Training Guides – Reviews

Posted: February 10, 2011 in Duathlon, Running, Training

Ben Greenfield – triathlete & 2008 personal trainer of the year

Ben really knows his training tech. And he’s been around for a while as a triathlete and ironman, with a decade of studying, training, racing and coaching pro and amateur endurance athletes. A duathlon is running and cycling without the swimming leg of a triathlon, so his triathlon information provides everything you need to know. A lot of it is cutting-edge information including training plans, nutrition plans and time management so that you don’t spend your whole life training with no time left for family and work.  He offers you instant 24-7 help with training or nutrition questions you have for 9 months, replying to you in person.

You can find out about Ben’s training from his website Here

My Verdict – 14/15

Price – 4/5 Quality – 5/5 Usefulness – 5/5 Total Score – 14/15

If you’re serious about doing well with your running and cycling, I recommend Ben’s Triathlon Dominator Package

OK, running is 2 legs of a Duathlon, and there are several packages out there that cover marathon training and will help you reach peak condition.

Marius Bakken – 2 time Olympic runner

This is good material from a guy who was an Olympian and has since become a trainer (and medical student) and got great results from his students. What’s important to me, is that he provides an online member’s area where you can ask him questions and get access to FAQs posted by other members.  A good book is fine, but it’s stacks more useful to be able to talk to other people currently training themselves; especially an Olympian !

His 100 day marathon plan provides 8 different training schedules and videos that take you step-by-step through them. There are also write-ups and 15 additional videos that cover how to choose training shoes, strength training and more. His website isn’t as flashy as others I’ve seen, but the info and help is really good. You can get to his website Here

My Verdict -12/15

Price – 5/5 Quality – 3/5 Usefulness – 4/5 Total Score – 12/15

The 100 Day Modern Marathon Plan

Jill Bruyere – marathon runner & trainer

Jill’s put together a package called the Marathon Dominator. It covers nutrition/eating, handling injuries and provides a training schedule outline.  The info is provided on a couple of videos and MP3s as well as several eBooks. You can visit Jill’s website Here

My Verdict – 11/15

Price – 3/5 Quality – 4/5 Usefulness – 4/5 Total Score – 11/15

I found a couple of other information products, but they were only books & PDFs, which I don’t find nearly as useful as videos and online-training plans.


As a beginner to triathlon, you probably have a lot of questions. The best advice I have for a beginner’s first triathlon is to take it easy and to have a good time – it’s not brain surgery and should be fun.

Here are seven tips for the triathlon beginner:

1. For beginners, triathlon training should be targeted to a shorter distance race – almost always a sprint triathlon. Sometimes you can even find a beginner triathlon advertised in your area. Today races fill up pretty quick, so pick a race and sign up now (this will also give you a goal race to keep you committed).

2. Come up with a triathlon training plan. There are some great beginner triathlon training plans available on the web.

3. Triathlon beginners usually need to work on their swimming. So the next step is to find a pool where you can train. If you can find one with a swim coach or masters swimming program that is ideal. Otherwise, try to get a more experienced triathlete or certified triathlon coach to help. You’ll find several additional swimming tips here on my site.

4. Beginner triathlon training mileage should be reasonable. You will be tempted to over train at the beginning, especially if you are already a strong athlete. Try to resist the temptation. Triathlon beginners should work on their weakest event the most, and just make sure they can finish the other events. You can build speed after you finish your first race.

5. Practice your transitions, but don’t go overboard. A beginner triathlon bike leg transition is especially good to practice by doing a few “brick” workouts – where you complete a bike workout and then go for a run before you cool down. But take it easy. Just make sure you have all your triathlon gear ready and that you know how you plan to get it on and off in the transition area. That is plenty of preparation for your first triathlon.

6. Listen to pre-race instructions carefully and ask questions if you have them. Everyone was a triathlon beginner once, so don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. It seems like almost every triathlon has some slightly different setup, so even professionals have to ask questions about things like where to rack a bike, how to get from the swim area to the bikes, where the bike dismount area is and other details. If you have questions, ask.

7. Relax and enjoy your first triathlon. Don’t forget to have fun during the intensity of the race. Take pride in the fact that you reached your goal. If you have any challenges (the most common are mechanical problems on the bike) just remember that this is your first race. Remind yourself that you are just “learning the ropes” – don’t add performance pressure until you have first proven to yourself that you can do it.

If you follow these seven tips you’ll have a great first triathlon – and be on your way to going from a “beginner triathlete” to a “competitive” one. Triathlon Coach Janet Wilson is a USAT certified triathlon coach and ACE certified personal trainer. Janet is an accomplished and nationally-ranked amateur triathlete and she coaches triathletes of all skill levels, from a triathlon beginner to Hawaii Ironman qualifiers. To learn more about triathlon training, swim tips, coaching programs or just great tips on how to stay in shape visit her website at

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Run 2 Fast

Posted: October 2, 2010 in Running

Have you ever had people tell you that you run too fast? You can admit how good that feels.

Are you telling that running buddy of yours to slow down? If you are then I have a few great ways for you to learn how to run fast.

Anybody can learn how to run faster. I don’t mean that you will be setting world records. I mean that you can learn to run your best.

Here are just a few of the ways to run faster: Mechanics, Hills, Treadmills, Tempo Runs, and Stretching. Stride Mechanics can be one the easiest and hardest parts of running to understand and perfect. Watching the really fast people run is a free way to learn what good stride mechanics looks like. Watch how they lift their legs; hold their arms, how they swing their arms, listen to their breathing, etc. When you run by yourself try and picture what you have seen. By visualizing good running form you will become faster.

Hills will give you the biggest bang for your buck. No other training method will get in you in shape faster or improve your speed like running hills. Running hills once a week for 4 weeks will improve your speed guaranteed. The beauty of hills is the improvements in stride mechanics and speed that you will gain.

Treadmills are a secret weapon that can be used to learn how to run really fast. By setting the treadmill at faster speed than your race pace and running repeats of three to five minutes great performance gains can be made. On a technical note there is a speed difference when using a treadmill. Always set the incline to 1 or 2 % when running your repeats.

Advantages of tempo runs for running faster show up in races longer than the 5k. Distances of 10k through the Marathon are better for tempo runs. The great advantage of Tempo Runs is that you can train longer without the long recovery involved with all out racing. People who use heart rate monitors have a great advantage by being able to zero in on their tempo pace. For those who do not use heart rate monitors remember to run comfortably hard and not all out.

There is a lot of debate about the merits of stretching. I personally stretch each time before I run. I have run for 10 years now without any real serious injuries. I don’t believe in stretching more than a couple minutes at a time. I do just three stretches that take about 3 minutes to complete. My feelings about stretching are that if my stride is longer by even an inch I will cover more ground and I will run faster.

Try these methods for yourself and see how your speed will improve. Don’t expect to go from a snail to a cheetah in one week. Give your mind and body a chance to learn how to run fast. Listen to your body it will tell you when you have trained enough.

Richard Shryack is the author of Fatigue Nutrition & Endurance Exercise.

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Single-sport focus

You may be able to do all three sports back to back but single- sport focus can give you a new events calendar and allow an edge to be gained. Moving from a multisport to a one-sport athlete is not as dumb as it seems.

Short term

For many triathletes, focusing on one sport gets them away from doing all three sports to the same extent all the time. This may allow them to work on a swim weakness when the weather is too bad for much biking or when they are getting back to their preferred sport for a recharge. You do not have to be a three-sport expert all the time and taking some time out from each sport may even be a good thing to do occasionally. If it’s planned and short term, it won’t affect your long-term progress.

The positives and pitfalls

The up-side of single-sport focus is a hunger to get back to missed sports afterwards. Similarly, you get to really give a sport total focus. However, the downfall, especially in running, is that the overload can lead to injury. Cross training keeps you low on injury risk, but focusing on one sport can lead to muscle overload and injury.


Swimming focus can include hitting the water every day for a week, an open-water event or entering a Masters’ gala. On the bike again, you can get out every day and combine a time trial or harder group with your increased mileage to raise the overload level. Run training must be carefully increased, however, and it may be wise to include Aqua-jogging in the pool and soft surface running to reduce the chances of injury.


Duathlon, lacking the swim segment, is often seen by some people as the easier option to triathlon. However, with two runs to contest, it is actually harder than a triathlon. Use these events wisely and you can improve as a triathlete.

Season expanders

Duathlon is a way to include some tough workouts when triathlons are not available or convenient. Use them pre-season (March through April) to bring on your competition ability and test equipment. As triathlon winds down in late September, duathlons become abundant, so you can extend the season for several weeks by incorporating run-bike-run events. Draw a clear line when the season ends, as you must have your required post-season recuperation period followed by winter base building.

Form testers

Many short duathlons are organized by tri clubs to give members a chance to compete when or where swim facilities are not convenient. These can be integrated into mid-week or weekends as quality workouts to see how well you are doing. The key with duathlon racing is simple: treat the first run like a cruise, then get on the bike and start to race proper. That way, you run off the bike strong, like a triathlon feels.

Paul has been writing articles for several years. Check out his website on Photography which gives help and advice on all types of photography such as Wedding Photography Tips and Digital Wedding Photography Tips

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