Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Favorite workouts

My favorite sets (as opposed to more general workouts) are always done in groups. I have always thrived athletically when part of a strong team. For years my primary training strategy has been to seek out the strongest athletes in each discipline and train with them as often as possible. Although I am not actively coaching triathletes now, I dug into my workout sets for a few of my favorites.

For a main set I really like this classic sprinters set from my high school days. Attribution goes to Jim Runkle who coached the Peoria Woodruff High School team and the C.I.A. club team I swam on.

The basic block for this main set is:
75yd rest 10 sec
50yd rest 5 sec
25yd rest 45 sec

This doesn’t look too bad on paper, but it is meant to be done all-out. Each block totals 150 yards. If you can string 10 of these together without yakking, you’ll come out the other side a better triathlete!

OK, switching gears to long course training for this one. Over time this workout has become a key benchmark during my Ironman training. This is not a base-phase workout. In fact, the only time you are likely to successfully complete it is during your build or peak phases. Again, I think this looks quite manageable on paper. It is the last hour (and specifically the last 30 minutes of that hour) at 80-85% of Functional Threshold Power (FTP) that always gets me. I’ve probably done this workout 10 times and successfully completed the whole thing twice. A word to the wise is to stay within the ranges early on! Credit for the basic structure of this workout goes to coach Mike Ricci from D3 Multisport.
20 minute easy warm up
1 hour at 65%
1 hour at 70-75%
10 min easy at 50%
1 hour at 75-80%
5 min easy at 50%
1 hour at 80-85%
15 min at 90%

Cool down.

With run workouts I am a big believer in teaching your body to run fast when you are tired. Much of what I do is designed to be faster at the end than the beginning. I try to negative split all of my long runs and tempo runs. I also incorporate some harder efforts into all of my long runs. The track workout below uses decreasing distances to help teach your legs to turnover when fatigued.

15 minute easy warm-up
1600m @5K pace
400 very easy jog
1200m @3K pace
400 very easy jog
2X800 @2 mile pace
200m jog between the 800s
4X400m @ mile pace

1 minute recovery between quarters10 minute cool-down

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