MIKE WANTS TO KNOW
Voice of IRONMAN Mike Reilly needs your help in choosing one of his upcoming Find Your Finish Line podcast guests.
Complete this 1-question survey and let him know who you’d like him to interview. He’ll even invite a few of you to submit questions to his new guest!
Choosing the appropriate swim drill can be confusing. In this insightful article, coach Darian Silk reminds us what swim drills are all about.
He emphasizes that the purpose of a drill is to break down a complex movement into simpler chunks. This helps us learn, improve and optimize what might initially seem to be overly complicated.
Silk encourages us to ask, “what change should I make to the way I move?” Doing so will help us identify a small collection of drills that will elicit a large variety of technical changes.
AGING AND VO2MAX
VO2max (or “aerobic capacity”) is a key marker utilized to measure and project endurance performance (check out this fascinating table that predicts your running time based on your VO2max). As triathletes, much of our training focuses on sustaining and improving it.
Unfortunately aerobic capacity declines as we age. It happens to all of us. The good news is that we can slow this decline – and even temporarily raise our numbers – through consistent training that includes regular bouts of HIIT.
Coaching icon Joe Friel writes about this phenomenon on his personal blog, which you can visit here. Bottom line: our quality of life and athletic performance can be improved by a higher VO2max. As triathletes, we’re familiar with the tools to accomplish this life-extending goal.
BECOME MORE ECCENTRIC
To succeed at IRONMAN running, we must do more than just run; we also must build strength and stability to resist the late-race fatigue that derails even the pros in our sport.
In this article coach Angela Tieri guides us through a bodywork routine that emphasizes eccentric training to help ensure we have the durability to go the distance.
Eccentric exercises toughen connective tissue and increase muscle fiber recruitment, which will make you stronger and faster over a hilly course. Learn more about this proven training strategy. You’ll be surprised by how little is required to get noticeable results in your next long distance triathlon.
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 to 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!
If you’re interested in increasing muscle protein synthesis through the night (when your body is prioritizing recovery), then it’s worth considering a protein snack before bedtime.
Studies indicate that consuming an ample amount of protein right before going to bed will help you take advantage of the spike in growth hormone that occurs during sleep. This happens because you’re providing the amino acids that are needed for repair and growth.
Whey or casein proteins seem to be most effective, due to their high muscle-building leucine content not found in plant proteins. Athletes should aim to ingest 40 grams of protein before hitting the sack.
Finally, research shows that – contrary to popular belief – the additional protein calories before sleep do not have a negative effect on fat metabolism. Sweet dreams!
The extreme summer heat we’re experiencing worries most endurance athletes, especially triathletes concerned about their 112-mile ride.
Cycling in hot and humid conditions is difficult and potentially dangerous. As your body temp goes up, your performance goes down. In fact just a 1° C increase in your core temperature can result in a 16% decrease in VO2max.
Here are 4 strategies that will help you mitigate the effects of heat stress. Most interesting is that simply being aerobically fit has the greatest impact on dealing with the heat. That’s when you’re lean and operating at optimal capacity.
- Olympic Triathlon Draw
Bib numbers have been drawn for the 56 men and 56 women who’ll be competing in the Tokyo Olympic triathlons at the end of this month. 38 nations have qualified athletes to start. With the inclusion of the mixed relay, these events will be the most exciting ever!
- Stronger Then Faster
One of the best books of its kind, Richard Blagrove’s Strength and Conditioning for Endurance Runners will provide you with the foundational knowledge required to construct and fine-tune a personalized strength program that will make you faster.
- Freestyle Perfection
In our Tweet of the Week, check out the perfect freestyle line demonstrated by Olympian Erik Vendt. If you think about one thing while swimming, then think about your narrow, streamlined position. This is how it should look.