Hot Reads2021-06-03T01:57:52-07:00

Get on the path to faster triathlon and learn what thousands of TriathlonWire readers already know!

Check out our top performing stories from each week, listed below.

Finding Bike Pace

One secret to a great triathlon run is finding your ideal pace on the bike.  Ride too hard and you’ll end up walking, but go too easy and you’ll leave huge chunks of time out on the course.

In this comprehensive guide, Taren Gesell spells out exactly how you can determine your most effective bike pacing strategy.

It’s all about learning how your desired power output feels, and then carefully governing your effort during the race to ensure that you don’t overcook the bike leg.

Gesell outlines two methods – one that uses FTP and another based on RPE – then describes how to use this data in your training.  You’ll want to bookmark this and refer back to it frequently.

You can read the full post here along with more insights for faster triathlon…

December 10, 2021|

Don’t Know Squat

In this brilliant 2-part video series, coach Nate Helming shows us how to properly introduce squats into our training program.  Best of all, his instruction is designed for endurance runners (like us), not bodybuilders.

When you think about it, running is a repetition of single-leg squats.  Adding squats to your training will help build the body you need to handle the volume required for faster running.

Squatting engages the glutes, stabilizes the hips and improves range of motion in the ankles.  This results in better motion control and solid running form late in your race.

If you suffer from poor mobility (common among triathletes), coach Nate explains how to get started with squatting, and how to progress while maintaining good mechanics.  He even prescribes the frequency, sets and reps that will deliver the best results.

Learn how squats will make you a faster triathlete in this edition of TriathlonWire…

November 19, 2021|

Rules of Resistance

Constant swimming, cycling and running can lead to muscle weaknesses and imbalances.  Fortunately these can be corrected by lifting weights.

Properly executed, strength training will improve your sport-specific mechanics, race day performance, and resistance to injury.

In this article, Better Triathlete presents 7 specific guidelines for implementing a safe and productive strength training program.

They also recommend 3 weight training exercises that are particularly effective for triathletes and will jumpstart your progress in the coming off-season

You can get the full scoop on strength training for faster triathlon here

September 24, 2021|

Limitless Fueling

We talk a lot about not depending exclusively on sugary fuels and the importance of training your body to become more proficient at burning endogenous fat.  Doing so will help preserve your glycogen stores for when you need them most, like during spikes of intensity in a race.

But how can you develop into a more efficient fat burner?

Well-known coach and multiple Kona qualifier Sergio Borges outlines his practical advice for immediately improving your fat metabolism.  Included are his 4 common sense tips on personal nutrition.

Fine-tune your daily dietary habits with Sergio’s suggestions and see immense improvements in your long distance triathlon performance.

You can read the full post here along with more insights for faster triathlon…

August 6, 2021|

Aging and VO2max

VO2max (or “aerobic capacity”) is a key marker utilized to measure and project endurance performance (check out his 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.  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.

CLICK HERE to read the full post and more outstanding insights for faster triathlon…

July 9, 2021|

Turn Up the Heat

Extreme heat and humidity ruin the races of even the best triathletes.  As the body overheats, it becomes a less efficient machine so, naturally, it slows down.

Master coach Matt Dixon, founder of Purple Patch Fitness, shares his step-by-step formula for preparing for your best possible performance in the heat.  His protocol focuses on increasing blood plasma volume and maintaining oxygen carrying capacity.

There’s plenty to learn here, but we were especially interested in his explanation of why (and how) he utilizes heat adaptation sessions in only the easier workouts.

If you’re planning to race this summer (and most of us are), then this is required reading.

CLICK HERE for the full post and more outstanding insights for faster triathlon…

June 21, 2021|

9 Tips to Fix the Fade

Are you a great second half runner or are you simply surviving to the line?

There’s no better feeling than finishing your triathlon strong.  Improve the final phase of your race by trying these 9 tactics outlined by coach Greg McMillan.

He delivers specifics on how to increase run power, fuel appropriately and manage discomfort.  Start by incorporating these into your training, then testing them in tune-up races.  Soon you’ll be passing other athletes instead of fading to the finish!

Get the full scoop on finishing stronger along with other great triathlon insights.

June 12, 2021|

Getting to the Big Island

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’s 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.

Read the full story here and get other great triathlon insights.

June 6, 2021|

Kona Bike Ready

It’s long.  It’s difficult.  But Hawaii IRONMAN qualifier Rob Cummins’ bike workout confirms that he’s ready for racing on the Big Island.

This workout is so valuable because it trains you how to execute the bike pacing that’s best for you.  Under the stress of a 5-hour session it simultaneously dials-in your best steady-state effort and the right nutrition, both of which are critical for your race.

Most triathletes go out too fast too soon, only to unravel into a sufferfest in the latter stages of the bike.  Study the rationale and structure of this workout, and implement something similar for yourself.  You’re already strong, but a great IRONMAN bike ride depends on flawless execution while surrounded by the chaos and distractions of race day.

CLICK HERE for the complete article and more great insights for faster triathlon…

May 29, 2021|

The 1-Hour Swim

The average IRONMAN swim time is about 1h19min. For many experienced triathletes, breaking one hour in a full-distance swim – the equivalent of 38 hundreds in 1:30 to 1:34 — is an ambitious target.  For those up for the challenge, coach Paul Duncan lays the foundation for achieving this goal.

First, are you swimming enough? Three days per week are required, but four days are better. Check out his explanation of critical swim volume.

Are you training for pool performance, or open water? He reveals why turnover and stroke follow-through are so critical in a crowded triathlon swim.

Finally, are you regularly testing yourself with IRONMAN-specific workouts that gauge your swim fitness?  His no-nonsense test set will project your race readiness.

CLICK HERE to connect with the full article and more proven tips for faster triathlon…

May 23, 2021|

More Swim Strength

Did you know that pull-up mechanics directly correlate to swim speed?  Now, we’re not saying that you need to do dozens of pull-ups (who can do that?), but we are drawing attention to the importance of strength for faster swimming.

We also know that strength training corrects muscle imbalances, prevents injury and improves stability in the water… but where do we start?

Start here, with Olivier Poirier-Leroy’s 5 best strength exercises for swimmers. He believes that by building a stronger athlete, the speed will follow. That’s a solid philosophy for all triathletes.

CLICK HERE to connect with the full article and more proven tips for faster triathlon…

May 15, 2021|

Drill It

Run drills work… if you do them properly and regularly.  Master coach Matt Dixon believes that run drills are so important that he has his athletes perform them before, during, and after workouts for maximum performance gains.

You might already do drills before a run. But have you ever done drills during a run?  They can reactivate your posterior chain (for more power generation), and re-establish proper running form.

Check out Dixon’s complete repertoire of running drills here, and start incorporating them into your next sessions.

CLICK HERE for the complete article and more insights for faster triathlon…

May 8, 2021|

Secret to Faster Cycling

Pacing is the key to an excellent performance on the bike leg.  A well-executed pacing strategy is built on knowing your sustainable power for the distance being raced.

World masters champ and coach Dr Auriel Forrester describes how to improve the3 components that contribute to increasing your power: base fitness, aerobic fitness and race power.  He also identifies the common mistakes made by triathletes – and dispels popular myths about power — that prevent athletes from achieving their cycling potential.

How many watts you can produce and how long you can sustain them are the key factors for improving your race performance.  Use these tips to fine-tune a more effective training strategy that will increase your power, up your work rate and improve your results.

CLICK HERE for the complete article and the full edition of TriathlonWire…

May 1, 2021|

Swim Drills That Work

Our recent post that questioned whether or not swim drills actually work kicked up quite a froth!  Triathletes have very strong opinions on both sides of the argument.

Andy Potts – who happens to be one of the greatest multisport swimmers of all time – believes that swim drills are a critical component of training, especially for improving balance, rotation and body position.  In this article he presents 3 of his ”must do” drills and explains why he chose them.

What makes these drills interesting is that they’re quite different than what we usually perform.  According to Potts, they’re designed to correct the limitations he typically sees in age group triathletes… which is why we do drills in the first place, isn’t it?

CLICK HERE for the complete post and more proven tips for faster triathlon…

April 25, 2021|

Bouncy Bouncy

Plyometrics is an intense method of training that utilizes quick and explosive moves to build strength and power.  Often referred to as “jump training,” plyometrics are commonly practiced by athletes who sprint, jump and constantly change direction.

But did you know that plyometrics can supercharge your endurance training (especially running economy)?

The science behind plyometrics is rather convoluted.  If you want to learn about neurological loading properties, stretch-shortening cycles and muscle-tendon units, you can read this well-researched articleby Ironman age-group record holder and sports scientist Dr. Dan Plews.

Or, watch this short 2-minute video that shows how you can integrate proven plyometrics training into your own program for faster triathlon performances.

CLICK HERE for the complete post and for other useful insights for faster triathlon…

April 18, 2021|

Just 10 Hours

Finding enough hours in the week to effectively train for a long distance triathlon is one of our sport’s most widespread challenges.  With the increased popularity of various HIIT-based training methods, can we adequatelyprepare for an IRONMAN on just 10 hours per week?

Former pro and now coach Andrejs Byr believes that you can.

In this in-depth article he outlines his 3 principles for minimalist IRONMAN training.  First he shares his proven tactics that ensure consistency, efficiency and the greatest return on training possible.  Then he outlines his recommended weekly training schedule and describes how he adapts it over 30 weeks.

Whether you follow this to the letter or pluck out the most useful nuggets for your situation, you’ll surely find this to be a valuable guide for squeezing the most from your limited training time.

CLICK HERE for the full post and for more outstanding insights for faster triathlon…

April 11, 2021|

Running Cadence

The ideal running cadence. Is there even such a thing?

Coach Greg McMillan sheds light on this topic and offers his perspective on how finding your ideal cadence can improve your running.  A slower cadence isn’t bad but it’s just not conducive to faster racing.

It’s been noted that 180 strides per minute is most common among pro runners.  For aspiring age groupers, McMillan feels that the optimal range falls between 170 and 190.

Add fast but controlled strides to your workout to improve your cadence.  Think about “fast feet” and quick turnover.  Even a slight increase in cadence can yield a breakthrough performance.

CLICK HERE for the complete post and more effective tips for faster triathlon…

April 3, 2021|

Find That Sweet Spot

Our goal is to get faster by raising our FTP.  One effective way of doing so is through intervals conducted in the “sweet spot”: at sustained efforts between 85-95% of FTP.

Sweet Spot Training strikes the optimal balance between intensity and volume.  It teaches you to resist fatigue while putting out relatively high power, and builds muscular endurance without excessive muscle damage.

Scheduled 2 or 3 times per week, Sweet Spot Training improves mitochondrial density and capillary development, while delivering enormous gains in overall aerobic performance.  More intense than classic Zone 2 training, it’s incredibly efficient.

Coach Jesse Fortson of TrainerRoad calls Sweet Spot Training the “grey area between tempo and threshold”.  It can be tricky to implement, so check out his informative article that explains everything you want to know about Sweet Spot Training and how to make it work for you.

CLICK HERE for the complete post and more tips for effective triathlon training…

March 28, 2021|

Engine Room

Have you ever heard a triathlete say that they don’t need strength training for their legsbecause they do so much cycling and running?  Big mistake.

If you want to run faster, you must strengthen your gluteal area… sometimes called the runner’s engine room.  Strong hips and butt muscles are the powerhouse of the run.

For actionable tips for improving hip and glute strength, check out this enlightening article on TriathlonHacks.  Not only does it prescribe the most effective exercises for triathletes, but it also identifies  common mistakes frequently made by endurance athletes when strength training.

CLICK HERE for the complete post…

March 21, 2021|

Back to the Catch

We spend a lot of time talking about the catch in freestyle because it’s such a vital component for improving your swimming speed.  Brenton Ford of Effortless Swimming clearly describes what constitutes an effective catch, and why it’s difficult to achieve.

We’ve all heard that dropping the elbow is a common mistake that prevents an optimal catch.  Ford contends that a dropped elbow usually originates from a dropped shoulder, and suggests two drills that will eliminate engrained bad habits and help you overcome this flaw in technique.

Once you’ve established a high shoulder, you’ll find it easier to master the elbow-forward power position that engages your lats for more pull-through power.

CLICK HERE for the complete post and more cool info for faster triathlon…

March 13, 2021|

Back to the Pull

By now we’re all familiar with the benefits of Early Vertical Forearm (EVF) in our freestyle swimming.  It will make you more efficient and faster over triathlon distances, while reducing the risk of shoulder injury.

Check out the elegant swimming of Olympian Andi Murez, who demonstrates ideal EVF and linear power production.  Her elbows are the widest part of her stroke and – with slightly diagonal forearms to move the most water possible – her hands are just inside of the elbows.

As Glenn Mills of GoSwim.TV says, “it’s almost like you’re giving the water a hug.”

Want more?  Read the full post and watch the video to get more details and drills on how to master this important technique.

February 23, 2021|

Faster Running Faster

Running faster off the bike is the holy grail for triathletes, but many are frustrated that their triathlon run splits are nowhere near their open road race times.  The good news is that this is a learned skill that improves with practice and experience.

In this revealing conversation with 5x World Champion Craig Alexander, Crowie outlines his 5 tips for faster triathlon running.

He talks about the importance of run-specific strength training (by running hills and consistent gym work), and also explains what he focuses on during brick sessions (and how to structure them).

Check out the entire California Triathlon podcast to learn more about Crowie.  There’s also a free downloadable PDF that you can grab for future reference.

Go here to get the goods…

February 5, 2021|

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