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How to Make a Step Change?

Morning all.
I've been doing Triathlons with varying degrees of seriousness over the past 5 years and really want some advise on how to make that step change from being really quite rubbish to actually getting in aongst the middle of the pack.

Brief history;
2006 Lonond Sprint - 1hr 55min (1st Tri and it was all about finishing)
2007 London Sprint - 1hr 47min (Just want to beat last year and managed it)
2008 London Sprint - 1hr 52min (all went wrong, cramp etc ended up in 1st aid tent. Decided to take it a bit more seriosu and joined a running club)
2009 London Sprint - 1hr 35min (Easy peasy, run training paid off and decided to trade up)
2010 London Olympic - 3hr 13min (wanted 3hrs and was on course off the bike but legs gave on the run)

I've done a few local event in amongst those but its London I generally have as my main event for the year that I judge myself on.

SoI've identified I need to get down the gym and strengthen my legs and also keep the miles up on Bike and Run training but that just seems to be keeping me still, I don't feel like I'm getting faster.
There must be something I can do to make the STEP change from a 3hr 13 to a 2hour 50 Olympic, from a consistent 52min 10k to a easy 47min 10k

Any thoughts and ideas will be geatfully appreciated.



  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    If you register with http://www.runnersworld.co.uk
    You have access to all sorts of training tips, I think this link works if you are not registered:
    http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/racing/th ... 0k/84.html

    You may want to also look here:
    http://www.runningplanet.com/training/1 ... kouts.html

    Of course you also need to plan your bike leg so that you minimise the 'jelly leg' transition from bike to run which depends on your bike fit/geometry

    Try leg extensions in the gym, if you up your running you lean down on muscle mass which can lead to increased injury and also impats on your cycling; 3 sets of 10 reps starting at about 20% of your body weight

    Don't forget your post workout nutition as you need to get protein in ASAP i.e. starting within 5mins if poss - whey protein is rapidly absorbed and don't forget carbs so a drink bottle with whey powder and dextrose kept with you, as soon as you finish add water, shake drink. You can get flavoured whey powder to make it more palatable
  • largeadelargeade Posts: 166
    3h13 olympic? Sounds like you are not aerobically fit. I wasnt either; for context I did 2hr40 at London in 2009 @ 40 yrs old.

    With experience I now reckon its about pace at a given heart rate. You'll have an optimal heart rate you'll be able to sustain for a given time, and that will correspond directly to a particular pace/time over a distance.

    It took marathon training to speed me up.

    I've gone from 5:00/km @ 155bpm heart rate to 5:00/km @ 148bpm, and I've knocked 7 minutes off my half marathon and 3 mins off my 10km PBs.

    With the right training you can increase speed for the same effort (heart rate). It has been a revelation to me, which no doubt everyone else has known about for years.

    It was hard work mind, and consistency is key, and going long is the quickest method I've found so far to make major, and unexpected, gains.

  • jasejase Posts: 47
    Thanks for the reply gents.

    Conehead - much as I'd love to sell up and train for a living reality won;t let me (I'm never going to be good enough at Tri to pay the mortgage on my winnings) - but thanks for the dream

    Zacnici & Largeade - Thanks for the thoughts. I got looking back through my training records and found 2 interesting things that make you both right.
    The best 10km time I've done was 50min and that was done after several weeks of sprints sets with my running club.
    Also checked out my heart rates and my average is always pretty high - must be pushing too hard.

    So think I will be taking it a bit easier on the longer runs to keep the heartrate down but adding that extra sprint session in each week.
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