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Indoor training for triathlon

Ken Glah being interviewed about his 30 straight Hawaii Ironman appearances.

I have been waiting to write on this topic for quite some time for all age group triathletes who don’t have the luxury to attend one of our camps. We know there are many who have work and family commitments and feel their preparation for next season is being hindered by the fact ‘it’s dark by the time I get home’.

Yes, winter in some of our home countries can be brutal. Fewer more so than a Swiss winter. So our followers will know how reliant we are on both turbo and treadmill for our training. However, we still have doubters who write in asking ‘thanks, but what do your pros really do?’ unable to comprehend the weight of results derived from basic common sense training principles. Everyone, from the Olympic champion to those preparing for their first triathlon can improve by training indoors.

We have just seen Daniela Ryf destroy the field again in the first leg of the Triple Crown after exclusive indoor training. She shared the above photos of her training base on Instagram. We practice what we preach here. So people can maintain faith with their own programs I thought I would share our training regime into this race:

After winning the Triple Crown in early December Daniela took a well earned rest. Not a full rest, but took December off while she completed a hectic schedule of media and awards commitments, including winning Swiss athlete of the year. This allowed only 1 small session a day. Sometimes every second day.

On January 1 it was decided she will race in Dubai. The training then stepped up to two sessions a day. 10 days from race day every second day stepped up to three sessions a day. However the important factor for all house bound athletes is that from Bahrain to Dubai she completed every session on the turbo. Her first ride outside was in Dubai two-days ahead of the race.

We flew in as late as possible to beat the jet lag or any potential heat acclimatisation problem. Over the past month the turbo sat next to its best friend, the treadmill. Nearly every session, apart from her last Sunday long run (it was a warm 5C that day) was run indoors. Windows closed, crispy 26C, 70% humidity being powered by effort.

Ken Glah My thoughts on indoor training for triathlon, like all good ideas are someone else’s. I’ve been around long enough to remember when the now Ironman Travel Agent was a tri star in his own right with a list of wins as long as his red ponytail.

Towards the end of his career I remember the long distance boy going to Santos (Brazil) in the middle of summer out of the middle of his winter and whipping a !eld of top class sprint men. It was without doubt the best short course race I ever saw him do.

I can also remember how shocked he was about his form. ‘I never left the basement all winter’. He had an endless pool, turbo and treadmill and got on a plane not expecting anything. ‘I couldn’t be more surprised.’

Well Kenny, I’ve never forgotten or been surprised since. Thank you for the Bird’s form. In Dubai we didn’t panic coming close the the race. We didn’t try and overcompensate with super long runs or bikes. We knew the endurance after Kona and Bahrain was going to be high, so an every other day routine was enough. However it it always power to keep the strength from dissipating.

DON’T over do it and definitely fight the urge to cram as the race date gets closer! We hope this helps those training at home or in their gyms. If Ken, the Bird and countless others in between can fly, so can you.

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