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TrainingZone

Train smart. race fast.

your Nienwg Trainzine maga

explained

speed limits

contents

This month

Nail open water – indoors

the 6-week bike climb plan

Start summer’s training now with these pool-based exercises

Be crowned king of the hill with our six-week cycling training plan

fuel up well for less

learn the best tri stretch

Save money with this sound advice on sports nutrition

The simple move that’ll make you feel better after training FEBRUARY 2014

63


TrainingZone pep talk

“I no longer have the sexiest bike in transition. Someone recently commented that I now resemble a low-budget 1980s Tour de France cyclist” Success in triathlon is all about hard work and consistency, not splashing your cash on the latest, flashiest kit, says Phil Mosley

D

o you ever look back on all the money you’ve spent on triathlon and wonder if you could have spent it more wisely? This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and there’s a pattern emerging. It all started a couple of years ago when I sold my trusty TT bike and bought a new one that looked like a spaceship on two wheels. The problem was that what it offered in terms of sexiness, it lacked in practicality. It was nigh-on impossible to adjust the bars or saddle height, and the aero brakes had all the stopping power of a hovercraft. The owner of my local bike shop reckoned the only prize I’d win on it would be ‘Best in Show’. He was right. After six months, the stem broke and I crashed, breaking my elbow. It was a similar story with my new tyres. I was foolishly tempted by the manufacturer’s claims of lower rolling resistance, so I peeled off my old faithfuls and stuck on these lightweight, expensive, hand-stitched tyres that were smoother than Kojak’s head. The result? I punctured in my first race. Since breaking my elbow I’ve adopted a more cautious approach to kit. No more risks. No more bleeding-edge technology. I 64

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no longer have the sexiest bike in transition and someone recently commented that I now resemble a low-budget 1980s Tour de France cyclist. But at least I have reliability on my side. This change of outlook gave me the inspiration for a couple of the features in this issue of Training Zone. One is about buying the right bike kit while the other is about maintaining a healthy diet without spending a fortune. I’ve learned that in order

to succeed at triathlon you need consistency rather than flashy kit, so this kind of info is worth its weight in gold. So, the next time you’re about to blow your monthly budget on a carbon bottle cage, read through this issue of Training Zone instead. Chances are you’ll find something more useful and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg – or an elbow in my case.

Phil Mosley Coaching editor —

The brains behind Training Zone is Phil Mosley, an elite triathlete, former national duathlon champion and coach with a degree in sports science. He also trains individuals at myprocoach.net

Forget bike envy – focus on your training and diet instead, and you’ll soon reap the rewards


t c e j b O Of e Desir ENVE

Aero bar

AErodynamic and adjustable, the stunning debut aerobar by enve unnecessary. Included are reversible extensions with multiple width options; pads can be bolted on the inside or outside of them with a 55mm height range. The extensions can be cut from J-bend to S-bend or a straight extension and cut points for each bend are helpfully indicated. The weight – dependent on which spacers are used – ranges from 680g to 787g, while ENVE claim a 2w saving over benchmarks from PRO and USE.

Words Tom Freeman Photos Simon Lees

C

reated in collaboration with aerodynamics expert Simon Smart, ENVE’s first set of aerobars has what it takes to compete with the best. The level of adjustability offered by the aerobar is its strongest draw, featuring a base bar with a forward sweep that can be inverted for a higher hand position on the cowhorns. An additional benefit to this sleek shape is that it allows for smoother internal cable routing. The brake hoods are coated with an anti-slip material making applying your own bar tape

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TrainingZone

Explained

Find your best speedwork pace

team talk: speeding up

Improve your running speed and economy at any race distance with vVO2 max training, says Elizabeth Hufton

R

unning faster can be achieved in so many different ways: extra steady-state running, training at threshold pace, sprinting, working out your race heart-rate, even having lab tests done to work out your optimal training zones. But even the most dedicated triathletes may be missing one crucial measure that could help them speed up: vVO2 max. make it work

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Not to be confused with VO2 max – a measure of the maximum oxygen your body can use during exercise – the term vVO2 max means velocity at VO2max; the minimum speed at which you hit your maximum oxygen usage. Training at vVO2 max is an idea that comes from a French sport scientist, Veronique Billat, who was looking for a way that runners could train at VO2 max for the most time possible. Training at such a high intensity has

“If you want to run faster but you’re not ready for vVO2 max training try threshold training first: do intervals (5 to 10mins) at 85% of your max.”

Tom Ballard Senior writer

obvious benefits but, because it’s so hard, it’s not something most of us can do all that often. Billat took a group of already-fit endurance runners (with half marathon PBs under 1hr 30mins) and had them train consistently for four weeks, six times per week. One of those sessions was a vVO2 max session and one a standard threshold training session, the rest were easy. At the end of her trial their vVO2 max had improved by 3% and their running economy (the ability to run fast for less oxygen) had improved by 6%; in terms of race performance, after seven months of training Billat’s athletes saw improvements of five to seven minutes over a half marathon. So how do you get a piece of the action to see improvements like that? First you need to work out your vVO2 max which, strictly speaking, you need to do with the help of a sport scientist and a lab. You’d undergo a gasexchange analysis on a treadmill, increasing intensity gradually until you reached VO2 max and the speed at which this happened would be your vVO2 max. You’d also measure your tlimvVO2 max: how long you can actually hold your vVO2 max. Don’t worry though, you can take a shortcut if you don’t have access to that kind of testing. Billat found that, on average, people could sustain their vVO2max for six minutes, so a shortcut into this type of training is to find how far you can run in six minutes (on a track) and use that to calculate your vVO2 max. You can then use this value to start training using the sessions below; begin with the 30-30 workout and save the 3-3 for spring, towards race season, when you really need that top-end speed. Of course, this training makes you faster, so don’t forget to re-test yourself every six to eight weeks to find your new vVO2 max. And if you want to get really serious, book yourself that lab test.

three sessions to improve your running speed and economy On a track, do 10mins warm-up, then 30secs at vVO2 max with 30secs recovery at 50% of the pace. Stop when you can’t run at vVO2 max for 30secs FEBRUARY 2014

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After 4-6 weeks of 30/30 sessions, do intervals of 1min at vVO2 max with 1min recoveries at half the speed (covering half the distance)

3/3

Save this session for nearer race day. Here you’re running 3min intervals at vVO2 max and your 3min recoveries should stay easy


TrainingZone to a normal breathing cycle, to complete each length.

3

ANOXIC breathing

4

Two-beat kick

5

Drafting

Taking fewer breaths while swimming is a great way to get used to the stress of an openwater start and it can also help improve your swimming efficiency. The ability to breathe on both sides also means you can avoid things like crashing waves or the glare of the sun on race day. Try swimming sets where you breathe every three, five and seven strokes, breathing out rather than holding your breath throughout, and focusing on staying calm and avoiding tension. The more you do this, the less likely the oxygen-starved panic at the beginning of a race will cause distress. You’ll tire more quickly though, so be wary of your lungs’ limits in order to stay safe.

Explained

Open-water swim maintenance Keep your open-water swimming up to scratch in the pool with these tips from Tom Ballard

O

nce your wetsuit has been carefully folded away and put into hibernation for the holidays, it’s all too easy to forget about the open-water skills you worked on developing throughout the year. This guide is designed to keep your racing skills in tip-top shape during the off-season or help you prepare you for your first open-water swim in 2014. You can add each of these to existing swim sessions or string them together to focus solely on outdoor technique without leaving the comfort of the pool.

1

Sighting

Get used to swimming with your head up and your goggles just out of the water, being mindful to not let your legs drop and create excess drag. Put a brightly-

coloured drinks bottle at the end of your lane and practise catching a glimpse of it as you swim. You can either look up – not lifting your chin from the water – then turn your head to breathe, or breathe to the side and then look up briefly before returning your head to its neutral position in the water. Practise both types on both sides of your stroke to find what works for you.

2

Race starts

Emulate the intensity of race starts during pool training by sculling for 5m and then pausing, palms up to avoid moving forward, before blitzing out the next 10-15m as head-up swimming with a fast turnover, to imitate the furious pace set as the klaxon goes off in an event. Ease into your normal stroke, taking care to lengthen your body and return

Make it work for you

Open-water toys These pool toys can help keep your outdoor swimming skills alive over winter Buoyancy Shorts New from Zone3, these neoprene shorts raise your body position like a wetsuit and are pool-friendly Pullbuoy A pullbuoy can be used to alter body position as well as help with rotation and other technique drills Fins Using short but flexible swimming fins to exaggerate your kick can help cement better technique and improve strength

With a wetsuit to aid buoyancy, the open-water kick is more for balance than propulsion. In the pool, practise timing a strong left-leg kick as your left arm pulls through – this should be approximately as your right hand just enters the water – and repeat on each side. Known as a two-beat kick, this helps to keep legs in time with upper-body rotation, increases efficiency and saves your legs for the bike portion of the race. Most pools operate a ‘swimming in circles’ policy, with each lane moving in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. Take advantage of this by finding a training partner or fellow swimmer who’s slightly faster than you and drafting on their toes just as you would in a race without worrying about collision. Stay about 1ft behind and get used to the effect this has on your stroke – you may need to adjust your cadence due to being pulled along by the athlete in front. If you can do this and sight at the same time, you’ll have one up on the opposition when the season starts. Just be sure the other swimmer doesn’t mind you tagging along or you may become a victim of lane rage!

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TrainingZone Training

Staying race sharp and ready to win Meet the expert Eddie Fletcher Preparation for the season went well and you’ll now be in the mindset of competing, but how do you not only maintain the fitness you’ve built during the off-season but also increase that all-important race sharpness? The key is to not just maintain your base aerobic fitness without causing unnecessary fatigue, but to also introduce intervals based on your power and heart rate training zones into your training programme in order to improve your race speed. What is interval training? Interval training is a term that many will be familiar with, but for those who are new to the concept, it’s essential to understand just why they are so useful during the season. Interval training involves timed periods of moderate to high intensity work followed by a measured recovery period (this is normally time or your heart rate recovery). An important note here

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is that the body will adapt to the time and intensity of the intervals, but it does not recognise distance. The time and intensity of the intervals are variable, but should be specific to the event you are training for. When planning your intervals, it is important to have a clear objective - keep it race specific and achievable. This is where the training zones come in. You should also consider the number of intervals, the time duration of these, and the recovery. By making these progressive as you work towards your race, it will allow your body adapt to the demands you are placing on it. How will intervals help me? Improving your aerobic capacity improves your body’s ability to work at moderate to high intensity. As you improve, you will produce greater power for the same physiological output, so you’ll go faster and not work harder! What intervals should I do? Think of a pyramid, where you have a large base and a very pointy top. Set your intervals

over the next 8-12 weeks of the race season as if you are working at different timescales in the pyramid, with the base meaning longer timed duration intervals and the top being shorter timed intervals, working at the top end of your training zones remember, the body only recognises time and intensity! Some example sessions for you to try: • 2 x 15’ @ Z3, cadence over 85 with 5’ rec @ Z1 between sets • 6 x 4’ @ Z3, cadence over 85 with 5’ rec @ Z1 between sets • 2 x 90” with 90” recovery @ Z1, 3 x 60” with 90” recovery @ Z1 @ Z1, 4 x 30” @ Z5 with 30” recovery @ Z1 Good luck with your racing!


TrainingZone

Climb 10 seconds faster in six weeks Race a hill-climb or just leave your mates behind with coaching editor Phil Mosley’s training plan

W

power and your weight. Your power refers to how hard and fast you pedal, while your weight is a combination of you, your bike and all your kit. To improve your cycling power you’ll need to train at certain intensities on the bike and include some weight training if possible. We’ll cover this in the plan. The harder task is reducing your riding weight. It’s been estimated that just one kilogram of excess weight on a moderate gradient at a fixed cycling effort costs you about three seconds per kilometre. The best place to start shaving weight is on your bike. You

e all know that feeling. One minute, you’re happily riding along with your friends and the next minute, they’re disappearing into the distance as you struggle to fight your way up a big hill. If that sounds familiar, this six-week training plan will help you to avoid being the rider everyone has to wait for. It focuses mainly on cycling, but includes enough swimming and running to maintain your fitness. In simple terms, riding faster uphill is mostly about two things: your 6 week plan

training zones guide

Description Heart Rate (%Max)

Rpe 1-10

Accumulated Intensity

z1 Recovery

55-70

<2

1-6hrs

Easy

z2 Endurance

70-75

2-3

1-3hrs

Steady

z3 Tempo

75-80

3-4

50-90mins

Comfortable

z4 Threshold

80-88

4-6

10-60mins

Uncomfortable

z5 Vo2 max

89-100

>7

12-30mins

Hard to very hard

70

FEBRUARY 2014

key ALT Alternating between, BUILD Do each rep slightly faster, DRILL Your choice of swim drill, FC Front crawl, KICK Kick with a float held out in front, MAIN Main set, PULL Front crawl with a pullbuoy between your thighs, STRIDES Run for 20secs, building speed, WU Warm up, WD Warm down

is this plan for you?

Goal Knock 10 seconds off a three-minute bike climb Timescale 6 weeks Start point Bike 1hr Level Beginner to intermediate

don’t need to spend a fortune on new parts, just cut down on any unnecessary items. Things like heavy saddlebags, chunky mudguards and extra water bottles add up, while rotating parts like wheels and pedals make an even bigger difference. If you feel you need to lose body fat, long rides are your secret weapon. You can expect to burn around 1,200 calories in a two-hour steady weekend cycle, which is partly why they’re included in this training plan. Train consistently for six weeks, do your long rides and cut down on the bad stuff (booze and sugary things) and you’ll lose weight. Before you start, there are a few things to note. For simplicity’s sake the swims are given as ‘main set’ only but you should incorporate a warm-up and warm-down too. So at the beginning of your swims, include a few hundred metres of front crawl, drills, backstroke and kicking. For your warm-downs, do at least five minutes of gentle swimming. You should also check out the Key and Training Zones sections on this page, so that you know all of the abbreviations.

Photo: Russell Burton

training plan


TrainingZone Essential Workout

Week 3

Week 2

Week 1

Day

optional Workout

Mon

Weights

MAIN 2x20 reps of the following exercises (at 60% of your max load where appropriate) + 30sec rests: squats, hamstring curls, calf raises, abdominal crunches on a gym ball, lumbar hyper-extensions (‘Supermans’)

Bike

MAIN 30mins to 1hr Z1

Tue

Swim

MAIN 8x100m Z4 ALT 100m FC/100m PULL + 45sec rests

Run

MAIN 30-40mins Z1-Z2

Wed

Bike (indoors)

WU 10mins Z2, 4x60secs ALT 30secs Z5/30secs Z1 MAIN (8mins, 7mins, 6mins) Z4 + 3min Z1 recoveries WD 5mins Z1

Thur

Run

WU 10mins Z2, 4x STRIDES MAIN 7x200m Z4-Z5 + 20sec rests, 4min rest then repeat x1 WD 5mins Z1

Fri

recovery Swim

MAIN All in Z2: 400m ALT 50m DRILL/50m FC, 300m PULL, 400m ALT 25m DRILL/75m FC, 300mm PULL

recovery

recovery

Sat

Bike

WU 20mins Z2, 4x60secs ALT 30secs Z5/30secs Z1 MAIN Ride as hard as possible up a local hill. Time yourself and write it down WD 10mins Z1

recovery

Sun

Bike

MAIN 1-2hrs (depending on experience), mostly in Z2 but tackle the hills in Z3 in a big gear and at a low cadence of around 60rpm

recovery

Mon

Weights

MAIN 2x20 reps of the following exercises (at 60% of your max load where appropriate) + 30sec rests: squats, hamstring curls, calf raises, abdominal crunches on a gym ball, lumbar hyper-extensions (‘Supermans’)

Bike

MAIN 30mins to 1hr Z1

Tue

Swim

MAIN 2x200m FC Z3 + 30sec rests, 2x100m PULL Z3 + 20sec rests, 2x100m FC Z4 + 30sec rests

Run

MAIN 30-40mins Z1-Z2

Wed

Bike (indoors)

WU 10mins Z2, 4x60secs ALT 30secs Z5/30secs Z1 MAIN 2x12mins Z4 + 3min recovery in Z2 WD 5mins Z1

Thur

Run

WU 10mins Z2, 4x STRIDES MAIN 4x400m Z4-Z5 + 40sec rests, 3min rest then repeat x1 WD 5mins Z1

Fri

recovery Swim

MAIN (100m DRILL, 400m FC Z2, 100m DRILL, 300m PULL Z3, 100m DRILL, 200m FC Z4) + 30sec rests

recovery

recovery

Sat

Bike

WU 10mins Z2, 4x60secs ALT 30secs Z5/30secs Z1 MAIN 8x2mins Z5 up a hill (4-7% gradient). Freewheel back down for the recoveries WD 10mins Z1

recovery

Sun

Bike

MAIN Ride 1-2hrs (depending on experience), mostly in Z2 but tackle the hills in Z3 in a big gear and at a low cadence of around 60rpm

recovery

Mon

Weights

MAIN 3x10 reps of the following exercises (at 70-80% of your max load where appropriate) + 60sec rests: squats, hamstring curls, calf raises, abdominal crunches on a gym ball, lumbar hyper-extensions (‘Supermans’)

Bike

MAIN 30mins to 1hr Z1

Tue

Swim

MAIN 4x200m Z4 ALT 200m FC/200m PULL + 60sec rests

Run

MAIN 30-40mins Z1-Z2

Wed

Bike (indoors)

WU 10mins Z2, 4x60secs ALT 30secs Z5/30secs Z1 MAIN 3x9mins Z4 + 3min recoveries in Z1 WD 5mins Z1

Thur

Run

WU 10mins Z2, 4x STRIDES MAIN 6x800m Z4 + 2min jog rests WD 5mins Z1

Fri

recovery

recovery Swim

MAIN All in Z2: 400m ALT 50m DRILL/50m FC, 200m FC, 400m ALT 25m DRILL/75m FC, 200m PULL

recovery

Sat

Bike

WU 10mins Z2, 4x60secs ALT 30secs Z5/30secs Z1 MAIN 5x3mins Z5 up a hill (4-7% gradient). Freewheel back down for the recoveries WD 10mins Z1

recovery

Sun

Bike

MAIN 1hr 15mins to 2hrs 15mins (depending on experience), mostly in Z2 but tackle the hills in Z3 in a big gear and at a low cadence of around 60rpm

recovery FEBRUARY 2014

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TrainingZone essential Workout

Week 6

Week 5

Week 4

Day

72

optional Workout

Mon

Weights

MAIN 3x10 reps of the following exercises (at 70-80% of your max load where appropriate) + 60sec rests: squats, hamstring curls, calf raises, abdominal crunches on a gym ball, lumbar hyper-extensions (‘Supermans’)

Bike

MAIN 30mins to 1hr Z1

Tue

Swim

MAIN 400m PULL Z2 + 60sec rest, 300m FC Z3 + 45sec rest, 200m PULL Z4 + 30sec rest, 100m FC Z5

Run

MAIN 30-40mins Z1-Z2

Wed

Bike (indoors)

WU 10mins Z2, 4x60secs ALT 30secs Z5/30secs Z1 MAIN 15mins Z4, 10mins Z4 + 3mins Z1 recovery WD 5mins Z1

Thur

Run

WU 10mins Z2, 4x STRIDES MAIN 4x1,200m Z4 + 2min 30secs jog rests WD 5mins Z1

Fri

recovery Swim

MAIN All in Z2: 8x100m ALT 100m FC/100m DRILL/100m PULL/100m DRILL + 20sec rests

recovery

recovery

Sat

Bike

WU 10mins Z2, 4x60secs ALT 30secs Z5/30secs Z1 MAIN 10x2mins Z5 up a hill (4-7% gradient). Freewheel back down for the recoveries WD 10mins Z1

recovery

Sun

Bike

MAIN 1hr 15mins to 2hrs 15mins (depending on experience), mostly in Z2 but tackle the hills in Z3 in a big gear and at a low cadence of around 60rpm

recovery

Mon

Weights

MAIN 3x10 reps of the following exercises (at 70-80% of your max load where appropriate) + 60sec rests: squats, hamstring curls, calf raises, abdominal crunches on a gym ball, lumbar hyper-extensions (‘Supermans’)

Bike

MAIN 30mins to 1hr Z1

Tue

Swim

MAIN 400m Z2 ALT 50m FC/25m KICK, 8x50m FC BUILD + 15sec rests, 2x100m FC Z5 + 60sec rests

Run

MAIN 30-40mins Z1-Z2

Wed

Bike (indoors)

WU 10mins Z2, 4x60secs ALT 30secs Z5/30secs Z1 MAIN (10mins, 9mins, 8mins) Z4 + 3min recoveries in Z1 WD 5mins Z1

Thur

Run

WU 10mins Z2, 4x STRIDES MAIN 3x1,600m Z4 + 3min jog rests WD 5mins Z1

Fri

recovery Swim

recovery

MAIN All Z2 + 20sec rests: 200m DRILL, 200m PULL, 200m DRILL, 200m FC

recovery

Sat

Bike

WU 10mins Z2, 4x60secs ALT 30secs Z5/30secs Z1 MAIN 6x3mins Z5 up a hill (4-7% gradient). Freewheel back down for the recoveries WD 10mins Z1

recovery

Sun

Bike

MAIN 1hr 30mins to 2hrs 30mins (depending on experience), mostly in Z2 but tackle the hills in Z3 in a big gear and at a low cadence of around 60rpm

recovery

Mon

Weights

MAIN 3x10 reps of the following exercises (at 70-80% of your max load where appropriate) + 60sec rests: squats, hamstring curls, calf raises, abdominal crunches on a gym ball, lumbar hyper-extensions (‘Supermans’)

Bike

MAIN 30mins to 1hr Z1

Tue

Swim

MAIN 8x100m ALT 100m FC/100m PULL Z4 + 45sec rests

Run

MAIN 30-40mins Z1-Z2

Wed

Bike (Indoors)

WU 15mins Z2, 4x60secs ALT 30secs Z5/30secs Z1 MAIN 2x8mins + 3min recovery in Z1 WD 5mins Z1

Thur

Run

WU 10mins Z2, 4x STRIDES MAIN 4x800m Z4 + 2min jog rests WD 5mins Z1

Fri

recovery

recovery Swim, bike or run

MAIN (100m FC Z2, 200m PULL Z3, 300m FC Z4, 200m PULL Z3, 100m FC Z2) + 30sec rests

recovery

Sat

Bike

MAIN 1hr 30mins, mostly Z2

recovery

Sun

Bike

WU 20mins Z2, 4x60secs ALT 30secs Z5, 30secs Z1 MAIN Ride as hard as possible up the same hill as in Week 1. Time yourself and compare WD 10mins Z1

recovery

FEBRUARY 2014


TrainingZone

Fundamentals

Stretch your hamstrings effectively

3

Tackle triathletes’ tightest area with this simple but essential stretch get in position

Lie on the floor by an open doorway with your back flat and the leg you don’t want to stretch straight out in line with your body. Bend the knee of the other, stretching leg and put your foot against the wall, shuffling your backside right up against the wall.

1

1 straighten your stretching leg

2

Slide the foot of the leg you want to stretch up the wall until it’s straight. If this is just too tight and painful, rather than keeping your knee bent (which targets the glutes rather than the hamstrings), shuffle your body away from the wall so there’s less of a bend at the hip joint.

2 keep your back in neutral

Once you’re in the stretch, check that your spine is in neutral. One of the benefits of stretching your hamstring this way is that you can’t cheat – the traditional foot-up-on-awall hamstring stretch allows you to compensate

for tight hamstrings and glutes by bending your back rather than bending from the hip. So use the floor to keep your back straight and hips in line.

breathe easy

If you’re a typically tight triathlete, this stretch will be challenging. Breathe deeply in the stretch and aim to hold it for 30-40 seconds, building up to a minute on each side. 3

flex your foot

For a deeper stretch and to get your calves and sciatic nerve involved too, flex the foot of your stretching leg, stretching your toes towards you. It won’t be comfy, but if you feel intense tingling in the foot then you may have lower back problems that need the help of a physio.

double up

Use a version of this stretch, with both legs up, to relieve heavy legs after a hard training session.

FEBRUARY 2014

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4

Do the maths

5

Think before you drink

Weigh up cost versus nutrients and calories. A fast-food burger plus fries will fill you up for an hour or so. A homemade Aberdeen Angus steak mince burger, flash fried and popped into a ciabatta roll, and served with nutrient-rich sweet potato wedges, will cost you less than the burger per portion. It’ll be more nutritious and infinitely more delicious. With a tin of tomatoes, spices, a jar of peppers and some bacon pieces, you’ll have a tasty “store cupboard sauce” for brown rice or pasta. Swap pricey energy bars for the homemade variety – 12 flapjacks packed with oats, dried fruit and nuts only take 20 minutes to bake.

quick guide

Eat well for less in the off-season

Kate Percy outlines six great ways to maximise your nutrition that won’t leave you stony broke

T

riathletes are a ravenous bunch. Not surprising, really – an average week’s training can burn as many as 5,000 extra calories, even more for some. With food prices rocketing by 17 percent since 2008, it can be hard to eat well without breaking the bank. Luckily, wholesome and unrefined foods are cheaper than processed ones, and they’re exactly what triathletes need to power their way through winter.

1

Ditch ready meals

Ready meals are costly and the portions are too small for triathletes. Cooking from scratch gives you more bang for your buck, plus better-quality calories to fuel your muscles. Scratch food can be fast, too. For example, fresh pasta cooks in three minutes. Blitz some basil, garlic, olive oil, parmesan and 74

FEBRUARY 2014

pine nuts for homemade pesto and you’ve got a nutritious bowl of food for less than R30 per portion.

2

Bargain hunt

3

Eke it out

Save serious cash by doing your supermarket shop online and searching for bargains. Plan your meals according to what’s on offer, make a shopping list for the week ahead and stick to it. This stops you overspending as a result of impulsive “hungry shopping”. Choose foods that stretch over several meals – a whole chicken, for instance. Have roast chicken one night, sizzling fajitas the next, then eat the leftovers sauteed with some vegetables. Lastly, boil up the bones to make stock for a nourishing risotto.

team talk: reaching the top

Online grocery shopping is the way forward for time-strapped, hungry triathletes. The delivery fees are easily outweighed by the time and petrol-money savings. It’s important to keep your kitchen well stocked, so that you can tuck into healthy grub as soon as you’ve finished training.

Phil Mosley Coaching editor

Sports nutrition products put a strain on the purse. Milk, packed with carbohydrate, protein and electrolytes, makes an excellent alternative. Blend a banana and egg white with milk, add drinking chocolate or honey, and you’ve got a perfectly-balanced 4:1 carb:protein recovery drink. Or dilute 250ml apple juice with 250ml water, add a pinch of salt and you’ll have as many carbs and electrolytes as the average sports drink, plus added vitamin C.

6

Super saver

Antioxidant-rich ‘superfoods’ will help protect you from winter viruses. They don’t have to be expensive; many fruits and vegetables, nuts, pulses and wholegrains are classed as superfoods. Eggs, peanut butter, apples and tinned fish are packed with health-giving phytochemicals. Add barley, lentils, pulses and starchy veg to soups, stews and curries. Swap sugary packaged cereals for nutrientrich, warming porridge. Kate Percy is the author of a new eBook, FuelSmart for Race Day, which is full of great advice and recipes.

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Triathlon Plus Training Plan Feb 2014  
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