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In 2012, Spain’s Javier Gomez turned in impressive performances across non-drafting, drafting and off-road triathlons. What are his secrets to success? Here are a few training tips from the Xterra world champ and Olympic silver medalist.
These tips were originally published as part of a feature in the Jan./Feb. 2012 issue of Inside Triathlon magazine.
• A typical training week for two-time ITU world champion Javier Gomez consists of 20K to 25K swimming, 350K to 400K (about 220 to 250 miles) biking and around 100K (about 60 miles) of running. “That’s a good week,” he said.
• To get fit and fast, Gomez loves intensity. “This, for me, is what makes me fast,” he said. “At first you need some volume, but the hard workouts on the track, the hard swim sessions—that’s what gets me into good shape.”
• Gomez likes to take a big break at the end of the season. “I like to lose my fitness,” he said. Normally, he takes about a month off from triathlon, often traveling for part of the time with his girlfriend. “When I start training again, I feel bad and I feel tired, and I have to start with just doing a half-K swimming, because it’s just otherwise too much,” he continued. “I lose the fitness to get it back again. You have to let the body breathe a little bit and don’t hurt it too much.”
• Gomez’s favorite workout when he’s fit—because otherwise “it could be a nightmare,” he said—is 8 x 1K on the track at 2:40 to 2:42 pace (about 4:20 per mile pace, or a bit faster than 10K triathlon race pace) with 2 minutes rest in between.
• For recovery, Gomez relies on ice baths. “I think they help me recover really well—better than a massage,” he said.
• If Gomez is traveling to Asia or the Americas for a race, he likes to give himself six days to get over jet lag. “I learned that I cannot train too much during those days,” he said. “Before, I used to go to a race and want to do one last hard session, but when you have a time difference, you need to let your body get used to it, and don’t hurt it too much or train too hard.”
• Gomez’s No. 1 piece of advice to age groupers? “The first thing is to have fun—to enjoy what you are doing,” he said. “That is the most important thing.”