15 of the best triathlon workouts that you aren't doing (Part 1)
Posted Dec 19 2009 6:40am
Bored of the same old triathlon workouts? Are you ready for some routines
that are going to absolutely blow your mind and put some fresh intensity
into your training program. In no particular order of importance, here are
15 of the best triathlon workouts that you aren't doing.
1. Treadmill Hiking Sprints
You'll never think of a treadmill the same way after this massive leg
strength building triathlon workout. Hop onto the belt, and after a brief
warm-up, immediately crank yourself up to a brisk walking pace. Here's the
kicker: now bring the incline up to somewhere between 9.0 and 12.0 percent.
Try to stay on that belt for 5 minutes. Your recovery from this hike is
going to be a run. Bring the incline down to 1.0, and pick up a light
jogging base, about 55-65% intensity. After 5 minutes, crank yourself back
up to your uphill hike. Go back and forth for the time length of your
workout, preferably 30-60 minutes.
2. Hulu Movie Endurance
Have you discovered all the free movies yet, over at the Hulu website? If
you haven't, surf over to the website, find your favorite movie, then set-up
your computer in front of your indoor trainer for this longer bike endurance
triathlon workout. Ride at your regular aerobic pace while the movie is
playing (you may need headphones), but for every 30 second commercial that
pops up on Hulu, stand and sprint as hard as possible at 100%. When the
movie comes back on, go back into your aerobic pace. You'll squeeze in your
favorite flick, and a great workout.
3. Open Water Pool Power Workout
This crazy pool based workout will instantly make you more powerful and
mentally tougher in the open water. Get out your notepad, preferably the
waterproof one. You ready? 500m warm-up. Progress to 1x Death Sprint, in
which you go as hard as possible for as long as possible. No rules, but you
should be able to last 200-300 yards. Recover 2 minutes, then complete 15
pool-side pushups to a 50m all-out sprint. Recover 45 seconds after each
repeat, and do 5 of these. Recover 1 minute.
Then do a 50m all-out sprint
that you take directly into a 250m "cruise" at about 70% intensity. Do two
of these "sprints-to-cruises", and recover 1 minute between each. Then
progress to 3x100 "no-stop" intervals, in which you swim a 100m all-out
pace, but your recovery is a 50m very easy swim, rather than resting
Next, swim 3x75m with NO turning at the walls - instead, turn at
the "T" and use the power of your legs to reverse direction. Recovery on
these is a very easy breaststroke or backstroke back to your starting wall.
Finally, finish with 10x25 "hypoxic" sets...no breathing or as little
breathing as possible. 20 second rest after each 25. Whew! That's it!
4. Swim/Spin Brick
Another great pool and indoor-based session. This works very well for a time
trial swim in which you're going to swim at maximum sustainable pace for
20-30 minutes. Schedule your swim to end just 5 minutes before the spin
class at a gym. Hop in the water and go. After a quick 5 minute transition,
race to the spin class and take whatever the instructor happens to throw at
you. This is a great "fun" early or winter season triathlon workout for you
5. Cartlek Run
That's right, I didn't mis-spell Fartlek, that term that refers to random
speed training. Cartlek is your trafficked road version. Here's how it
works: Settle into an aerobic pace, at about 55-65% intensity. Every time a
car passes you *from behind*, you must pick up the pace to a comfortable but
fast run at about 85% for 100 steps.
If a "string" of cars passes, then you
begin your 85% stride after the last car goes by. If a car passes you during
those 100 steps, you pick up the pace to maximum 100% for however many steps
you have left. Once you're done with the 100 step stride, you can settle in
until the next car approaches. This triathlon workout is basically Fartlek
training with an unpredictable twist, and is good when you don't have a
group to run with to do the pace-changing. Have fun (it works best on roads
that aren't *too* heavily trafficked).
6. Standing Flats
Here's a fun and simple triathlon workout that builds hip flexor strength
and low back endurance. Go on a bike ride, but at one point during that bike
ride (that's right, it only takes once), stand for as long as possible on
the longest stretch of flat road you can find. If you can make it 2 minutes,
you're pretty good. 5 minutes is tough. 10 minutes would qualify you as a
rock star triathlete!
7. Indoor TV-Watching Fartleks
Back to another fartlek workout, this time on the treadmill and indoors. Hop
onto the belt and turn on your favorite sports game, movie, or TV show.
Folks, this is a pretty simple one: easy aerobic run while your program is
playing, following by an all-out sprint during the commercials. During the
average Super Bowl style football game, you'll find yourself completely
exhausted if you can make it 30 minutes in this triathlon workout.
Ready for a bit of a change-up from your normal triathlon workouts? Put this
article into your workout folder or gym bag and pull it out when you need a
quick and creative triathlon workout idea. If you like these type of
workouts, then you should surf over to the Rock Star Triathlete Academy at
http://www.rockstartriathlete.com., where there are even more free triathlon
workouts to make you rock.
Editor's Note: Please comeback tomorrow for part two.
Ben Greenfield is the Renaissance man of the sport of triathlon.
He's a fast triathlete, a coach, a personal trainer, and much more more.