• 10 Common freestyle mistakes
  • Calculating training zones
  • Training during race week
  • Perfecting the over-under
  • Triathlon requires strength


Triathlon is a strength-based sport.  In this article 5x World Champion Craig Alexander explains why getting stronger means racing faster.

He reminds us that muscular strength is critical for maintaining performance when fatigued, and contributes to the durability required for high training volumes demanded by our sport.

Crowie goes on to offer his personal tips on training specificity that will help all triathletes.

Included are advice on the benefits of hill training, why he’s a fan of swim accessories for stronger freestyle, and how he designs gym workouts to complement his racing goals.

If you have lingering questions about how and why you should integrate strength training into your program, then this is for you.


The smallest adjustments can significantly improve your freestyle technique, and will contribute to your speed and efficiency.

Take a moment to review coach Christina Dorrer’s comprehensive list of the 10 Most Common Mistakes in Freestyle and how to correct them.

We all can find one (or more) elements of our stroke that would benefit from improvement.

Modifying your stroke takes time, focus and consistency.  Use this list to help identify your issues and adopt the recommended fixes.


You’ve successfully completed 10 weeks of training for your IRONMAN, and you’ve begun your taper.

Now, how do you choose your workouts for the last week before the race?

Your objective is to maintain your hard-earned endurance, while becoming familiar with your faster race intensity goals.

Here are 3 sessions designed specifically for race preparation, for the final week of your taper.  They will deliver you to the start line energized and sharp.


UCAN’s proprietary SuperStarch is a low-glycemic, complex carbohydrate that has changed the way triathletes train and race.

UCAN products provide athletes with steady, long-lasting energy without the spikes and crashes associated with sugary gels and drinks.

We require steady energy throughout the day and sharp mental focus throughout the race.  That’s why champions like Olympic medalists like Katie Zaferes and Meb Keflezighi rely on UCAN to fuel their performances.

As always, readers of TriathlonWire receive 15% off of all UCAN purchases by using this link.  Check out their complete line of drinks, energy bars and snacks today!


The secret to effective training is hitting the right intensity in every workout.   The best way to consistently achieve this is to use a training zone system.

Training zones are ranges of intensity that correspond to physiological processes within every athlete.  They span the continuum of effort from very easy to very challenging.  To calculate your personal training zones, you start by determining your lactate threshold.

One of the most popular training zone systems in endurance sports was created by the co-founder of TrainingPeaks, Joe Friel.

In this article Friel provides step-by-step instructions on how to calculate your threshold for your current fitness levels in swimming, cycling and running.  Whether you use heartrate, power or pace, you’ll find a testing option that works for you. 

Once you’ve identified your threshold values, you can easily extrapolate all of your training zones.  By retesting every 4 to 6 weeks, you can keep your training zones up to date as your fitness improves.


One of the most devastatingly effective workouts to improve your run speed is the over-under session.  It’s performed by alternating your speed between faster 10km pace and slower half marathon pace.

When running over-unders, you’re pushing your body above its redline (i.e., your lactate threshold) and then allowing it to slowly recover while still going fairly hard.  This repeated flooding and clearing improves your ability to shuttle, buffer and tolerate accumulating lactate.

You might start by running over-unders with the fast segments 3-5 seconds faster than LT pace for 400m, and the slower segments 3-5 seconds slower than threshold pace for 800m.  Linked together for 3 miles, this will become one of your most potent workouts!


  • Time to Race
    This Saturday kicks off the North American IRONMAN season, with the 20th edition of the Oceanside 70.3 in southern California. Thanks to a generous $50,000 prize purse, the pro field is packed.  You can catch all the live action for free on the Outside TV webcast.
  • Talking Tough
    Nothing ratchets up rivalries like a little smack talk. In the lead-in to May’s IRONMAN World Championships in St. George, Joe Skipper does his part by throwing shade on Gustav Iden, Kristian Blummenfelt and Lionel Sanders.  “Don’t believe the Norwegian hype.”  Unsurprisingly, Skipper favors his own chances.  We’ll see.
  • Vive la Strava!
    Thanks to a 3-year partnership with the Tour de France, the 99 million athletes on Strava will be able to interact with Tour stages within the app and visit a content hub that captures riders’ performance data through daily activity uploads and photos.  Now we’ll all have a better appreciation for just how hard the Tour is!