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Steal This Workout! Shelley Harper’s “Get Out” Ahead Workout

Cal’s team coach, John Dahlz, helped her work on going from “get-out” pace (the start sprint) immediately into her race pace.

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At April’s USAT Collegiate National Championship, University of California, Berkeley athlete (and former NCAA All-American swimmer) Shelley Harper had the best 1,500-meter time of the day (18:28)—including the men’s times. The 23-year-old recent college grad has only been cycling for eight months, but with promising genes—her dad, Dean, was the first Wildflower champion and she rides with him weekly—she’s transitioning quickly from swimmer to triathlete.

Cal’s team coach, John Dahlz, helped her work on going from “get-out” pace (the start sprint) immediately into her race pace. She shares a workout that’s perfect prep for short-course racing.

GET OUT AHEAD WORKOUT (short version)
Total distance = 2,800
Warm-up:
400 choice
4×25 “variables” (First as half fast, half easy, second as half easy/half fast, third all easy, fourth all fast) on 10 seconds rest

Main effort prep: 8×50 as odds drill/swim by 25; evens build free
Main set:
5×300:
50 get out, 250 race pace
100 get out, 200 race pace
150 get out, 150 race pace
100 get out, 200 race pace
50 get out, 250 race pace

Cool-down:
8×50, odds: choice; evens: 3 breaths or less

GET OUT AHEAD WORKOUT (long version)
Total distance = 4,000

Warm-up:
300 choice
4×25 “variables” (First as half fast, half easy, second as half easy/half fast, third all easy, fourth all fast) on 10 seconds rest

Main effort prep: 4×50 as odds drill/swim by 25; evens build free
Main set:
8×400:
50 get out, 350 race pace
100 get out, 300 race pace
150 get out, 250 race pace
200 get out, 200 race pace

2 minutes rest

200 get out, 200 race pace
150 get out, 250 race pace
100 get out, 300 race pace
50 get out, 350 race pace

Cool-down:
4×50, odds: choice; evens: 3 breaths or less