Category Archives for "Training For Triathlons"

Swimming Training: Swim Workouts for Triathletes

“Your swimming training must be done specifically  for the triathlete in you. Check out these swim workouts now!”


Some  Masters swim programs don’t include workouts geared specifically for triathletes, instead focusing training toward Masters swim meets. I’m sad for those triathletes because a good coach and Masters group can make swimming more enjoyable. In addition to the fun-factor, a good coach can help your swim efficiency and improve your pace.

If you use a coach and the workouts in the column look fun, take a copy to your next swim practice. If you don’t swim with a Masters group–no worries–you can still do a couple of my favorite workouts on your own or with your swim buddies.

First, read through the workout and notice that there is no designation for yards or meters. Use the measurement system associated with your pool.
For this entire workout, keep your perceived exertion at easy to moderate.

Looking at the first swim of the main set, the 900 is more fun if you swim it with three to six other people that swim roughly the same speed as you. You will rotate the lead position in a single lane. When the leader completes 75, they’ll stay on the right side of the lane wall to allow everyone else to swim past. They’ll then join the group as the new last person.

Rotating the lead position makes the time go by faster, helps you practice drafting and usually creates a higher average pace than if you swim 900 by yourself (given the same effort level).

After the 900 is complete, take a one to two-minute rest interval (RI) (but no more than two minutes) before beginning the 600. You can continue rotating the lead during the 600 or select one leader for it and each of the remaining sets. During the 600, do three repeats of: 100 closed-fist swimming then 100 regular swimming.

Don’t cheat on the fist swims. Folding your fingers down and keeping an open palm does not count as a fist. Closed-fist swimming done correctly forces you to use your entire arm to catch water and can help increase cadence. When you open your hands after swimming with closed fists, it feels like you’re wearing paddles.

After the 600 is a 400 pull with a buoy and paddles. The 400 is followed by a 200 pull with a buoy and no paddles.

For the main set grand finale I like to work a few different muscles by adding backstroke.tri

300 to 500 freestyle, 200 to 400 kick, 200 freestyle (alternating drill 25/swim 25)

Main set:
900 steady swim, change who leads the lane each 75
One but no more than two-minute rest interval (RI)
600 steady consisting of 3 x 100 fist/100 swim
One but no more than two-minute RI
400 pull (paddles and buoy)
One but no more than two-minute RI
200 pull (buoy, no paddles)
One but no more than two-minute RI
6 x 50 backstroke on 1:10
Goal of the main set: 2400 yards or meters of steady swimming at an aerobic pace.

Cool down:
Swim an easy 100 to 200 yards, choice of stroke

Total distance: 3200 to 3700

I just love negative-split workouts. These workouts help athletes learn to meter their energy and not go too fast at the beginning of the workout.

Before beginning this workout, first determine the highest average pace per 100 you can hold for a set of three repeats of 300, with only 30 seconds rest between each swim (3 x 300 w/ 30 second RI). Call this your T-Pace. More at 2 Top Swim Workouts for Triathletes

You can also watch this video for more tips for your Swimming Training:

Bike Workouts for Training for Triathlon

Training for Triathlon: Bike Workouts

“Training for triathlon? Then you must check these bike workouts. Read more now!”

Bike Workouts for Training for Triathlon

Early spring is when you should get more specific with your sessions. You will be getting a little stale with long steady miles and the turbo trainer, so now is the time to speed up your riding.

Introducing some faster pace work into your training now will make the transition to racing later on a whole lot easier. The lighter and hopefully warmer evenings are perfect for short, snappy training sessions that will boost your fitness levels and won’t leave you too fatigued. Using your time on the bike wisely makes sense, leaving you more time to swim and run.

Most of us don’t have much free time after work, maybe an hour at most, but that’s still plenty. British Cycling lead coach, Chris Furber, thinks an hour is a perfect window of time. “The human body is designed to walk and run, so is neurologically and physiologically set up for those movement patterns. You can condition your body to follow a cycling movement pattern just by getting out on your bike regularly. If you stop cycling for too many days your body will quickly return to its normal walking state.”

Aim: To build strength and power
Tip: Try to hold your pace for the duration of the efforts. If you fade too much, try starting a little slower
Warm up:
• 15 minutes in a small gear, gradually bringing your heart rate up
Main set:
• 3×2 minutes hard and controlled, in a big gear + 90 seconds rests
• 4 minutes easy spinning
• 3×1 minute hard and controlled, in a big gear + 60 seconds rests
• 4 minutes easy spinning
• 3x30secs at maximum effort + 30 seconds rests
Warm down:
• 15 minutes in a small gear, gradually bringing your heart rate down

Aim: A low load session designed to create pedaling efficiency
Tip: Pedal in circles, and don’t bounce in the saddle
Equipment A cycle computer that measures cadence
Warm up:
• 15 minutes in a small gear
Main set:
High/low cadence efforts
• 2 x (2mins spinning your legs at 110rpm, 2mins at 80rpm)
• 10 mins easy riding
• 2 x (2mins spinning your legs at 110rpm, 2mins at 80rpm)
Warm down:
•15 minutes in a small gear
More at Triathlon Cycling: One-Hour Workouts

Check out this video for more Triathlon Training – bike workouts:

More Reading for Training for Triathlon here:

Breathing Tips When Running

Running Tips: How to Breath When Running

“How do we breath when we run? Let these running tips help. Read them now!”

Breathing Tips When Running

I’ve heard people advocate breathing in through the mouth and out through the mouth, using slow breathing rhythms, and all sorts of nonsense. Nothing irks me quite like the spread of misinformation, especially when it pertains to training topics. Therefore, I am happy to help set the record straight.

Breathing through your nose or your mouth?
You should always breathe in and out primarily through your mouth when running. If your nose wants to join the party and help get air in and out, that’s great. However, when you’re running, feeding your muscles the oxygen they need is of paramount importance, and breathing through the mouth is the most effective way to inhale and exhale oxygen.

Breathing rhythm
Your exact breathing rhythm will depend on how hard or easy you are running and/or the intended intensity of your workout. Breathing rhythms refer to the number of foot steps you take with each foot while breathing in or out. For example, a 2:2 rhythm would mean you take two steps (one with your right foot and one with the left) while breathing in and two steps (again, one with your right foot and one with your left) while breathing out.

Easy runs
Typically, you’ll find that a 3:3 rhythm (three steps – one with your left, one with your right, one with your left – while breathing in) works best for warm-ups and most easy paced days. This allows plenty of oxygen to be inhaled through the lungs, processed, and then exhaled with relative ease.

Don’t try to force yourself into a 3:3 breathing rhythm on an easy day if it isn’t feeling comfortable. Remember, the purpose of an easy day is to keep your effort comfortable and to help the body recover. If a 2:2 rhythm (described below) is more comfortable, go with it.

Breathing slower than a 3:3 rhythm is not advised because you’re not giving your body enough time to clear carbon dioxide. The average runner should take about 180 steps per minute (some a little less, others a little more), which means you take 90 steps with each foot in a one minute span. A 3:3 rhythm enables you to take about 30 breaths per minute, ample time to process carbon dioxide while still getting in the oxygen you need.

Moderate paced runs
Runs harder than an easy run, but not all out race efforts, should typically be performed at a 2:2 ratio (two steps – one with your left, one with your right – while breathing in, two steps – one with your left, one with your right – while breathing out). A 2:2 breathing rhythm enables you take about 45 breaths per minute, which is perfect for steady state, tempo runs, and marathon pace runs.

Hard workouts and Races
At the end of races or the end of a particularly hard interval session, a 2:2 breathing might not cut it. In this case, you can switch to a 1:2 (one step breathing in, two steps breathing out) or 2:1 (two steps breathing in and one step breathing out) breathing rhythm. This will increase your oxygen uptake to 60 breaths per minute. More at How to Breathe When Running

Check out this video for more Running Tips:

More Reading for Running Tips here: