IM 70.3 racing blends the need for both speed and endurance. In many ways, an IM 70.3 training program will resemble that of an Olympic distance one, with the possible exception of longer “long days” and an extended aerobic endurance base period. In any case, incorporating shorter and faster workouts each week for speed development is a key to IM 70.3 success. Here are a few speed workout ideas for you to try.
1.2 Miles is pretty darn close to the 1.5K’s you’ll swim in an Olympic distance race. For most age group athletes, consistent workouts in the 2000-3000 Meter range will suffice. Here’s a good one combining some tempo work for strength and sprints for power.
(All swims are freestyle unless described as ‘choice’, in which you can do whichever stroke you wish.)
4x50 build @ 1 min.
4 x50 drill (your choice of drill)
Main Set (repeat two times)
200 steady pull w/small hand paddles
4 x 100 steady tempo @ 10 sec. rest
4x50 fast swim @ 20 sec. rest
100 kick w/ board (no fins)
I’m a huge fan of doing quality bike workouts on the trainer. 45 minutes to 1 hour of focused quality work is more valuable than hours of “junk” road mileage, in many instances. Try this workout as your weekly quality session in order to improve your power output over 56 miles.
3 x 30 sec. ‘hard’ @ 30 sec. rest
5x4 min. tempo (choose a gearing to ride at 80 rpms at or near your threshold power and/or HR) @ 1 min. rest
5 x 15 sec. power sprints (heavy resistance and near maximal power) @ 1 min. rest
Cooldown 5-10 minutes
Treadmill training, like bike training on the fluid trainer, gives you the ability to maximize your workout time while also helping to avoid the pitfalls of pounding your body on the asphalt.
10 minutes of jogging pace at 2% grade, then do 4 x 30 sec. ‘striders’ (increase speed) @ 30 sec. rest
8 x 90 sec. (3% grade and at 5K pace) @ 1 min. rest
Cooldown for 10 minutes of easy jogging
While these workouts described above are simple, they are very effective and will add the much needed speed development component required for successful IM 70.3 racing as you build your overall mileage. Give it a try and good luck at your next race!
Coach Troy Jacobson is the Official Coach of IRONMAN. In the mid- late 90’s, he won several well-known Half Ironman distance races including Eagleman, Vineman and Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon. Learn more at www.coachtroy.com or for his indoor cycling workout videos, visit www.spinervals.com