Articles and tips

Feeling tired after a morning session and want to get a recovery swim with a bit of benefit ? Check this session below :

Warm up – 300 easy choice
Main Set – 4,3,2,1 (1,750m)
4 x 100, 4 x 50, 4 X 25
3 x 100, 3 x 50, 3 X 25
2 x 100, 2 x 50, 2 X 25
1 x 100, 1 x 50, 1 X 25
200 cool down as 25 lick 25 backstroke
100’s are easy, 50’s are moderate, 25’s are fast All with 15s rest NO shorter !
* All with buoy (optional)

The intervals are short enough not to overload your aerobic system. The fast 25’s helps to keep good form while work on speed a bit.

The buoy will minimize kicking so it keeps HR low (good if you have done a aerobic demanding set in the morning).

Ironman Hawaii desperation….

We are only a few weeks until IM World Champs and, like it happens every year, athletes started to get anxious and to “Look For Answers” and that’s a recipe for failure.

This is NOT the time to question yourself!

If you have done enough long rides or runs, if you can get one more long session in but instead to trust on your training and in the process. Training is way more then long rides or runs, it’s about the consistent training load. So if you want to know if you’re ready, think about how consistent hard training you have done. That does not mean volume only, but a combination of all, including recovery…

Think like an MMA fighter getting into the ring. When he steps on the mat,inside the octagon, I’m sure he’s not thinking about how much training he has done, but instead, how not to get beat and to defeat the opponent. It means that there’s nothing you can do about the past and you have to focus on the present, controlling the controllable . And that means giving your 100% ON the day !

Now it’s time to focus on the things you can control :

* Consistent training
* Recovery (massage, rolling, stretching, etc)
* Sleep
* Clean Diet w/ enough nutrients
* Low stress

Also for some ‘inexplicable’ reason, athletes start to think about new equipment selection, different special nutrition or race suit: ALL things that can actually CREATE more stress and uncertainty on the race day (which ruins your confidence.)

Stick to what you TRUST and feel COMFORTABLE! Meaning, no changes on bike equipment or position, new shoes or magic nutrition plan, do what you do EVERYDAY when you train so when you get to race day it will be “Just like another training day.”

Don’t ruin your race before you even start, focus on the now !

See you in Kona

In an effort to become better endurance athletes, we dedicate a great deal of time to training and racing at a level which continually stresses our bodies.

Let’s take a look at what causes fatigue, how to recognize it and most importantly, how to deal with it.

In general, most endurance athletes believe they need to train hard and feel either tired or “wasted” from most workouts (i.e. more is better). It is now well in to the triathlon season and a lot of athletes continue or are beginning to have feelings of fatigue characterized by a general decrease in performance.

We are so motivated at the beginning of the year; we forget the season can last up to 10 months. The long season, combined with family, work and other daily activities can take its toll rather quickly.

How we get there

Fatigue can come about through a combination of many factors, making it very difficult to pinpoint at times. Beyond off training issues, the common ingredient is too much training intensity. Intensity itself can be difficult to quantify, as it is a dynamic combination of volume (frequency, duration) of training along with actual effort level.

In addition, the level of training recovery also affects overall “intensity” of training. This is why paying attention to proper intensity (Easy means Easy!!), along with training diaries, becomes crucial.

When aiming for e peak fitness, where you lead your training stimulus beyond your current capacity, followed by a period of the body adapting to and super-compensating to the workload, there are three important points to understand about athletic fatigue:

Acute overload is a good thing. It’s the means by which we make improvements, in which limited physical stress allows us to improve our physiological performance. View acute overload as doing some type of lactate tolerance or lactate power workout on a given day, followed by recovery the next day.

Over-reaching is also a good thing where we over stress the body longer than we do with acute overload. An example of overreaching may be how you feel during a successive days of intense training. It is usually characterized as having lower heart rates, while at the same time still being able to produce just as much power as when you are fresh.

Overtraining, however, is not a good thing. We’ve gone far past overreaching and our performance has declined significantly. We can’t get our heart rates to rise up to normal levels; we don’t have the same power or motivation to train or race. Our legs usually feel heavy.

An interesting and far too common occurrence that usually results in overtraining (and eventually fatigue) is when the athlete’s performance starts to decrease; their first thought is that they are not fit enough. They then decide they need to train harder. The hole has already begun and by going back and training with more intensity and volume, the hole grows deeper and deeper.

If you begin to go through a period of persistent tiredness, back off and get some rest. Trying to identify what type of fatigue you have

I think it is very important to understand that there are many forms and causes of fatigue. The first step is to identify specific characteristics of fatigue:

Subjective factors include: appetite and weight loss (or gain), sleeplessness, irritability, lack of motivation and possible depression.

Nervous system factors — Younger athletes can experience fatigue that affects the sympathetic nervous system, including: higher resting heart rates and blood pressure, sleeping disturbances and elevated basal metabolic rate. Older athletes can experience the symptoms that affect the parasympathetic nervous system. Some examples are: lower resting heart rate and decreased blood pressure as well as early fatigue in your workouts.

Other signs of fatigue include more sickness (i.e. colds), aching leg muscles that are sore to the touch and lack of quality sleep.

How to get out of overtrain state

First and most importantly, you should seek help from a qualified coach and/or medical doctor. Describe the situation in detail and have a blood test done to check for a variety of markers that could be contributing to, or are a result of, fatigue. For example, iron deficiency anemia is a common problem that can be identified with a common blood test.

In addition, have your ferritin levels checked. Ferritin is a protein in the body that binds to iron. Most of the iron stored in the body is attached to ferritin. The amount of ferritin in the blood may help indicate the amount of iron stored in your body.

Consult a sports psychologist to talk with about performance issues and dealing with the daily stresses of life, while also trying to be an elite level athlete. Probably even more importantly, talk to your partner and support network!

Rest, rest and more rest and/or a reduction in training volume and intensity is a sure treatment, but not a final solution. You and your team have to determine the cause of the fatigue, how long to reduce training, and then make the necessary adjustments to prevent the problem in the future. Your training logs can also help in this process.

How to prevent

In closing, prevention is the best cure. The optimal solution is not to get to the point of being fatigued. In terms of a training program, remember that it is better to be over-rested than over-trained. If you begin to go through a period of persistent tiredness, back off and get some rest. A customized training program and good communication with your coach can prevent a chronic problem before it begins.

Having routine checkups from your physician which include blood work can also identify signs before they happen. Consulting with a good sports nutritionist can help give you a diet that meets your athletic needs, a vital component. Think of the long haul and what stresses you are putting onto your body.

Stay Healthy and Good Luck on your training and racing!
Coach Sergio Borges

triathlon training plans

Swim Workout – 75’s Day ! (Done in 25m/yds pool)

Dear athletes,

Her’s another great workout for you where we cover a lot of triathlon needs:

* Skill
* Kick Efficiency
* Strength
* Speed
* Endurance

Warm up:
6 x 75 as 50 Easy, 25 Backstroke. 10s rest

8 x 75 : 25 kick (with board), 50 Swim, 10s rest
10 x 75 w/ paddles, buoy and snorkel , 10s rest
12 x 75 as : 25 Easy, 25 Moderate, 25 Fast, 15s rest (no gear)

4 x 75 cooldown choice, 15s rest

Enjoy your swim !!!

Triathlon Training Plans

This week here at Thanyapura we had another athlete and another success story! Maria Del Carmin on a 1,900m test set improved over TWO minutes from same test last week !!

“The only effective stroke changes are the ones that can be sustained for the race distance”

During this week here we met 3 times and we focused only on one thing at the time:

1 – Straight arm recovery to fix crossing the arms (and unstable body) and entering in water early (causing shorter catch)
2 – Hand entry to make sure she positions elbow high (in the water) pressing water backwards instead of “down first then back”
3 – Balance – to be more balanced in the water and take advantage of core during pull phase we work on NOT rushing the pull

Love to see athletes improving ! My passion is helping people

Can’t Run fast anymore and blame your age???

I have heard this SO many times from people: ” I used to run fast but now I’m old and slow” . Before it actually convinced me but because I want to still run fast as I get older (will be 49 this year) I start to look into this “Age thing” they all talk about.

What I found out is that the biggest problem with aging athletes is the lack of strength AND especially mobility. As we get older, we do lose muscle mass as we don’t produce hormones like testosterone or Hgh as we did as younger so it’s EVEN more important to change the focus of your training and introduce more and more specific strength.

Then comes the muscles and joint mobility. When we were younger, we could skip stretching or myofascia release and get away with it. But now, it’s the CRUCIAL and most important part of my training routine and I spend 30 to 40 mnutes a day.

SEE ATTACHED A VIDEO OF THE STUD 70 YEARS OLD PETER WOOD running after we work on his mechanics.

Talking about running specifically now – to run fast we need a combination of stride rate x stride length, the higher the rate and the “longer” the stride, the faster you run. BOTH can be trained to at LEAST maintain speed as we age :

Stride rate : With the use of a treadmill at 0% grade (or a low grade downhill), you can do intervals of 20 to 30s long at a higher than your 5k speed. This type of interval will improve your neuromuscular firing and teach your legs how to be mechanically more efficient and to move faster. Goal is to achieve 96 steps per leg per minute (this is the average of ALL fast and efficient professional runners)

Stride Length : VERY IMPORTANT to understand that to gain length is about using your gluts and REAR leg extension (NEVER forward, that leads to bad heel striking). The mobility and elasticity of your hip flexor muscles (also the quads) are KEY and to learn how to engage the gluteous muscles when pushing off the ground, will lead you to a gain in lenght we all want!

Do a lot of uphill running with focus on pushing with rear leg and NOT lead the run with your quads. Spend some time working on psoas and quads mobility through myofascia release and dinamic strething.

Safe training !

Recovery with some “Spice”

A good workout that has a few benefits :

* Recovery
* Speed and Mechanical Efficiency
* Strength
* Endurance (always come in the package

Warm up: 200 Easy free, 200 kick (lie on back) with fins, 200 Easy free. You can take 10 to 15s rest here

*Speed – 4 sets of:
50 as 12.5 FAST, 37.5 Easy – 15s rest
50 as 25 FAST, 25 Easy – 15s rest
50 as 37.5 FAST, 12.5 Easy – 15s rest
* Do not use any gear

2 sets of : 4 x 50, 4 x 75, 4 x 100 (All easy with paddles and buoys and 10-15s rest)

Note : When I look for recovery that also means aerobically so keeping intervals short, your HR can recover quicker specially if we use paddles and buoy (avoiding kicking that requires a lot of oxygen , so more blood , higher HR/Effort)

Cooldown: 200 choice

Coach Sergio Borges shared a great article with some guidance on Foam Roller Massage

For the full article please click here.

BENEFITS OF Foam Roller Massage Therapy

  • correct muscle imbalances
  • increase joint range of motion
  • decrease muscle soreness and relieve joint stress
  • decrease tight or overly toned muscle tissue
  • increase extensibility of muscle and tendon tissue
  • increase performance
  • maintain normal functional muscular length
    Self Foam Roller Release InstructionsSelf-myfascial techniques are very simple to learn.  To perform self-myofascial release you will need a foam roller and a small ball (such as a golf ball, tennis ball, lacrosse ball, or softball).

    Following the directions in the pictures below, place your body weight on the foam roller over taut bands of muscle tissue that need to be released. For the best results, begin near the center of the body and slowly work away from the center of the body.

    Relax your body, breathe, and slowly roll through the length of the muscle. Your muscles will naturally tense up, especially when you hit a trigger point.  Ease into it and allow yourself to relax.

    If you find a painful spot, stop and visualize the soft tissue as melting butter and the foam roller as a hot knife. Allow pressure into the tissue and within 30-60 seconds you will notice a significant reduction in pain. Once the pain reduces significantly (20-30%), move on to the next painful spot and repeat.

    Tensor Fascia Latte
    Tensor Fascia Latte
    Upper Back
    Upper Back
    Terres Minor
    Terres Minor

    Spend between 3-5 minutes on each side. It is very important that you spend an equal amount of time on both sides and that you work through each of the areas listed to gain the most out of self-myofascial release.


    When to foam roll?

    • When you hurt
    • Before you exercise
    • After you exercise
    • In the morning
    • Before bed
    • While watching TV
    • Just about any time is a good time

      Article first appeared on The Art of Fitness (





by Sergio Borges

Looking at the great champions: Michael Phelps (swimmer), Fabian Cancellara (cyclist) and Haile Gebrselassie (runner) – all great athletes with many gold medals and World Championships under their belts. These athletes are very skilled and efficient in their specific sports. Obviously many years of training is necessary to reach the levels they have achieved.

All three sports require a high level of skill, particularly swimming and running. Athletes like Michael Phelps, for example, have spent over 15 years developing their skills, training an average of 5 to 8 hours per day. All of this time and work is required to develop skills in A SINGLE SPORT!

Our sport includes all three: swim, bike, and run. Many athletes and some coaches see triathlon as three separate sports: Swim + Bike + Run. However, triathlon is ONE sport and should be seen as swimbikerun, in which every sport interferes or influences the others.

When training for triathlon, athletes usually make the mistake of seeing it as 3 different sports. Triathletes think that they should train for swimming like swimmers, bike like cyclists and run like runners. Athletes should not seek individual sports’ PR’s but instead, an overall faster result. Saving energy on the swim, reducing aerobic taxing and neuromuscular firing on the bike and teaching your body how to run on fatigued legs on tight muscles and reduced range of motion is triathlon!

In Part one and two we talked about how to swim and bike in triathlon, now we’ll conclude with the running.

Triathlon Training - Run GebrselassieRunning in triathlon is totally different than pure road racing. In triathlon, with the swimming and cycling coming before the run, athletes have, in their legs, a limited range of motion that is caused by tight and overused muscles (the hip flexors, hamstrings, quads, etc). This limited range of motion will prevent you from bringing your legs as high during the recovery phase and from bringing your knee as high during the propulsion phase. Therefore, the stride length gets shorter and you’ll run slower.


Note : It’s VERY important to devote some time working on mobility and muscle elasticity, something we lose with age and lack of specific work. Most of us spend a lot of time seating either on the car or at work and it causes all muscles on the “front ” of out body to get shorter (tighter) while we get the muscles on the “back” of our body weaker and “stretched”.

The efficiency in triathlon running comes from the ability of running fast on fatigued and tight legs. To be able to do this, you need to develop a running style that is more like a “shuffle running”, where you’ll focus on a higher turnover to overcome the shortening in your stride.

High cadence running becomes even more important during long distance races like the Ironman, in which the distance will add an extra level of fatigue on your legs, thereby reducing your stride length even more. By running with a lower stride rate, your second half of the marathon will be much slower or even turn to a walk. Remember the longer the time you spend on the ground (lower stride rate) the higher is the muscle fatigue.

A lot of practice is needed to develop a high stride rate running style as your body at first is not used to the new neuromuscular pattern of firing your muscles so quickly. Also running at a high stride rate will increase your heart rate and aerobic taxing so this running style would work better if you have saved these components on the bike. Now you can appreciate the benefits of riding at lower cadence on the bike as explained in Part Two of my series of articles.

After reading Parts One, Two, and Three of my article, you can now understand the differences in training and racing for triathlon compared to training and racing in the 3 single sports. To have a better race season, focus on putting it all together:

Swim: Focus on developing strength in the water. The more you train this way, the more prepared you’ll be to race fast in open water swims.

Bike: Low cadence cycling means lower heart rate and higher efficiency. Practice big gear riding to get you ready for race day.

Run: High stride rate running leads to less fatigued legs and more efficient triathlon running.

Train smart, race fast!

Stinky Bike shoes ? Learn this cool trick !

After I rode my bike in the rain and put my shoes in my bike case, you can only imagine the smell !!

Trick : First put the shoes to dry outside for a few hours, the put them in a zip lock bag and leave in the freezer overnight. Next day most of the smell was gone (sometimes you will need to do one more time )

Check out Triathlon training plans from Sergio here.


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by Mark McGuinness So time to draw a line on Ironman Cairns 2015 with the obligatory and therapeutic race report When I registered for the race...