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Plyometrics: Free speed for endurance athletes

 

Most people can generally understand training specificity, run more, and I’ll get better at running. Simple, at least until you can’t go running as much as you’d like - maybe because you have a busy work week, family commitments or there’s a global pandemic. Then you must get more creative. One of the more under-utilized concepts of training specificity is training for the adaptations beneficial to the event, rather than just training the event itself. Essentially, if I want to get better at long-distance triathlon (LDT) performance, what metabolic, structural, and neural adaptations do I need to make me stronger, last longer, and ultimately perform better? While you don’t need to start squatting 400 lbs (in fact please don’t!), plyometric training falls into this specific strength category (i.e. hill running, big gear cycling, core training, posture, etc.), which can be valuable to target adaptations directly beneficial to endurance...

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Training Ironman triathletes in the real-world: Case study of a heat stress training camp

In Endure IQ LDT102: Training Program Fundamentals for Long Distance Triathlon, we explore the best training methods used by long-distance triathletes that facilitate optimal performance, and in LDT103: Heat and Long Distance Triathlon, we focus on something all long-distance triathletes seeking to cross the finish line at the World Championships will encounter, heat. In this blog, we are going to touch the surface of both of these crucial topics by describing a case study that we published this year on a three-week heat stress training camp in Kona, Hawaii undertaken by two elite Ironman triathletes (10). This case study gives strong practical insight into how a very successful three-week block of training can be performed by two elite Ironman triathletes, and the additional considerations that are encountered when temperatures rise.

 Heat stress training camps: What are they? Why do endurance athletes do them?

The first things to ask, then, are what exactly is a...

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HRV Guided Training: Maximizing your Training in the Last Phase of the Season

With the race season coming to a close, and the Ironman World Championships just around the corner, many athletes will be squeezing in as many key sessions as possible during this critical training period. But as we sit on a knife’s edge between training “too much” and “too little”, it’s useful to have some objective measurement to ensure we’re maximizing the adaptation from every training session we undertake.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to have contributed to a heart rate variability guided training study with lead author Alejandro Javaloyes (1). The study compared an eight-week cycling training programme prescribed according to either pre-defined block periodization (BP) or guided using heart rate variability (HRV). That is, subjects completed either a mixed programme set out in advance or a programme adjusted on a day-to-day basis via daily heart rate variability measurements using the smartphone application ‘HRV4Training...

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Jan Van Berkel: The Ketocop on the Low Carb Healthy Fat Diet

Fresh off the plane from Zurich, I’m still on a high after seeing my good friend and athlete Jan van Berkel finished on top of the podium at the last ever Zurich-hosted Ironman Switzerland last weekend in a blistering time of 8:17:04. Jan likes to call himself The Ketocop, so the title of this blog is very appropriate.

Jan led the field out of the water with a 51:38 swim, led the field off the bike after a 4:35:14, and romped home to a 6-min victory over countryman Sven Riederer after a 2:46:41 marathon. Jan’s victory seems like an appropriate time to talk you through the journey we have been on through his Ironman career to date.

Jan approached me in 2016 as a very talented triathlete with quality results in Olympic distance triathlon but he was struggling to transition to Ironman. He had, as many do, been consistently blowing up in the last 10-15 km of the marathon, full of gels but out of gas. Given his pedigree at the Olympic...

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