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EPC Tips – Speed Workout in the Pool

Bring the power with this speed workout in the pool!

Most triathletes have no clue how to really swim fast. Most have one training pace and their ‘all out’ efforts are only a tiny bit faster, and their ‘easy’ paces only a tiny bit slower. All triathlete swimmers can stand to learn a lesson (or two, or three) from their ‘swimmer’ friends. Swimmers are much better at varying paces in their training and throughout a workout. This wide range of training paces is one of many reasons they are so good at swimming. Just like runners have a wide range of training paces and cyclist have wide ranges of power zones, challenge yourself in the pool with some seriously hard efforts (and some seriously slow efforts) to help improve your swim economy, strength, and technique.

The following session incorporates a set of “all out” 50’s with a lot of rest. Taking a two-minute rest after a 30-second effort may be foreign to many triathletes, as they are used to sets with minimal rest. Minimal rest sets require pacing; high rest sets do not. When you see a lot of rest in the set it means it’s time to put on your big boy/big girl speedo and really crank it (I’m still working on this). Have fun with this set and really make it hurt!

WARM-UP:  200 choice
– 6×50 (25 skull/25 build) @ 10″ rests
– 4×50 descend @ 15″ rests

MAIN SET: 6×50 (25 SPRINT!/25 easy) @ 30″ rests
– 6×50 drill choice
– 6×50 ALL OUT! @ 2:00 rests
– 6×50 drill choice
– 6×50 (25 SPRINT!/25 easy) @ 30″ rests

WARM-DOWN: 300 easy choice

The ‘Workouts of the Week’ are brought to you by coach, Cody Waite. You can find this workout, and others like it for the swim, bike and run, by joining his Group Coaching programs for 2014.

Cody Waite

EPC Tips – Race Day Tempo / Speed Run

Get your run ready for race day with this tempo/speed run combo.

This is a great run session that prepares you for the specific demands of the race day run for Olympic, Half-Iron, and XTERRA events. It starts with an easy warm-up, followed by a set of 2-4 intervals of ‘race pace’ running. For short-course and XTERRA running, shoot for 2-3 race pace intervals, for long-course build up to 4 race pace intervals. After the race pace set, take a short recovery jog to stay on top of hydration/fueling. Then jump into the second set of intervals; this time ran at the fastest pace you can manage with good form. Build these repeat efforts to dial in your ability to really dig deep at the end of the run and finish strong!

I’ll be honest, this is not a fun run. It hurts…but it will build big time confidence and fitness heading into your goal events.

WARM-UP: 5:00 dynamic warm-up/walk
– 5-10:00 easy run

MAIN SET: 2-4x[10:00 race pace, 2-3:00 easy walk/jog]
– 5:00 easy
– 4-6x[1:00 FAST!, 1:00 walk/jog]

WARM-DOWN: 5-10:00 easy run
– 5:00 walk
– (60-90 minutes total time)

The ‘Workouts of the Week’ are brought to you by coach, Cody Waite. You can find this workout, and others like it for the swim, bike and run, by joining his Group Coaching programs for 2014.

Shonny Vanlandingham

EPC Tips – Head for the Hills Strength Building Session

Head for the hills with this strength building session on the bike.

If you’re gearing up for a hilly race this year, developing strength on the bike is key to your success. Even if your A-race is as flat as Florida, building strength on the bike will serve you well in being able to generate power over long periods of time. To build bike-specific strength there is no better way than with big gear, low cadence climbing intervals. To perform these intervals you head for the hills, the longest you can find in your area. Shift into a larger gear than you would normally ride (the steepness of the hill will determine the exact gear), and ride at a cadence much lower than you normally would (ie. 50-60 rpm). The idea here is to require large amounts of force (not to be confused with ‘power’) to turn the pedals. Climb for the set duration, then drop down to your easiest gear for a minute or two (or turn around and ride back down the hill) to recover a bit before repeating.

If you don’t have hills in your area of over 3 minutes, then do these on the trainer. This can be achieved by elevating the front wheel and getting into a large gear and high amounts of resistance on the trainer to simulate climbing up a steep road. If the race you are targeting has climbs over 10 minutes, then plan to head to the trainer for these sessions if you don’t have long hills in your area, so you can build up the duration of the intervals to 10+ minutes. Over many weeks you can safely build up to 3×20 minutes of strength climbing. The following session was written to accommodate the trainer, but you can easily adapt to the road or trail within a longer ride outside.

WARM-UP: 10:00 easy gear spin
– additional aerobic riding as desired (if outside)
– 5:00 progressive build towards threshold power

MAIN SET: 4x[5:00 big gear, low cadence climbing, 1-2 min easy gear recovery between (alternate seated & standing intervals)]

10:00 easy gear spin

4x[5:00 big gear, low cadence climbing, 1-2 min easy gear recovery between (alternate seated & standing intervals)]

WARM-DOWN: extra aerobic riding as desired (if outside)

10:00 easy gear spin

(75+ minutes total workout time)

The ‘Workouts of the Week’ are brought to you by coach, Cody Waite. You can find this workout, and others like it for the swim, bike and run, by joining his Group Coaching programs for 2014.

Swim Workout

EPC Tips – Build Your Swim Endurance

Build your endurance in the water with this swim session:

The main set has longer easy paced swims incorporating some faster swimming within them to keep your form intact keeping you from lulling into sloppy slow swimming. The set finishes with a descending set to build the pace as you fatigue; and then finishes off with some strength work. This is a longer swim at 4300 yards; feel free to trim the warm-up and warm-downs as needed, but try to keep the main set in tact to challenge yourself.

WARM-UP: 300 swim
– 6×50 kick (descend in sets of 2) @ 10″ rests
– 4×100 drill @ 20″ rests

MAIN SET: 1000 as (75 easy, 25 fast, repeat)
– 1:00 REST
– 500 as (50 easy, 50 fast, repeat)
– 1:00 REST
– 10×100 (descend by sets of 2) @ 20″ rests
– 1:00 REST
– 500 pull

WARM-DOWN: 300 (50 kick/50 swim)

The ‘Workouts of the Week’ are brought to you by coach, Cody Waite. You can find this workout, and others like it for the swim, bike and run, by joining his Group Coaching programs for 2014.

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EPC Tips – The Transition Run

Running well ‘off the bike’ is a critical component to triathlon racing. Most triathletes practice this skill by simply heading out for a 10+ minute run after completing their bike ride, a couple times of week. The pace is typical slow and not much thought has been put into the run other than the fact that their ‘running off the bike’. This is kind of transition run, while better than none, is not very helpful.

The point of running off the bike to train for what you will experience on race day. Most racers don’t jump off the bike, transition, and then leisurely run out of T2 to start the final leg of their race. Most racers want to fly through transition, and blast out of T2 feeling fast and confident for the run ahead. If this is how you want to race, then you must practice it in training! Instead of plodding through your transition runs, get yourself up to speed with some structured fast running as you run off the bike.

There are a myriad of ways you can structure a ‘run off’ and here is one of my favorites, short and sweet, but gets the point across…

After a solid 2-hour interval ride, transition as quickly as possible to the following run:

1:00-3:00 build to ‘find your running legs’
5-10x[1:00 fast + 1:00 easy]  (where fast is race pace, easy is a slow jog)
add any amount of extra aerobic running as desired

finish with a 5:00 walking warm-down

The goal here is to get you used to getting up to speed right away off the bike.

Finding your fast paced running cadence and rhythm after a fatiguing bike ride is not easy, but it is a highly trainable skill.

The ITU athletes have this skill mastered and all others triathletes can stand to improve in this area. Get to work!

The ‘Workouts of the Week’ are brought to you by coach, Cody Waite. You can find this workout, and others like it for the swim, bike and run, by joining his Group Coaching programs for 2014.

Mieko Carey

EPC Tips – Bike Power with Vo2 Max Intervals

With races coming up it’s time to sharpen that bike power with V02 Max intervals.

Vo2 Max intervals are short to moderate length intervals performed at a high level of power; power you could sustain for maybe a 8-10 minutes max effort (read: pain cave). We’ll break this effort up into much smaller chunks of 1-3 minutes, with relatively short rests of equal duration, to make the effort more manageable and allow you to get between 12-20 minutes worth on work at your Vo2 Max power. HR will lag behind on these efforts since they are short, but will likely climb to a very high level, a little short of max HR, by the end of the last few intervals. RPE on these intervals are a 9 on the 1-10 scale. I like to do these on the trainer (controlled environment) or outside as hill repeats (6-8% grade) to allow for steady power output.

After building a solid base followed by several weeks training your threshold power, these Vo2 max intervals will bring your cycling ability to a nice peak when performed 1-2x per week for the final few weeks before your “A” race.

WARM-UP:

  • 10:00-20:00 easy
  • 5:00 build to threshold/race pace
  • 5:00 easy

MAIN SET:

  • 6-10x[2:00 @ Vo2 power/effort + 2:00 easy]
  • 5:00-10:00 easy

AEROBIC SET:

  • Optional additional aerobic riding to meet volume goals (60-90+ minutes total time)

**Don’t forget to run off the bike for 10+ minutes to get used to running on tired legs!

The ‘Workouts of the Week’ are brought to you by coach, Cody Waite. You can find this workout, and others like it for the swim, bike and run, by joining his Group Coaching programs for 2014.

Vegas Swim

EPC Tips – Dial in Your Race Pace Swim

Swimming at your race pace helps you learn correct pacing, gets you familiar with your race day effort, and trains that upper aerobic/tempo training zone that helps to improve overall fitness. The main set has relatively short rests to keep the HR elevated throughout the race pace segments. The easy pull in between the race pace segments acts as active recovery. The rests also decrease as the set progresses to add to the challenge, while culminating with an “all out” 100 to finish it off. This particular set is geared for sprint to olympic distance swimming. You can easily add more reps to accommodate longer half and full iron distance swim training.

WARM-UP:

  • 300 swim
  • 4×50 drill choice
  • 4×50 build

MAIN SET:

  • 8×100 race pace @ 15″ rests
  • 200 easy pull @ 20″ rest
  • 4×100 race pace @ 10″ rests
  • 200 easy pull @ 20″ rest
  • 2×100 race pace @ 5″ rests
  • 200 easy pull @ 20″ rest
  • 100 ALL OUT!

WARM-DOWN:

  • 4×50 (odds: kick, evens: stroke)

The ‘XTERRA Workouts of the Week’ are brought to you by coach, Cody Waite. You can find this workout, and others like it for the swim, bike and run, by joining his Group Coaching programs for 2014.

VegasRunWeiss

EPC Tips – Vo2 Max System Run

Train some faster running as we head into race season.

This session trains the Vo2 Max system on the run. Through very fast running (roughly max 1 mile pace) and relatively short ‘partial recoveries’ you build your HR and blood lactate levels to near max levels over the course of the main set. The main set consists of fast segments at your mile pace followed by half-distance (same time) recovery jogs at roughly half the speed of the fast segments. These jogging recoveries at ‘half-speed’ allow you to recover a bit while keeping HR relatively high. With each rep your HR and RPE will continue to build until you are near max effort. When you can no longer maintain your target pace you end the set. 20 to 30 minutes is a typical duration of the main set depending on fitness level. This session is best done on a track.

WARM-UP:
5:00 Dynamic Warm-Up
10-15 easy run
4:00 build to tempo pace
2:00 walk
4x[0:15 strides, 0:45 walk]

MAIN SET:
6-12x[400m (or time equivalent) @ ~1mi pace, 200m (or time equivalent) jog] (stop when you can no longer hit goal time for 400s)

WARM-DOWN:
2:00 walk
5-10:00 easy run
3:00 walk

The XTERRA ‘Workouts of the Week’ are brought to you by coach, Cody Waite. You can find this workout, and others like it for the swim, bike and run, by joining his Group Coaching programs for 2014.

Bama

EPC Tips – Lactate Threshold on the Bike

Train your lactate threshold on the bike with this workout.

Improving your lactate threshold is one of the best ways to move up the results sheet on race day. Threshold training pace/power, by definition is the maximum pace/power you could sustain for about an hour. It’s a hard pace that you have to focus to maintain and you don’t want anyone talking to you. Typical heart rate zone is “zone 4″  and RPE is 7-8. You spend a significant amount of time at this effort level in races up to 3 hours in length.

This workout incorporates some ‘medium’ length threshold intervals at the beginning of the ride while you’re fresher, and some ‘shorter’ length threshold intervals at the end of the ride when you’re a little more fatigued.

WARM-UP:

  • 20+ minutes easy/moderate paced riding

MAIN SET:

  • 3-4x[10:00 @ threshold pace/power, 5:00 easy]
  • 20+ miniutes aerobic riding
  • 3-4x[5:00 @ threshold pace/power, 5:00 easy]
  • additional aerobic riding to meet volume goals

(2-3 hours ride time)

The XTERRA ‘Workouts of the Week’ are brought to you by coach & pro XTERRA athlete, Cody Waite. You can find this workout, and others like it for the swim, bike and run, by joining his XTERRA Group Coaching programs for 2014.