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Super League Triathlon: Train Indoors like a Pro!

by Super League Triathlon

Being a triathlete has traditionally been about spending time outside, lapping up the sun, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying all the benefits of an active outdoor lifestyle.

But as COVID-19 forces more people to stay inside just how do you stay motivated and keep your training productive ready for happier times when the racing is back?

We enlisted the advice of one of the best in the business, Triathlon Canada’s Head Coach, Jono Hall,, to explain how indoor training can be a positive experience in this testing times.

So Jono, what is the key to success for training indoors?

If I am prescribing indoor training, then I need to be creative to make it exciting and worthwhile. With regularly updated technology and web-based platforms, it is easier than ever to find something to do while running on the treadmill or riding the home trainer.

Does indoor training have a specific benefit?

The specific benefits are related to the mental toughness needed to complete longer or more intense workouts. The training benefits are similar, but it is more mentally taxing when indoors. It can also be easier to achieve the required outcomes indoors rather than outdoors. For example, if I prescribe a set of 4 x 4min @400watts, the session is the same both indoors and outdoors, but it may be easier to achieve indoors due to traffic and other influences.

Can indoor training completely replace outdoor training?

To a point, yes, but the one thing you cannot replicate indoors is the skill component of riding or running. I am a massive believer in skill acquisition. We have all seen athletes who can produce the numbers on the trainer or treadmill, but when you put a corner in front of them on race day, they can’t even get close.

You will succeed best when it is combined with outdoor training. My approach has always been to up-skill before the winter to ensure that the athlete is prepared before they spend long periods training indoors. Skills are not just about performance but also crucial for safety.

How do you get the best bang for your buck out of indoor training?

Intensity is the low hanging fruit for indoor training. Short, intense sessions with a clear purpose are best – then you can just dial them in and execute.

You should also periodically check to make sure what you are doing indoors transfers to outdoors so we can match indoor training with outdoor specific preparation.

Do you think the evolution of indoor training has improved the triathlon experience?

Without a doubt. Indoor training can be the decider between people being able to train and compete or not. Indoor training is not exclusively used in winter or because of environmental challenges, it can be time constraints with work, or family, or location.

What are the key things to remember when training indoors?

  1. Remember to drink more fluids as you’ll get hotter and sweat more!
  2. Try to simulate the position on the trainer that you would use outside on the bike
  3. The treadmill does a considerable amount of the work for you and treadmill speeds can be way off
  4. Run with a power meter like Stryd and you can compare sessions easily
  5. Don’t lose the social side of the sport; a lot of us get into triathlon for the social and outdoor lifestyle
See also:  How to Step Up to Ironman Racing

So what’s the final word on the indoor training world?

I’d say training indoors certainly makes you appreciate the chance to get outdoors when it finally comes!

Jono Hall knows all there is to know about finding the balance between indoor sessions and outdoor workouts. Implement the above advice and don’t be afraid to switch it up to amplify your training and get more bang for your buck whenever you train!

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