Go faster...by slowing down.
Ease In: Doing too much too soon, especially running, invariably leads to joint and tendon injuries, says Vargas. You have to give your body time to adjust to higher-mileage workouts.
Bricks 2.0: Vargas recommends bricks, but with compassion. "The idea is just to get the feeling of going from one discipline to the next," he says. So after a long ride, a short run will do. Or hit the pool for a short set after a run.
Fuel Up: Practice eating on the bike during training. The best time in a race to consume calories is early in the bike. In an Ironman-length race, Vargas advises taking in as many calories as possible from the minute you get out of the water.
First, Base: The longer your race, according to the Mark Allen credo, the more you need to focus on building a base. Beyond fitness, long, slow distance workouts teach your aerobic engine to burn fatty acids rather than muscle. "Your body stores only about two hours of muscle glycogen at a time," says Vargas.
Beat It: Think of your heart rate as your car's tachometer. In shorter, intense efforts with a high heart rate, your body will burn fuel like a dragster. Vargas says for longer tris like an Ironman, the body needs to process fuel more like a hybrid. The key is keeping your beats per minute under control, because the digestive system can shut down when the heart rate goes too high.
Ride More: "Cycling is how you get a lot of your endurance for triathlons," says Vargas, because you can do it for such a long duration, a similar period of time as many competitors take to do a long-course triathlon. "Your heart doesn't know if you're running, swimming or biking. It just knows that you're asking it to pump more blood and oxygen."
Thanks to Rodale for the content.