critical for late season success.

He also describes the 4 most important run workouts (and his reasoning behind them) for effective base training.

Simply put, strengthening your aerobic fitness foundation is required if you want to race faster later in the year.


The foundation of your freestyle stroke depends on good body position. That’s why, if you’re struggling with your swimming, you need to correct your body position first.

Maybe you’ve heard someone say that “you can’t shoot a cannon off of a canoe.”  It’s a well-worn saw, but it’s true: a poor, unstable body orientation prevents you from pulling and kicking efficiently.

In this article coach John Wood describes a workout he designed to improve body position.  He also suggests 3 dryland exercises that strengthen the core and help swimmers maintain a good body position for longer.


How do you apportion your training time during the off-season for the greatest benefit in the spring?

Coach Russell Cox advises us to focus on cycling strength, because he finds that it produces the most benefits for both bike and run speed.  Since we’re already aerobically fit, don’t over-allocate your limited time to go long and slow.

Since outdoor riding isn’t always reliable or practical due to cold weather, Cox focuses on developing threshold power. These sessions are accomplished on an indoor trainer, one hour at a time.

Add in regularly scheduled swim sessions, along with lower intensity higher volume runs, and you’ll have a well-balanced winter program.


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Often referred to as “junk miles”, many cyclists spend too much time riding at tempo intensity.  It’s fun because it feels fast, but it’s not the most effective for eliciting a training adaptation.

As coach Brendan Housler explains, tempo training is just a bit harder than an aerobic effort (Zone 2), but easier than your lactate threshold (Zone 4).  It’s often calculated to be 76% to 90% of FTP.

Of course, we get the most benefit from our training when we deliberately vary our intensities.  When intentionally programmed, tempo training is a great way to build sustainable strength and promote increased muscle recruitment, important during a long bike leg.

Here are 4 proven tempo cycling workouts that you can try, indoors or out.  There’s a time and place for tempo riding.  When used sparingly, it will enhance your overall training program.


Estimating your target road race pace can be difficult, especially at the start of the season.

Check out these 6 methods for predicting your 5K and 10K race speed.  Each one offers a prescriptive workout that projects race pace based on your current fitness level.

To determine your 5K pace, coach Peter Rea suggests 2x 7 minutes with a 5 minute recovery, with the second interval run slightly faster than the first.  Rea has found that most athletes will race 5 to 8 seconds faster per mile, as compared to their interval average.

To predict your 10K speed, Olympic marathoner Pete Pfitzinger relies on a workout of 6x 1600m, with a 90 second jog between each effort.  Again, each interval should be within 5 seconds of the others.

Get complete explanations of all 6 pace predictor workouts here, then experiment with a few in the coming months.  They will help you to accurately predict your speed and manage your race day expectations.


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