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PATH TO KONA
The road to the Big Island is long and arduous but, for those who’ve made it, racing the Hawaii IRONMAN can change your life forever.
Coach Chris Baggs provides a glimpse into what is truly required for most age groupers to qualify for the IRONMAN World Championships. Spoiler alert: it’s not easy.
Baggs shares training schedule advice, suggests how to calculate goal times for each discipline and provides insights that are rarely discussed among aspiring qualifiers. This dose of tough love is proven and realistic, and will help you maximize your chances of someday racking your bike on the Kailua-Kona pier.
Tempo runs are critical for triathletes who want to build running speed, avoid the “Ironman Shuffle” late in a race and remain efficient with their training time.
The speed of a tempo run is approximately equivalent to your 1-hour race pace. Others use their recent 10k time. Your ideal tempo run pace should be at, or just below, your lactate threshold (i.e., the fastest you can run aerobically).
Not only do properly executed tempo runs improve your LT, but they also build mental toughness by teaching you how to deal with discomfort.
To learn more about how and when to include tempo runs into your program, check out this article by coach Jason Fitzgerald. Include carefully planned tempo runs into your training, and you’ll soon be cranking out faster runs!
OVER AND OVER
One of the founding fathers of modern triathlon training, Joe Friel, claims that interval training can improve your race performance by 3% in just 4 weeks. For a 12-hour IRONMAN, that equates to a remarkable 21-minute gain.
Better yet, research suggests that results like these can be obtained by adding intervals just once per week.
But what’s the catch? Most athletes are performing their intervals wrong.
In this guide, Friel presents the key attributes of effective interval training and explains how athletes typically go astray in their execution. He also lists his most popular sessions for any triathlon race distance.
BACK IN THE POOL
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.
For pre-race warmups when you’re not allowed in the water, check out their Slide Dryland Trainer stretch cords. Its clever design provides constant (not variable) resistance throughout the swim stroke cycle.
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 refine the perfect head position and pull technique.
Best of all, TriathlonWire readers get a 20% discount by using the coupon code TRIWIRE at checkout.
THE OTHER BRICK
Bike-run bricks get all the attention, but pro Bree Wee reminds us why swim-bike sessions are an important component of her race preparation.
For Wee one of the most valuable aspects of a swim-bike brick is mounting the bike in a somewhat nutritionally depleted state… just like in a race. Cycling after a hard swim is very different from riding fresh, and these workouts get her ready for what she’ll experience during her triathlon.
Experiment with these two versions of effective swim-bike bricks. They’ll help with your transition speed and enable you to fine-tune race-day nutrition for a great performance.
Elevate your training efficiency by including at least one running workout per week on the treadmill. Charlotte Campbell explains how to make the most of the mundane treadmill and convert it into your most effective run training tool.
Review her 8 killer treadmill workouts to find the ones that are right for you. (We love session #2: the brutally simple threshold intervals that is Rinny Carfrae’s favorite).
- Challenging Relationship
Bill Christy and Challenge North America have separated from Challenge Family. Christy rebranded his operation to CLASH USA and plans to expand beyond triathlon into other types of endurance events. Meanwhile, Challenge Family will continue to focus on triathlon.
- Swim Essentials
Trying to keep pool sessions fresh is an ongoing challenge for many triathletes. Gale Bernhardt’s Swim Workouts for Triathletes solves that problem with 75 goal-specific workouts that will sustain your progress. This waterproof book can safely accompany you onto the pool deck so you’ll always have this valuable reference close at hand.
- Dancing on the Pedals
The PTO just announced that famed cycling broadcast presenter Phil Liggett will be the lead anchor for its first annual Collins Cup triathlon scheduled for August 28 in Samorin, Slovakia. Liggett will lead a 7-member announcing team during the race.