Maximise Your Training Hour


EXPERT: Erhard Wolfaardt, professional South African triathlete and former African triathlon champion and u/23 SA triathlon champion.

SESSION: This is a speed session designed to improve lactate threshold and increase strength. I normally use this set towards the end of a hard week. It is only 2.4km, but an effective way to boost your swimming.

• 100m backstroke, 200m freestyle, 100m backstroke
• Two sets of 4x50m with 30sec rest in between, and roughly 60sec rest between sets.

MAIN SET: Two rounds of the following:
• 100m at maximum effort, rest 90sec.
• 2x50m at maximum effort, rest 60sec.
• 4x25m at maximum effort, rest 30sec.
Do an easy 200m of mixed strokes before tackling the next round.
Finish with a kick set: 8x50m freestyle kick with 30sec rest. Alternate doing one easy and one hard.

COOL-DOWN: 100m backstroke, 200m freestyle, 100m backstroke

TIP: If you are a stronger swimmer, do three rounds of the main set.

EXPERTS: Malcolm Lange, South African cycling great with 409 major road race victories and Dr. Jeroen Swart, Team Bonitas Coach.

SESSION: Neuromuscular efficiency
One of the key components of top cyclists is the ability to utilise a large group of muscles throughout the pedalling action. This requires strengthening the small muscles such as the hip flexors and calf muscle and also improving the co-ordination of the contraction so that muscles that oppose each other don’t co-contract and waste energy.

WARM-UP: 10min at low intensity at a self selected cadence

• 4min at a low cadence (40-50rpm) in a heavy gear. Just enough resistance to need to pull the pedal up on the back of the pedal stroke and up and over into the power phase. You should just be getting breathless at the end of the 4min.
• Follow with 6min at very high cadence (100-120rpm), but against very low resistance. This stimulates the nervous system into developing the correct speed and co-ordination of the contraction.
• Repeat 4 times.

COOL-DOWN: 10min at low intensity and self selected cadence

EXPERT: Ray Orchison, Captain of the Bedfordview Performance Squad with a Comrades PB of 7:18.

SESSION: The key to getting faster is to develop leg strength and power. A great way to achieve this is to find a short, steep hill (approximately 100m) and do quick short bursts up the incline. This will build leg power and strength while giving you a speed session at the same time.

WARM-UP: Easy 15-20min jog

• 8-12 repeats up the hill (100m). Run hard and pump your arms in order to work up the hill, focus on correct running form (slight lean from the ankles into the hill, head up).
• Once at the top, walk or jog very slowly back to the bottom and repeat.

COOL-DOWN: Very easy 15-20min jog