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What does speed training mean?
For triathletes, speed training usually refers to:
  • Stimulation sessions of anaerobic energy systems, usually carried out beyond the 'rhythm of race'
  • Sessions with the goal of increasing the economy of movement through all the rhythms used in a race
Speed ​​training, in terms of energy systems
In the article about resistance training, the 3 energy systems were introduced and discussed how increasing the aerobic capacity and efficiency of aerobic metabolism is important for endurance performance. Speed ​​training could be considered as the set of sessions that aim to develop the ATP-CP energy system and anaerobic metabolism, which are predominant during exercise up to 10 seconds and 60 seconds, respectively. Training of the ATP-CP system is often referred to as maximum speed or maximum training, while anaerobic metabolism training can be defined as that of lactate production or lactate tolerance. Here is a summary of the main advantages of each, as indicated in Ernest Maglischo's 'Fast Swimming' text (although the principles apply equally to bike and race):
Lactate tolerance:
Increase muscle buffering capacity
Improvement in the ability of swimmers to maintain good technique despite severe acidosis
Improving the ability of swimmers to tolerate the pain of severe acidosis
Lactate production:
Increase in the rate of anaerobic metabolism
Maximum sprint speed increase (fast final sprint)
Maximum Speed ​​/ Power:
An increase in muscular strength
An increase in the rate of stimulation of muscle fibers by the CNS
An increase in the rate of strength development in the muscles
It is worth noting that the speed to keep in repeats for each type of workout above is maximum or close to the maximum. You might think that as you often do not swim, do not jog, or run at maximum speed in a triathlon race, then these are not useful training types. But let's make some considerations:
  • Sometimes, during the start of the swim, or along a steep bike ride or during a running racing flight, you will experience severe acidosis in anaerobic metabolism and it is helpful to be prepared for this event in order to be able to recover.
  • Exercise next to max speed will ensure recruitment of type 2 fibers that otherwise may remain uninsured. This can be a great workout for muscle recruitment. In the case of Lactate tolerance training, a secondary benefit may be the increase in VO2 max.
  • By increasing the maximum speed / power, the threshold values ​​rise and therefore during the race you work at a lower percentage of the maximum ns: in this way there is more room for improvement / acceleration in the race.
  • The body becomes effective in what it exercises; So if you swim 'slowly' all the time you will get efficiency in slow swimming. The more time you spend on the 'step' or the higher step, the more your body becomes accustomed to the movement and recruitment patterns of the muscles involved.
  • Moderate amount of training at the maximum speed / power and training for lactate production can be included regularly in your training sessions without having a significant impact on the other forms of training you are taking. It is worth noting that the same thing can not be said for the work of lactation tolerance.
  • The body will respond better to a variety of training stimuli than what happens with excessive resistance training.
  • Resistance training can become tedious so it is also nice to do a bit of speed.
Speed ​​training in terms of motion economy
It has been said before the body gets efficiency in what it practices, and has also talked about the gesture economy during the article on resistance training. This is partly due to the fact that the body learns to contract and relax the key muscle groups involved in the movement efficiently, work only when needed. They also train the stabilizing muscles needed when moving at high speeds. Finally, it gives the muscles, ligaments and tendons a way to adapt to a more optimal range of movements.
For a triathlete would not it be useful to be able to replicate speed and motor pattern equal to or greater than the racing pace without the fatigue associated with them? This means that it could be done more often, longer, without risking injuries or overtraining.
In your workouts you might try some of the following workout methods:
  • Swim: Finishes - Using fins to increase swing rhythm at racing pace or at higher pace, but at a lower energy cost. This will fit your body to the sensation of a swim at this step.
  • Swim: arm frequency - Use timing devices to gain awareness of the arm frequency you are using and, if necessary, increase the frequency to the desired level. Many triathletes, particularly those swimming in swimming, swim at frequencies below 40 per minute (meaning a arm each time each arm enters the water). This is often due to excessive slipping / pause after the recovery arm has entered the water. Elite swimmers in swimming water often swim with arm frequency higher than 80 / min; This shows that to swim quickly, it is not enough simply to concentrate on the swim distance. After building the base for an efficient arm, try to take the 60-arm / minute aim. The arm frequency can then be used as a parameter for vs training rather than swim speed, allowing your body to get used to racing rhythms without the associated ego fatigue (the secret is to use these blink frequencies without losing Distance for each arm, so it is not necessary to increase the arm frequency too fast)
  • Bike: Cadence Ranges (Max Cadence and Keepable) - The great bike thing is the reports! They allow us to choose the combination of cadence and strength that best suits us. Swimmers and runners must be able to coordinate their movements when their limbs move at high speed, which is a real problem for many people and is one of the major performance limits in these disciplines. In cycling 'strong' athletes with poor coordination / leg speeds, they can ride very fast just pushing higher gears. This is fine if you are big and strong and all you want to do is stop trial, but I feel I recommend all triathletes to work on low resistances and high cadences. The two objectives for these sessions are as follows:
    Increase the cadence peak that you can reach while keeping your racing position (if you can get more than 200rpm you are doing well!)
    Increase the cadence that you can maintain for prolonged periods, for example 30 seconds to 5 minutes (to be able to keep more than 120 rpm while you are in the racing position without bouncing on the saddle, it is a good point to reference).
  •    Run: Cadenza repeated - We refer to Jack Daniels with regard to the optimal cadence. Using a series of moderate rhythm exercises (eg marathon rhythm) focusing on faster pace use can be very effective for the next advanced stage of preparation when the workouts are more intense.
  • Run: Downhill Run - It would be nice if we had gears like a bike. Running along very gradient slopes can act as a small chain of gears that allow you to turn your high speed legs without the energy cost associated with running at the same speed in the plane.
  • As a last option, race with a dog. Wear a belt around the waist, which is attached to a dog. Your hands are free to move like a normal racing action. Your four-legged friend will force you to make an average pace of execution much faster than it would otherwise be.
In summary - For many triathletes, speed is a limiter for their performance. This often happens because they have avoided stimulating anaerobic energy systems to adapt more to aerobic work. However, it is more likely that habitual long-distance stationary work has worsened their gesture economy at race intensity. A good example of this comes from the race. Most of the best marathoners started their career as midway track runners. They have developed their technical ability to perform speed actions before starting to compete competitively over long distances. It is very difficult to imagine being able to run for more than 2 hours at 19 km / h and beyond, if you can not even run at that rhythm a 5k! This does not mean that if you are a beginner Ironman then you need to include a lot of anaerobic sets in your preparation, but you should perhaps include some of the above ideas to counteract the effects of constant training over long distances .

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