Thirsty (for knowledge) Thursday: a GREAT Sprint Tri or Duathlon Workout

>> Thursday, July 24, 2014

In this week's "Thirsty Thursday" segment, I thought I'd share that awesome/killer/horrible duathlon workout I like to do. This is a GREAT workout for tuning up for a sprint tri or duathlon. CLICK HERE for details on this workout from a duathlon clinic that I went to a few years ago - I think you'll have to click through to page 2 of the article for more on this specific workout. Click that link above for more details on the workout, but it's basically 4 intervals of hard biking and fast 1 mile runs. The biking is 9:30 for each, and it's 30 seconds hard followed by 30 seconds of easy spinning. It's a leg-trashing workout!

I had tried a bit of hard running earlier last week to make sure it wouldn't aggravate my ankle - I was 99% sure it wouldn't be a problem, and I was right. Brother-in-law Matt came over to workout with me, and he brought his fiancée Angela to do it as well. And I invited 2x relay partner Jeremy too. We got set up in the garage and we took off:

Warm Up on Trainer (easy-moderate with 1 pick-up): 10:02
Transition: 0:10
1 mile run: 2:58, 3:07 = 6:05

I hit the first 0.25 mile in 1:25. "Yeah Steve, 5:40 pace? You're gonna die. Stop it." I backed off a bit and got back to the garage in 6:05 - surprisingly fast for my lack of speedwork lately!

I was the first one back in our group, so I (obviously) started my next interval. I snapped photos of everyone else once they were back on their bikes and I was on a "30 sec easy" spin:


Matt back on the bike behind me doing 30 secs hard.


Angela on her 30 sec break of easy spinning.


Jeremy going hard on his bike. (Note: you can see 2 ladders set up between
the 2 pairs of bikes, and I like to set those up to hold bottles and/or sweat rags.)

Transition: 0:20
Trainer (30 hard, 30 easy): 9:23
Transition: 0:12
1 mile run: 3:07, 3:08 = 6:15

OK, that 6:15 was more of what I was expecting, not the 6:05 I started with. When Jeremy got back, he said that he lost 30 seconds from his first run, so I didn't feel as bad losing just 10!

Oh, and before anyone got back, I snapped a shot of me back on the bike (it's awkward to take selfies around other people):


Sweaty. Gross. Look at how nasty my pits are. Look.

Transition: 0:24
Trainer (30 hard, 30 easy): 9:33
Transition: 0:13
1 mile run: 3:07, 3:06 = 6:13

OK, let's make the last one faster.


Angela transitioning to her final bike/run interval.

Transition: 0:22
Trainer (30 hard, 30 easy): 9:40
Transition: 0:11
1 mile run: 3:01, 3:01 = 6:02

Total time: 1:05:14

That's exactly 1 minute slower than the last time I did this workout with Matt. (And the vast majority of that 1 minute came from slower runs - and just a bit from slower transitions.) My FASTEST mile this time (6:02) was still slower than my SLOWEST mile last time (6:00). But really, after having not done ANY speed work for my running in the past 11 months, I can NOT complain. Seriously, the only hard running I've done since last August was the 1 mile run at the end of the YWCA Indoor Triathlon back in March.

I got photos of the other 3 on their final interval after I finished up:


Matt heading out on his final run.


Jeremy rounding the final corner back to the garage.


Angela thrilled to be finishing up.

I had to snap 2 final photos of under (sweaty) Matt's and (dainty) Angela's bikes:


Matt's sweat puddle. He ruined a perfectly good block of wood.


Under Angela's bike. Angela, you're welcome back ANY time.

This workout was given to me at a duathlon clinic a few years ago, but I also love it for before sprint triathlons. It'd be fine before longer races, but it really teaches you how to go fast and hard on tired legs.

This is more for my records than for anything else, but I've apparently done this workout 8 times now. Here's links to the first 7 times: first at the track with Marie, then a shorter version on the track with Matt, then near the track by myself, then out of my garage by myself, then out of my garage with friends on a HOT day, then on a chilly day in the garage with my Garmin, finally last fall with Matt.

p.s. I've been posting on a few Thursdays with the "Thirsty Thursday" tag. Click that link for posts tagged with that - you'll find informative bits of training information I thought were worth sharing.

Big race this weekend! Check my twitter and/or my instagram for race updates on Sunday!

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