21 Feb, 2017

60 Minutes: Maximise your training hour

60 Minutes: Maximise your training hour

EXPERT: Andries Lodder, qualified biokineticist, lecturer in Exercise Science (HFPA) and Ironman 2011 finisher.

SESSION: Russian Steps Spinning Class
Spinning offers potentially very high leg speed (cadence in excess of 200rpm), which is just about impossible on normal bikes. Take advantage of this to develop great leg speed by improving your fast twitch muscle fibres.

WARM-UP: 5min with light resistance and comfortable cadence, peaking at 70% of your max heart rate, 30sec acceleration and then recovery till back to 70%.
• 10sec flat-out sprint, 50sec recovery
• 20sec flat-out sprint, 40sec recovery
• 30sec flat-out sprint, 30sec recovery
• 40sec flat-out sprint, 20sec recovery
• 50sec flat-out sprint, 10sec recovery
• 1min flat-out sprint, 5min recovery
• Repeat 3 times
COOL-DOWN: 5min recovery followed by static stretches.

TIP: All sprints should be done with light resistance and very high cadence. If there is no resistance, your muscles don’t have anything to contract against and this increases your chances of getting injured.

EXPERT: Barry Holland, 39 consecutive Comrades Marathons, including 22 sub-7:30 times as well as a best time of 6:29.

SESSION: Fartlek
Our racing calendar is filled with shorter races at this time of year, and to race faster in them you have to train faster, at least one session a week.

WARM-UP: 15-20min easy run (+/- 3km)
MAIN SET: 22min (+/- 5km) fartlek
• Choose a route that is as flat as possible.
• The session consists of 11 intervals of 2 minutes.
• Start with a fast 2min interval and alternate fast, slow, fast to end on a fast interval.
• Your fast interval should be very intense, at about 80% of your maximum speed.
• Your slow interval should be much slower, allowing recovery before the next fast interval.
COOL-DOWN: 12-14min easy run (+/- 2km)

TIP: Always use the same route for your fartlek session. Make a note of where you get to at the end of 22 minutes and use this as a measure of your improvement week on week.

Georgie Thomas, owner and operator of Total Immersion Swimming South Africa, triple Ironman finisher and competitor at the 70.3 Half Ironman World Champs and World Long Distance Triathlon Champs. (

SESSION: This session will increase your ability to maintain focus on technique for the entire race distance/time, but swim fitness will also increase.

WARM-UP: 500m freestyle
• Focus on relaxed, long strokes.
• Don’t try to raise your heart rate.
• Check your form constantly.
• Feel that the pace is leisurely.
MAIN SET: 10 x 100m (15sec rest between each set)
• Maintain the same strokes per length (SPL) and time throughout.
• Focus on form.
COOL-DOWN: 500m freestyle
• Relax and focus on maintaining form.

TIP: Keeping your workouts simple allows you to focus on technique, not counting or thinking about what comes next or where you are. As you progress, you can increase the number of repeats to 20 x 100m.