Kevin Holt’s Top Tips on improving race speed
Bike can be done outside or on the turbo
1. Warm up with 20 minutes’ gentle spinning. When your legs are loose, you’re ready to begin. aim for a low gear and 100rpm cad get the h/r up
2. Ride for two minutes at your race pace, followed by two minutes of gentle recovery. Repeat that sequence three to five times, depending on your fitness and the time you have to train. (If you’re not sure what your race pace is, it’s simple to work out – it’s the speed you could maintain for the duration of your event. For Olympic distance triathletes, it’s the pace you could ride for 40km; for sprint racers, it’s the pace you could ride over 20km.)
3. Cycle at easy pace for five minutes. Then ride for one minute at 10%–15% above race pace, take a minute of gentle pedalling as recovery and repeat three to five times. (So if your race pace is 20kmph, go at 22 or 23kmph; if it’s 30kmph, go at 33–35kmph).
4. Cycle at easy pace for five minutes. Then hit it as fast as you can for 30 seconds – flat out – cruise for 30 seconds, and repeat three to five times. Stand up in the pedals for the first 15 of those sprinting seconds; drop back into the saddle for the second 15.
5.Warm down with 15 minutes of gentle spinning.
1. 400m warm–up, 100m swim, 100m legs only, 100m drill of choice 100m swim.
2. Swim 50m flat out Take 10 seconds rest and repeat three more times. Swim 100m at easy pace and then repeat the entire sequence.
3. 4x100m,as hard as you can for the first 25m and cruising for the remaining 75m. Take 15 seconds rest between each 100m and swim an easy–paced 100m at the end.
4. 3x200m with the first 50m flat–out and the remaining 150m cruising. Take 30 seconds rest between each one.
5. 4x50m using legs only, holding a float out in front of you. Take 10 seconds rest between each 50m.
6. Warm down 200m swim.
1.10 minutes’ jogging warm–up and continue with three or four minutes of drills – running with high knees, then heels flicking backside, then quick feet.
2. Run 50m, building up your speed from jog to run to fast. Walk back to the start and repeat.
3. Run 200m at your 10–mile pace, straight into 200m at your 3km/5km pace. Repeat without rest twice more, so you have run a total of 1,200m straight through. (If you’re not sure of what those speeds mean, you should be able to maintain your 10–mile pace for at least an hour, while the second 200m should take you 10–15 seconds less to run than the first.)
4. Jog at easy pace for another 400m, and then repeat the entire sequence two to three times.
5. Warm down with five minutes of easy jogging.
6. As you feel faster and fitter, increase the number of sets, increase the pace of the steady–pace 200m and/or run each of the steady 200m in the set a little faster than the last.