I was riding my cyclocross bike on the trails of Black Diamond yesterday working up a good ladylike sweat and came to an oddly convenient realization that I habitually do shorter workouts with hard efforts. It's probably why I've had way more luck at sprint racing than Ironman over the years. That's a convenient consideration given some reading I've been doing lately on the off-season.
There's certainly no shortage of suggestions for triathletes regarding our off-season
Before you take yourself out of this example, smug short course triathlete, this phenomenon isn't reserved solely for the distance junkies. An overabundance of discipline and a lack of fun in any of us this time of year is a petri dish for losing motivation, gaining weight, and digging ourselves into a fitness hole we'll have to claw our way out of after the holidays.
Here's a philosophy that may suit many of us just fine for the next few months....Low Volume & High Intensity. This philosophy, by the way, isn't just a convenient shot in the dark and unproven. And I didn't make it up. Athletes that adopt this are dropping 2-3 minutes off their 10Ks, 4-5 off their Half Marathons, and gaining 15% in power on their 40K time trials. Looking for fun?? Found it! You know what else is fun? Hanging out with your friends and family! Don't slog out a 2-hour Zone 1-2 run if your endurance event is many months away. Hit the track and punch out six 200's....or four 400's.... (after a proper warm-up of course) Then get off the track and go hang out with REAL PEOPLE.
Below are a few High-Intensity workouts for your off-season pleasure if you choose to adopt this ideology. There are more just a few clicks away on the internet. Remember - if you haven't done intensity lately, a week or two of getting yourself prepared with some stretching and moderate workouts isn't a terrible idea - they'll probably save you from an injury. Proceed happily yet CAUTIOUSLY.. If you're coming off a season of killing it, then jump right in before you burn out and watch your distance body turn into a speedy one. Piling distance on top of that speed early next season will find you faster and fitter than ever.
Swim Intensity Workout
Warm-up: 200 yard swim, 200 yard kick (fins and kickboard optional), 200 yard swim
4 x 100 hard
4 x 75 hard
4 x 50 hard
8 x 25 hard
Cool down 100 yards very easy
During each of these intervals, swim as hard as you can - preserving your efficiency! Then rest the same amount of time it took you to swim the interval.
Total yards: 1800
Bike Intensity Workout - (or maybe a cyclocross race?)
Outside or inside....your choice....
Warm-up: 10 minutes start easy and build intensity until you have a good sweat going
Four times through:
Total Time: 47 minutes
Run Intensity Workout - (or maybe the Tuesday night track workout??!!)
Outside or treadmill - your choice..
Warm-up: 10 minutes start easy and build intensity until so your heart rate is up
Four times through:
Raise the Bar
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