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Working core before the main set of this run workout helps prevent injuries, improve endurance, and increase speed.
This week’s workout comes from Minneapolis, Minnesota-based coach Christina Enger of Northstar Triathlon and Fitness. Enger is a USAT Level 1 and TrainingPeaks Level 2 coach as well as a Cooper Institute-certified personal trainer who has participated in triathlons of all distances.
Since Enger finds that many athletes tend to skip their important core training once the mileage begins to climb, she recommends this core/fartlek brick that incorporates strength training into the beginning of the workout. With a fatigued core and leg muscles from the pre-set, athletes should focus on their form while doing the main set—the urge to fall back to poor running mechanics will be similar to running out of T2 on race day.
Try to keep the fartlek intervals unpredictable by using stop signs, traffic lights, telephone poles, or other landmarks. If you don’t have consistent markers, use a watch for intervals (times below). Begin with a dynamic warm up to wake up the mind and body.
10 bear crawls
15ft. of butt kickers
10 cossack squats (do these slowly)
Repeat set three times
200m hard effort run at a rate of perceived exertion (RPE) of 9 right into
10 burpees right into
20 sit ups right into
10 hand release push-ups right into
Repeat set four times at RPE 9, then go immediately into main set
30-minute fartlek using landmarks for the fast (at RPE of 7-8 or goal race pace) and the rest (RPE of 3-4), rest should be roughly 2-3x the time/distance of the fast section
If going by time, continuously do 30 minutes of 30sec RPE 7-8, 1:30 RPE 3-4
10-minute jog and stretch