Use this mix of energy systems to work your threshold without neglecting speed.

Use this mix of energy systems to work your threshold without neglecting speed. 

This week’s workout focuses on a mix of running threshold work and speed that will help you transition from a strength-building phase into the beginnings of a more sharpened, race-ready stage of your training program. The best thing about threshold/speed ladders is that they are effective during almost any period of the race season after the initial base phase. Because triathlon always requires strength for running off the bike, the combination of threshold and above-threshold work can be performed even two weeks out from a key race with excellent effect.

While this workout can be run on a treadmill, these ladders work best outside on gently rolling terrain without too many steep uphills or downhills. It’s important to keep the intensity up throughout the entire interval, so find a route that avoids stoplights and pace interruptions. Rolling hills work well because the slight chance in elevation teaches your body to keep effort steady despite changes in cadence and groundspeed.

Make the threshold/speed ladders one of your two key workouts for the week, be sure to leave enough leg rest the day before and after, and try not to schedule a difficult, high-threshold swim the morning before completing this workout. For advanced triathletes looking to push themselves harder, either add a strong, one-hour ride prior to the set or change the easy jogging between each fast section into an effort at an RPE of 4/10.

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Warm-up:
10 minutes easy jog
5 minutes of dynamic or static stretching

Main Set:
5 minutes at 6/10 Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)
3 minutes EZ
4 minutes at 7/10 RPE
2 minutes EZ
2 minutes at 8/10 RPE
1 minute EZ
1 minute at 9/10 RPE

2 minutes EZ
2 minutes at 4/10 RPE

4 minutes at 7/10 RPE
2 minutes EZ
2 minutes at 8/10 RPE
1 minute EZ
1 minute at 9/10 RPE

2 minutes EZ
2 minutes at 4/10 RPE

2 minutes at 8/10 RPE
1 minute EZ
1 minute at 9/10 RPE

Cool-down:
5 minutes easy jog

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