To lift or not to lift? Find out how building muscle could sharpen your race performance
Swim: Start with 5x200m with paddles and a buoy with 15 seconds’ rest between sets. As you progress you can add more repeats. Once you feel up to the challenge you can do the longer set described left, or pull for longer distances, up to 1K. The ultimate power challenge is to add a band around your ankles, which will force you to use your core muscles to stay afloat. Bike: Begin slowly with 5x4 minutes at 60rpms, with three minutes’ easy spinning between sets. These are preferably done uphill, or on a trainer. As you progress, add time to your repetitions and lower your cadence. Olympic-distance athletes should focus on putting out more maximal power during the intervals while half-Ironman and Ironman triathletes need to work towards two or three longer intervals of 20-30 minutes at a steady pace. Always finish with a cool-down period at your normal cadence. Run: At first, hill repeats of 4x1 minute up a steady grade, 5-7 per cent; walk back to the start each time to recover. Add repetitions first, up to eight, then increase time. Intervals should last no longer than four minutes. Distance-oriented athletes should incorporate hills into their long run, working on the uphill and recovering on the downhill. Finish by running on flat terrain with a high cadence of 180 foot strikes or more per minute.
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