(Virtually) Train With Mirinda Carfrae

Get stronger with the three-time Ironman world champ coaching you through her favorite run sessions.

Photo: John David Becker

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Get stronger with the three-time Ironman world champ coaching you through her favorite run sessions.

When she’s building run fitness after the off-season, three-time Ironman world champion Mirinda Carfrae uses a go-to treadmill strength session to whip herself back into shape. She shared that leg-buster with Pear Sports, an interactive coaching platform, with a soundtrack of her coaching guidance for the entirety of the workout. Download it straight to your phone for free through Pear’s app and voilà: a baked-in world-best triathlete ready to make you suffer.

Carfrae’s coach Siri Lindley is known for having her athletes do tough treadmill workouts in the “pain cave” (often documented via her @sirilindley Instagram feed), and this workout is a good glimpse into the kinds of sessions that top-level athletes do. Carfrae currently has three coached run workouts through Pear with more to come. The 57-minute treadmill strength workout is the most advanced one in the mix, with intervals that go up to a 10 percent incline (!).

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Test Run

The interface of the Pear app is idiot-proof, even for those averse to technology, so it was quick to pull up the workout and get started. Carfrae introduces the workout and admits she’s letting you see “behind the curtain” because she legitimately does this workout during her season.

It starts with an easy five-minute warm-up that includes 6×30-second pickups, which Carfrae says she does before every run. Once you get to the meat of the workout, it gets hard quickly. You start intervals at a 4 percent incline and get up to 10 percent, then you do it all again.

Along the way, Carfrae inserts helpful form tips (keep your shoulders soft, drive your arms back), or tough-love words of encouragement (“suck it up, princess!”). The time flew by with such specific instruction and the right mix of interval time and difficulty. If you have your heart rate zones dialed in and are wearing a heart rate monitor, you’ll get feedback if you’re not in the prescribed zone.

Having an audio coach—who happens to be the best female runner in the sport—made me push more than I normally would, and the time flew by compared to typical dreadmill sessions. I would highly recommend this to athletes who want to mix up their workouts, generally just want to get stronger or who travel a lot and need some excitement in their treadmill life.

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How Pear Works

Download the app, search for Carfrae’s workouts and store them in your Pear library. Along with Rinny’s sessions, you’ll find workouts with two-time XTERRA world champion Lesley Paterson, runner Deena Kastor and everything from core work to long runs.

When you’re ready to run, select the workout you want to do. If you want to listen to music simultaneously, simply put on your Spotify or Pandora as normal. The vocal cues will come on over the music.

If you train with a heart rate monitor, you can plug in your zones—or buy the Pear heart rate strap and headphones ($100, Pearsports.com) and calibrate the app appropriately—and you’ll get audio feedback if you go out of the prescribed levels. The more you put into the app, the more feedback you’ll get.

Press play. Run. Sweat.


A couple of our favorite audio clips from Carfrae’s workouts.

“On a scale of one to 10, with ‘10’ being death…”
“Here’s a fun fact: I used to study martial arts. Unrelated, if you stop this workout early, I will roundhouse you!”

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