Our Favorite Workouts: Fast Twitch Fun for the Off Season

Some of us are starting to take a break from the regular tri season and are starting our off seasons. Others have one or two races left and then are headed into that rest period. As you head into the fall and start to rest up, I think it’s a good idea to look at some fun winter things to improve yourself as an athlete.

It’s important to mentally freshen up by removing yourself from your normal sessions and routine. A great way to do that is through workouts that still maintain fitness, but help you learn new skills and develop some athletic movement outside your usual range.

Examples of those activities include looking at some fall crits, road races, the cyclocross races, some fast running races, skate skiing, basketball or even some masters swim races in the other strokes.

Here’s a session that can help you develop a bit more fast twitch muscle and build power. It may even help you develop a sprint if winning a crit in the future is your goal.

I used this session one time per week for three months when I first went from a diesel engine Ironman athlete to looking towards joining the pro women’s crits.

The Workout

Warm up well for 30-60 minutes.

Note: This workout is best done on a flat road or on your trainer.

  1. Set #1
  2. A total of 8 minutes continuous done like this:
    • 15 seconds on / 15 seconds rest
    • Seated sprint
    • Easy gear
    • Max rpm (120+)
  3. 8 minutes recovery — easy riding
  4. Set #2
  5. 5 x 15 seconds standing starts done like this:
    • “500m race gear” (for example: 53/14)
    • Standing start, slow rolling to begin, 3 minute mandatory recovery between each 15 second sprint.

Attack each sprint with 100% intensity. This workout targets both your alactic and lactic capacity and will push you beyond the VO2 range that most triathletes cap out with in their regular training.

Be sure to cool down well for 30-60min.

Have fun with the new session and while you’re out there, think about recruiting one of those fast twitch riders and bringing them back to triathlon!

gila crit.jpg