Arena Carbon Tri Suit
The reasons I hesitate to utilize this kind of training is that I find the gains in fitness tend to diminish back to the pre-focus levels upon returning to normal training. There is also a risk of injury if the increase in workload is too dramatic, or maintained for too long. This can be mitigated by keeping the focus period short, then allowing for adaptation, then perhaps repeating the focus. So when should a competitor commit to a short focus period? The answer is simple – when technical gains can be made, or the athlete’s situation dictates that one or two of the disciplines aren’t possible or available. A good example of this is when you find yourself on a vacation where cycling and swimming are a challenge, but running is readily available. A run focus is all that’s left to you, but you had better do it wisely or, again, injury is a risk.
So the athlete has gone from swimming three times a week to five times a week and the volume has gone from 10,000 to almost 14,000 m. That’s a big increase, but without a lot of intensity added. With additional rest from reducing time biking and running, it should be manageable.
In the second of four weeks, an additional, short aerobic session could be added to Day 7. Focus on the new technical queues you should be learning. Your weekly total will now be near 16,000 m.
In the third week add 10 per cent to each session in terms of both volume and intensity. Your total will now be clost to 17,500 m or more.
In the fourth week add another 10 per cent in volume and intensity. That should put you over 19,000 m. Almost double what you started at.
Follow this up with a fifth week where you return to 10,000 metres, then try to maintain 12,000 to 14,000 m going forward.
Maintaining strength and fitness is easier than gaining it. If you can maintain a slightly higher workload than you were doing prior to the focus, you should find that you will be able to hold onto some of the fitness gains you have made during your focus.
But, more importantly, the technical gains you make – the improvements to your stroke – should stay with you for your athletic life.
Clint Lien is a senior coach with Mercury Rising Triathlon. mercuryrisingtriathlon.com
Thanks to a combination of the same material you saw used in the Olympic swimsuits worn by a number of athletes in Rio and a compression design that keeps you streamlined through the water, Arena’s Carbon Tri Suit is a perfect option for non-wetsuit swims where you are looking for an edge. The minimal chamois provides lots of support and comfort on the bike, but isn’t too much to restrict you once you’re out on the run course. The compression built into this suit feels great during all three legs of the race. It might be an expensive suit, but for those looking to push to the limit – especially in a draft-legal race where seconds can make all the difference – the Carbon Tri is worth a look.