At the time of this writing, the Tokyo Games are still on with the individual Olympic triathlons scheduled for this coming Monday and Tuesday, Japan time (be sure to check your local listings).
For a detailed overview of the men’s and women’s races, visit this post by the PTO.
STROKE OF GENIUS
Effective freestyle technique delivers more speed for less effort. But what constitutes a good stroke?
In this episode of The Physical Performance Show coach Brenton Ford, founder of Effortless Swimming, breaks down the fundamental components of a good freestyle stroke and provides tips on what you should focus on for more efficient triathlon swimming.
He explains why he starts with body position and the head, hips and heels. He describes in detail how to improve and refine your catch. And he offers advice on how to integrate cues and drills into your swim sessions for meaningful improvement.
If you can’t book a private lesson with Brenton, then listening to this interview is the fastest way to jumpstart your swimming technique!
PAIN IN THE…
Low back pain is one of the most common complaints among triathletes, and it’s usually related to cycling.
If you suffer from this overuse injury, start by examining your bike fit. Follow this process for optimizing your bike position, and that might alleviate the problem.
Next, consider your posture. Often overlooked, poor posture on the bike is frequently the cause of low back pain.
Finally, assess your core strength. When the legs tire, the back muscles must work harder. Muscle fatigue is a major factor with low back pain, and the muscles required to maintain stability while on the bike are often weak.
Check out this article on Triathlon Hacks for a comprehensive approach to low back pain, including how to deal with it and – hopefully – prevent it.
Recovery is where the gains are made. In this article by famed running coach Greg McMillan, he spells out his formula for the ultimate nutritional recovery routine.
Within 2 hours of a long and hard workout, he prescribes a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein, plus lots of water. McMillan also explains how to calculate exactly what your body needs, based on one gram of carbs per pound of body weight.
Consume half of these nutrients within 30 minutes after your session.
Follow his plan and you’ll be rehydrated, your glycogen stores be replenished, and you’ll be ready for the next day of training.
BEAT THE HEAT
It’s been really hot out there, making it more critical than ever to know your exact hydration and electrolyte replenishment needs. Historically this has involved an uncomfortable amount of guesswork.
Well, those days are over.
Now you can use Gatorade’s first ever wearable device, the Gx Sweat Patch, to calculate your personal sweat profile. Worn on your forearm during key workouts, then scanned by a companion mobile app afterwards, it enables you to dial-in your hydration strategy to avoid cramping and dehydration.
Finally you can stop guessing. Check it out here…
45 IN THE OPEN
There’s nothing wrong with long aerobic efforts, but you should be doing more than just steady-state swims when you train in open water.
In this article, coach Clint Lien outlines a structured interval session that will take your open water skills – and confidence – to the next level. His 45-minute workout includes a number of variable intensity sets that will help you adapt to the changes in pace you’ll encounter during a race.
If you’re looking to modify or upgrade your training program, you have many options. Some of them can be quite expensive, costing hundreds of dollars per month.
But did you know there are also numerous sources of free triathlon training plans? While not providing the benefits of hands-on coaching, these no-cost programs often provide enough to shake up your training and help you continue making progress.
Here are two of our favorite sources of free programs. Coach Russell Cox offers a number of templates for mapping out your training week and provides a wide variety of IRONMAN training programs for athletes of various abilities.
California Triathlon offers comprehensive programs for short and long distance races, plus a robust archive of sports-specific workouts.
There’s plenty of useful information on these websites. Best of all no registration is required, so you can begin using them immediately.
- The Pyramid Brick
Race intensity sessions can help fine-tune your training and get you comfortable for race day efforts. Check out coach Sarah Portella’s threshold paced brick workout to sharpen your next performance.
- Grip and the Voice
Recently the Voice of IRONMAN Mike Reilly sat down with 6x IRONMAN World Champ Mark Allen to discuss the unique attributes and challenges of Lionel Sanders. Is “second place syndrome” really a thing?
- Rewire Your Running
Become a stronger, faster and more durable runner by following the programs in Running Rewired. Author Jay Dicharry combines real-world coaching with a physical therapist’s approach to strength and mobility for better performance. Use his 15 workouts and see improvement in just 6 weeks. With over 340 5-star reviews, it’s a proven resource for serious distance runners.