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If you’re in the United States, the fourth of July is all about USA!, USA! It’s also about barbecues, baked goods and brews (and fireworks!). This week’s workout may not have food or beer, but it is a pyrotechnic way to increase speed and endurance.
This week’s workout looks to build strength when you need it most: at the end of the race. While a workout like this works well for runners, it’s particularly important for triathletes who always need to run off the bike. It’s tough to replicate that race-day feeling of loaded legs at the start of the run, but this workout will get you close. Consider this session a hard day that should be bookended by at least one recovery day (or day off).
Find a moderately-graded hill (not too steep) that takes roughly four minutes at an 8/10 pace (Zone 4). For the distance-focused, think approximately 600-800 meters long. Before you begin, pick a “fireworks zone” about 20 meters from the crest. Here’s where you’ll explode (in a good way) with speed over the last part of the hill on each rep.
The goal here is to show up to the second round (the grand finale!) already fatigued but maintaining form and intensity until the end. Once you’ve hit the crest, immediately jog back down, no stopping or walking during the entire main set. Use the downhills as a way to recover and let your legs loosen up.
13 minute warm-up (one minute for each stripe in the flag) at an easy pace, then stretch to loosen any tight areas
5 x (10 seconds build to 8/10, 50 seconds very easy—one for each star in the flag)
2 x (hill rep at 7/10 pace, until the fireworks zone, then 9/10) right into
5 minutes out at 5/10 pace on flat surface
5 minutes back towards the hill at 6/10 pace
2 x (hill rep at 7/10 pace, until the fireworks zone, then 9/10)
13 minutes easy (remember those stripes?)
1 x hearty patriotic salute at finish