These quick, powerful movements will help keep your running form in check—at all distances.

These quick, powerful movements will help keep your running form in check—at all distances.

Plyometrics, or “plyos,” refer to any kind of explosive jump training. This type of training improves performance across all three disciplines by building power and faster coordination. It’ll help improve your max sustainable pace for swimming and cycling, and it is particularly useful for bettering running efficiency by improving rebound off the ground and minimizing ground contact time; just like fuel economy in a car, improved running efficiency makes running at a faster pace cost less energy so you can keep it up longer.

Jump training can be viewed as short intervals of maximal force at maximal speed. Rather than standard reps or time, count the number of hops or ground contacts. Begin with about 100 contacts per session and increase 10 contacts per week up to a maximum of 200 once or twice per week.

For each round of plyometrics, take one-minute rest periods between sets of each exercise. Take two minutes (or more depending on fatigue) before starting sets of a new exercise. This type of work is best scheduled after a hard workout as the last session before a rest day, to allow for a recovery window. Completing a small amount with good form and planned recovery improves performance in all three sports.

Ankle Hops/Pogo

How: Hop vertically, focusing on driving off the ground with calves/ankles, keeping knees relatively locked.
Sets: (1-3) x 10

Rocket Jump

How: Standing on both legs, drop into a squat and jump vertically for height.
Sets: (1-2) x 5

Side Hop

How: With both legs together, leap from left to right and back, focusing on being quick off the ground.
Sets: (1-3) x 5

Single-Leg Side Hop

How: Leap and land from one leg onto the same leg, focusing on being quick off the ground.
Sets: (1-3) x 5/ each leg

Double-Leg Hop

How: Hop with both legs together, focusing on being quick off the ground.
Sets: (1-3) x 5

Single-Leg Hop

How: Beginning on one leg, jump forward, focusing on being quick off the ground.
Sets: (1-3) x 5/ each leg