Which discipline most influences the overall result? Eg could you exit the water last but still win overall?
Jan: Many examples show the position in the swim is important, more so in modern triathlon racing and the last few years, but that’s because the strongest guys swimming are the strongest out of the water. So, in the past, Peter Robinson, when he won his world title in 2004, I think was 64th when he came out of the water. But the level has become that the best guys now are the best in all three.
Emma: Yeah, Kate Allen who won Athens was probably last by 2 minutes out of the water, but this sport is changing all the time, men and women’s, and calling for people to be strong across all three disciplines.
What training do Jan and Emma use to get the race toughness? Hard intervals? Tempo runs below race pace?
Jan: I think a good mix is important. Early on in season it’s important to do slow cardiovascular work, but never let your body go to sleep, always put in a few sprints to get the body fresh. But in the early months, I wouldn’t do anything too hard at all.
Emma; As you come into the race season the duration of the training slightly drops off but the intensity of it, the amount of times you’re pushing your threshold is a lot more often.
Do you do base training? How slow? I feel like I'm putting in hours but no results? Common?
Emma: It’s always a progression. You have to build the low intensity up, putting down markers, goals and times for particular sets and getting faster and faster progressively.
Jan: You need the base training in order to cope with the high intensity stuff so you can deal with it better and can do hard sessions every week split between the disciplines. It’s important to throw something new at the body so it can react to it. That’s why people do high altitude training. So the body can be more effective. I do 100 metre sprints now and then, it’s the least relevant thing in my sport but I find it to be effective, just to throw something new at myself.
And finally Laureus asked what the triathlon duo does away from their sport.
Jan: I find a balance in cooking, something a bit more creative, but I love a good game of beach volleyball and surfing.
Emma: Something different for the mind. Mountain biking definitely.
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