20 Minute Quick Run

This is a running workout that my sister-in-law introduced to me awhile back.  I think she got it from a Body for Life book.  When all I have is 20 minutes it's a great workout to do.  It's intense.  It's quick.  And I am sweating my brains out by the end of it.

I am going to list the MPH I run at, but find whatever is your equivalent...whether it be higher or lower.  Just follow the pattern.

2 min. -- 5 mph (warm up/jog)

1 min. -- 6 mph
1 min. -- 7 mph
1 min. -- 8 mph
1 min. -- 9 mph
REPEAT 4 TIMES. When you finish your 9 mph run, go back to 6 and then up again. On the last one go up to 10 mph for 1 min. (so it will be 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

1 min. -- 5 or 6 mph (cool down)

Try to push yourself on speeds that will make you work, but that you can complete.  Adjust where needed.  Each time you do this workout you can try to go up slightly in speeds.

Keep your head in the run.  You'll be surprised how fast this workout goes when each minute is different.



If you are new to triathlon there is a very good chance you think this:

"Oh, the bike portion, that's easy.  I'm not worried about that at all."

I have some news for you...you're wrong.  Sorry, it's better that I break it to you now than later.  This isn't a nice leisurely stroll through the neighborhood with the kids...it's a race!

The bike portion is the largest portion of any triathlon and if you want to do it right, it's not easy.  It takes a lot of work and energy to bike well.  And that starts with training well.

This workout will help you learn how to push hard, which is a big part of the challenge with biking.  Since you're tired from your swim or run (depending on what you did first), and you're sitting down, it can be easy to want to just coast along on your bike.  But it's really just a matter of training right to make sure you don't do that.  You need to be physically and mentally prepared.

Here is a 30 minute bike workout that will help get you on track:

5 min easy/warm up

1 min fast
30 secs easy

5 min medium speed (find an RPM to stay above)

1 min fast
30 secs easy

5 min fast speed (find an RPM to stay above)

Again, you know that fast means F-A-S-T!  So really push it on those intervals.  You get 30 secs rest after each hard minute....

...so earn it. :)


Not Your Grandmother's Run...

Running.  I've got a love-hate relationship with it, that's for sure.  First mile=always hate.  Last 10 seconds=always love.  Days I don't run=hate.  The rest of the day after I run=love love love.  Just try to focus on the largest portion of happiness.  20-30 minutes of being uncomfortable running is worth it for 16 hours of happiness for having done it. :)  20-30 extra minutes in bed isn't worth the remaining 16 hours of self loathing I have for not doing it.  Perspective people, it's all perspective.

Here is a workout that will help you build speed in your triathlon run.  Don't make the mistake of just running for distance as you train.  Speed training is very important and essential to maximize your race day results.  These workouts are shorter but more intense than other running workouts you may be used to.  It's important to push yourself on these workouts.  One of my favorites sayings is "Intensity Matters!" You can quote me on that. :)

Treadmill Fartlek Ladder (if you can say that without giggling you're a true athlete)

15 secs fast
15 secs off
30 secs fast
30 secs off
45 secs fast
45 secs off
1 min fast
1 min off
1:15 fast
1:15 off
1:30 fast
1:30 off
1:45 fast
1:45 off
2 min fast
2 min off
1:45 fast
1:45 off
...and so on, back on down to 15 secs

Now, when I say "fast", I mean F-A-S-T.  Just to give you an example, I think I start my 15 secs fast at about 13 mph on the treadmill.  If that is too fast for you, don't worry, just start at a speed that is a full out sprint, whatever that may be for YOU.  I do taper my speed some as I increase in time, but I come up with a speed that I won't go below.  For example, since I know that 2 minutes is the longest I have to run without stopping I know that I can run at a 9.5 on the treadmill.  It will be really hard, especially because of all the runs I will have done before it, but if I don't set that goal I will be doing my 2 minute "fast" at about 4 mph.  It is important to set goals and gages before you start a workout.  If you have never done it before, you may have to make adjustments as you go along, but don't let that prevent you from setting goals.  Next time you should have a better idea of what speeds you can hold.

Now RUN!


Just Keep Swimming, Swimming, Swimming...

...What do we do we swim, swim, swim!

Just a little Finding Nemo for you there.  It does go through my brain a lot when I swim.

Okay, this is a great swim workout to help build speed.  I see people get in the pool and swim slow lap after slow lap after slow lap.  I have news for you folks, you're not doing yourself much good.  To have an effective swim workout it needs to be focused and purpose driven.  You need to be working on something every lap, even when you warm up.  You'll actually realize it's a lot less boring this way.  If you've ever wondered how swimmers, runners, bikers, etc. don't get bored out of their minds, this is how...they are always actively working on something.  And "actively" means they are mentally tuned in to what they are doing.  I tell my swimmers for their warm up laps just to focus on lengthening out their stroke.  As they focus on extension and rotation, even as they warm up, their stroke is getting concentrated work so it will take less focus as you fine tune other parts of your stroke.

Phew!  Now that we have that out of the way here's the workout.

200 yd warm up (Focus on extension and rotation.  As you fully extend your arm your body will naturally rotate.  I tell my swimmers to pretend like they are reaching for something just out of reach.  Try this out of water.  You'll notice as you do this your other should drops down and the arm you are reaching with is able to extend just a few inches more, and your body has just naturally rotated.  If you can grab a few inches more of water every stroke you will be much more efficient as you swim).

5 x 50 yd swims--catch up drill* down, regular freestyle back...take 10 secs rest between each 50

6 x 50 yd swims on the 1 minute send off** (if that is too fast for you try the 1:10 or 1:15 send off)

3 x 100 yd IMs OR freestyle on the 1:45, 2:00, or 2:15 send off

5 minute kick--20 secs hard, 10 secs easy until 5 minutes is up

100 yd cool down

*Catch up drill--This is a freestyle drill.  Start with both hands out in front and start kicking.  Bring one arm around and as soon as it gets out in front of you, next to the other hand, then send the other arm around.  The one hand is always trying to "catch" the other hand.

** Send offs--the importance of doing swims on a send off is to help build speed and stamina.  Pushing yourself to stay on a send off is very different than just taking 10 secs rest between each lap.  If you are swimming on your own, without a coach, it is even more important to try to stay on a send off.

Happy Swimming!



I am going to post a FREE workout every monday from now until the TRI Catching Cupid Reverse Sprint Triathlon that will be on February 11, 2012.

Here is my favorite one right now:

3 mile bike
1 mile run
3 mile bike
1 mile run
3 mile bike

I call it Bike Mac because the bikes are the "buns" and the runs are the "hamburger patties" and I like to think up names for workouts while I'm working out because that's what my brain does. :)

This workout is really good to help your legs get used to transitioning. When you triathlon train it's very important to train your legs for switching from biking to running or running to biking, depending on the triathlon.

Try to do the 3 mile bikes under 10 minutes each (under 9 minutes if you're a rock star!).
Try to do the run at about 90-95% of your fastest mile pace. It should be fast!

Have fun playing with your speed and times on this workout.

I love it!