Thanks to those who participated in last week’s survey about your 2021 race season. 51% of you have raced already this year and – of those who haven’t – 32% more still intend to compete in a triathlon before the end of the season.
What’s next? Only 13% of you plan to complete a full-distance IRONMAN, and 20% still have a 70.3 remaining on the calendar this year. However 34% will toe the line at a sprint triathlon for their next race.
We all know that properly executed interval training can improve our lactate threshold and make us mentally tougher.
Want to get even more benefits from your sessions? Then step up to Variable Intensity Interval Training (VIIT).
Researchers at the University of Kent found that by changing intensity within individual intervals, athletes saw greater increases in their VO2Max. In the study, each interval combined a 5 min block at 77% effort with 30 sec at 100% effort. Six of these intervals were separated by 2:30 min of recovery. The cumulative additional time at high intensity is what made the difference.
Appending these 30 sec surges to an LT interval can work equally well in cycling or running. And, because you’re managing precise changes of speed, it requires that you be more present during the workout.
NAIL YOUR SWIM START
Often a painful lesson, the first 400m of the swim can set the tone for your entire day. If unprepared, the first chaotic meters of the swim can launch you into the red zone from which it can take a long time to recover.
Here’s how you can avoid this feeling of panic while staying in control. First, review Mark Allen’s 7 swim start tips. He calls the swim start the “moment of truth” and offers up pointers that only one of the world’s greatest can provide.
Then, check out this “revving the engine” technique for faster deep water starts. Like engaging the clutch for quick acceleration in your car, this sculling skill will help get your race day off to a great start.
TIMING THE FEED
Discussions about nutrient timing usually focus on that window immediately following a workout when your body is primed to absorb protein and carbs for better recovery. Equally important, however, is the timing of pre-workout and pre-race meals, and how much – and what – to consume during a workout.
This article summarizes the latest scientific findings related to nutrition for endurance athletes.
You’ll learn how to calculate the amounts of carbs and proteins that are right for you. You’ll also discover why consuming pre-workout carbs and pre-bedtime protein can be so valuable!
KNOW YOUR SWEAT
It’s hot out there. Determining your exact hydration and electrolyte replenishment needs is critical, but has always involved an uncomfortable amount of guesswork and trial and error. That is, until now.
Check out Gatorade’s first ever wearable device, the Gx Sweat Patch. Worn on your forearm during key workouts, then scanned by a companion mobile app afterwards, it will calculate your personal sweat profile. With this precise data you can dial-in your hydration strategy to avoid cramping and dehydration.
Finally you can stop guessing, and quickly determine what you need for your next race. Check it out here…
Still confused about how to get started with strength training? Then you’ll appreciate Ben Rotherham’s guide to designing a program that enhances your triathlon performance without making you fatigued or taking too much time.
In this article he specifically explains where and why you need more strength in each of the three disciplines. He goes on to suggest a sample year-long plan.
His prescription is simple, yet provides the progressive overload required for real strength gains. And it’s divided into base, build and peak phases to reflect the current stage of your training. Best of all, you can accomplish this with just 30 minutes, 3x per week.
SEBI’S CYCLING SECRETS
Perfecting your effort during the IRONMAN bike leg is tricky business. Go too easy and you’ll miss a PR; too hard and you’ll die on the run.
One athlete who usually gets it right is 2014 IRONMAN World Champion and 2x 70.3 Champ Sebastian Kienle. In this post on Polar’s blog, Sebi shares his insights on cycling.
He discusses race-specific bike training, power vs. heart rate, race-day tactics and much more. You need to read this before your next event!
- Find Your Freestyle
In Triathlon Swimming Simplified Conrad Goeringer and Rob Sleamaker focus on open water freestyle training and technique. For any triathlete who needs to make the most of their swim sessions, this book really delivers.
- Faris for the Win
2005 Ironman World Champion Faris Al Sultan is now a successful coach for the German national team. Check out his nuggets on the key elements to going faster in — or winning — a long distance triathlon.
- Tweet of the Week
You’ll love this amazing video — narrated by Chrissie Wellington — about the achievements of Haven Shepherd, who just qualified for the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo. Are you this determined?