IN THIS EDITION…
- How fast do you lose fitness during a layoff?
- 6 open water swim workouts
- What causes cramping and how to treat it
- The importance of freestyle hand position
- Why you should slow down your long runs
LONG AND SLOW
Your long runs should be slow. Slower than your race pace, and probably slower than you think.
Every workout should have a specific goal, and the long run targets the aerobic energy system, which must be optimized in long distance triathlon. Properly executed, the long run builds endurance by activating the aerobic type-1 muscle fibers and teaches our bodies to burn fat more efficiently.
Need more convincing? Then check out these 8 reasons why long runs should be slow (plus learn when you should break this rule!)
So, save your faster running for intentional tempo and speed workouts, and level up your long runs by choosing the right pace.
INTO THE OPEN
With the IRONMAN season beginning in the northern hemisphere, it’s time to incorporate some open water training to refine your triathlon swimming skills.
Coach Craig Lewin offers these 6 triathlon-specific open water swim workouts that will make you faster. These sessions will help improve all aspects of your race-day swim.
Remember: training only long, slow distance in the open water is not enough. You must practice high intensity starts, entries & exits, and pace variations to prepare for the realities of competition.
Whether due to injury, work or just life, we all are occasionally forced to take time off from training.
The question many of us ask is how long does it take to lose our hard-earned fitness?
Unfortunately, we lose aerobic fitness faster than we lose muscular strength. In fact, after just 3 weeks of inactivity, it’s common to see a 7% decline in VO2 max.
Exercise scientist and coach Amber Sayer breaks it all down for us. She explains that there are 5 factors that affect your rate of detraining. You can mitigate the impact of these factors by understanding which are most relevant to you.
The good news is that the fitter we are, the faster we can regain our fitness after an extended break.
NO MORE SPIKES & CRASHES
UCAN’s proprietary SuperStarch (now called LIVSTEADY) is a low-glycemic, complex carbohydrate that has changed the way triathletes train and race.
UCAN products provide steady, long-lasting energy without the spikes and crashes associated with sugary gels and drinks. It clears the stomach quickly and promotes stable blood sugar and fat oxidation.
Perfect for long distance triathletes!
Best of all, the flavors are subtle and not too sweet. With zero sugars and zero stimulants, UCAN provides sustained energy throughout the race with no GI or stomach upset.
Validated in multiple clinical trials and used by pro triathletes and Olympic marathoners, UCAN is proven to be a smarter way to fuel.
As always, readers of TriathlonWire receive 15% off of all UCAN purchases by using this link. Check out their complete line of drinks, gels, energy bars and snacks today!
GIVE ME A HAND
As coach Sara McLarty reminds us, every part of your body — from the position of your fingers to the angle of your feet — can help or hinder your swimming performance.
In this article she shares the best hand position for the entry, reach and pull.
According to McLarty over 85% of your speed comes from the force created by your hand and forearm. The way you position your hand sets the tone for your entire stroke.
To help you get it right, she presents 5 drills to reinforce the ideal hand orientation and improve your feel for the water.
The cause of exercise-induced cramping is often attributed to hydration and electrolyte imbalances. Unfortunately the science does not support this contention.
Coach Dylan Johnson addresses this misconception by reviewing the latest studies, and concludes that cramping is most often caused by faster-than-usual pace or intensity. It might also be exacerbated by a genetic predisposition.
He goes on to examine popular cures and found that gentle stretching might be your most reliable remedy when suffering from a cramp. However the best prevention is probably more effective training and preparation for the event.
- Glutes to the Max
If you’re ready to strengthen the engine room of your cycling and running, then it’s time to train the glutes. Check out these exercises that isolate these massive muscles and learn which is the most effective for maximizing muscle tension.
- Triumphant Return
If you’ve been sidelined by injury, then you’ll appreciate Matt Dixon’s return to running training template. It tempers your eagerness and ensures that you ease back into your fitness without further setbacks.
- You Picked’em
Recently IRONMAN published its 2022 Athletes’ Choice Awards, recognizing your favorite events and most popular swim, bike and run courses. Give it a read, and we guarantee that it will give you fresh ideas about which race to target next.