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Trigirl’s High-Intensity Triathlon Training – Descending Intervals Bike Session

Trigirl’s HITT (High Intensity Triathlon Training) sessions are back by popular demand! (HITT is a hit!) This week, we’re back on the bike for a scorcher session that will increase both your aerobic and anaerobic capabilities and burn loads of calories in minutes!!

Before beginning… If you’re new to Trigirl’s weekly high-intensity triathlon training, see week one for more information on HITT, how it works and how to approach the sessions.

Though high-intensity triathlon training has been proven safe, if you are starting a new exercise plan (whether traditional triathlon training or HITT), it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor.

Your HITT Session for the Week:

This session can be performed indoors or out. Outdoors is best, though if the weather isn’t very cycling-friendly, you are forgiven if you can’t bear to ride outside.

If you are training indoors, it’s recommended that you ride on a turbo trainer, Wattbike or spin bike, with a typical gym bike being the least-recommended option. (The closer that you can train to your actual bike set-up, the better!)

We’ve adapted this session from Olympic coach Gale Bernhardt’s “miracle intervals”, originally published on Bicycling.com. If the long recoveries seem a bit much, do them anyway. They’ll allow you to go “ALL OUT!” doing the fast intervals for maximum HITT benefits.


Warm-up for 8 minutes:
– 5 minutes gentle spinning, making sure that you have enough resistance not to bounce in the saddle.
– 3 minutes – add a gear or two, then ride 3 x [30 seconds spinning your legs up to the fastest cadence you can spin without bouncing, followed by 30 seconds easy recovery]

  • 45 seconds all-out fast with 4:30 easy recovery
  • 40 seconds all-out fast with 4:25 easy recovery
  • 35 seconds all-out fast with 4:20 easy recovery
  • 30 seconds all-out fast with 4:15 easy recovery

Cool down, riding another five minutes in an easy gear (still not bouncing!)

Well done and…


Happy HITT training!

High-Intensity Triathlon Training

Novice Training Day on 9th of June in Northwood

The amazing coaches at Tri50 and novice-training experts GoTri are teaming up this summer to offer a fully-coached triathlon training day!

Are you a novice triathlete preparing for your first event? Do you want to build your confidence and improve your technique for the OW swim? Or maybe you’d like more of a clue what happens on the big day? This triathlon training day will answer these questions and many more.

Sandra from Tri50 will be leading the course, drawing on her wealth of knowledge as a British Triathlon Federation Level 3 Coach, L4 Personal Trainer and IRONMAN Coach (to name a few of her qualifications!)

What should you expect?

  • 60 mins fully coached OW swim – perfect for less confident or inexperienced swimmers
  • Sessions on cycle/run technique
  • Transition training
  • Classroom sessions on kit, training plans, sports nutrition and hydration plus Q&A
  • An opportunity to put everything together in preparation for the big day

Though Trigirl isn’t running our own women’s training day this year, we’ve worked with Tri50 for years, including as coaches on previous training days. Jo from Tri50 also runs women specific triathlon training groups and wrote about it for us here.

Despite it not being women-only, we can highly recommend this course as a great way to gain the skills and confidence you need for your first triathlon.

The training day costs £50 and will take place on Saturday, 9th June at the lovely Merchant Taylor’s School in Moor Park (near Watford). It can be booked through the British Triathlon website.

Quadrathlon. For when three disciplines just aren’t enough!

Trigirl are delighted to be sponsoring the women-only sprint triathlon Deva Divas again in 2018. This will be the 11th year of the event which aims to encourage women into the sport of triathlon. It’s a brilliant event with an impressive pedigree. In 2016 it won the coveted British Triathlon ‘Event of the Year’, Triathlon England ‘Club Event of the Year’ and North West ‘Regional Race of the Year’!

As if that wasn’t enough, last year, organisers Sally Napthen and Jean Ashley decided to offer their competitors another challenge. The first ever ladies only quadrathlon IN THE WORLD was born!

Of course, the female triathlete community love being out of their comfort zone. As a result the 30 available places for the inaugural 2017 quadrathlon were snapped up in a matter of days. The event consisted of a 750m swim, 25k bike and 5k run followed by a 4k kayak. Competitors were offered the opportunity to take part in a 12-week canoe course at Chester Canoe Club as part of the quadrathlon training package.

Deva Divas TriathlonAnne Collins, who took part in last year’s race, said that the kayak training was, for her, almost as much fun as the race itself. “The women came from a complete cross section of backgrounds but shared a common goal. We were all rooting for each other and, having trained together as well, we shared a really strong bond”

For those of you tempted to give quadrathlon a go, sadly all 50 places for this year’s event are already taken but there is a waiting list!

The good news is that there are still places left for the main Deva Divas triathlon race which takes place on Sunday 8th July at The Meadows, Chester.

Deva Divas has a unique atmosphere. The emphasis is on fun and encouraging women to give achievable, short distance races a try. Something we at Trigirl wholeheartedly agree with.

Most participants stay to watch and cheer the other women over the line and the day finishes with cake for all. Now you can’t say fairer than that!

Check out the Chester Triathlon Club website for more information on the race and how to enter.

Deva Divas Quadrathlon

Tri50 Swim- and Triathlon Training Camps for Mature Triathletes

If you’re a mature triathlete of any standard, it’s worth taking a look at the triathlon training camp that Tri50 is running in spring this year.

There is a swim camp that will run from Mon 23rd April to Sat 28th 2018. The triathlon training camp will then follow on from 29th April to Sun 6th May 2018. You can also do the combined camp from Mon 23rd April to Sat 6th May with a rest day on Sat 28th.

The camps will take place at the stunning Sands Beach Resort Lanzarote where, guess what ladies, there’s a good chance it will be warm!

More details can be found on the Tri50 website . The camps include underwater filming, 1-1 corrective analysis and feedback, and a personalised comprehensive 6 week training program to take home. There will also be various presentations, workshops and sessions on S&C and core strength.

Trigirl were lucky enough to catch up with coach Jo Lewis to find out more about the camps.

Jo said “We had a ball at the last camp in November and are really looking forward to more of the same in April. Last time all 14 people on the camp made every session throughout the week which was fantastic. I’d encourage anyone who is considering coming along to pick up the phone and have a chat. I can explain what’s involved and answer any questions you have and if you can’t make the whole week we’ll try and accommodate your needs”

We’d love to hear how you get on. Don’t forget to share your camp experiences with us when you get back home.

More about the Tri50 coaches

swim and triathlon training camps Tri50Jo Lewis co-founded Tri50 in 2010 with a vision to inspire and nurture mature athletes. Far from winding down in her forties and fifties, she was just hitting her stride and ultimately achieved her fastest 10k and half marathon times age 47.

Jo took up triathlon in 1998 and has since achieved several podium finishes at national level including being National Age Group Champion at Sprint Distance. She has also captained the GB Age Group Team and won multiple medals at international level.

As if her own personal achievements weren’t enough to inspire us to get up off the sofa and get out there, she, along with her coaching partner Sandra Barden have made it their mission to offer practical help and training for mature athletes.

Their coaching is tailored to novice and advanced triathletes who are not yet ready to hang up their trainers.

Steve Trew is one of the best-known names in world triathlon and has coached medallists at European and World Championships. One intriguing fact about Steve is that all the athletes he has coached to World Championship titles have been female.

Trigirl wanted to find out what Steve could tell us about female triathletes; what makes us tick, what we find tough and what we can all be doing to get the most out of our training.

Do women struggle with any particular aspects of triathlon? Are there any areas women tend to neglect in training? Do you think women get better results if they train in a group? What changes have you seen in women’s triathlon?

These are just some of the questions we asked expert tri coach Steve Trew in our recent interview. Click here to read the full interview.

Steve has published a number of books to help triathletes achieve their sporting goals. The book “100 Essential Triathlon Sessions” that swim coach Dan Bullock co-authored with him is particularly useful to triathletes of all levels. The book features 100 sessions – 30 swim, 30 bike, 30 run and 10 brick – that have been developed and honed over many years and have proved effective in improving performance.

Asked if he had one piece of advice for the newbie triathlete, Steve replied:

Give it a go! What’s the worst that can happen?!

Expert tri coach Steve Trew
Tri coach Steve Trew with Marc Dragan commentating Sydney Olympics.

Successful and injury-free Marathon training without the long runs?

Performance coach, massage therapist and friend of Trigirl, Emily Chong, subjected herself to a nighttime off-road marathon to test out her own theory about interval training.

Emily adopted a “no long run” style of training for the marathon, using gym-based strength training and high-intensity intervals in the pool and on the bike to boost her fitness, to great success.

Read more about Emily’s marathon training and why it could help to keep you injury-free here:


marathon training without long runs

It’s cold, dark, wet and icy outside. You’re feeling tired or maybe you’re recovering from an injury. Perhaps you have a marathon booked in a few months. Should you grin and bear it and stick with the mileage written in the training plan? Should you listen to your body and rest?

Is Marathon training without long runs possible?

Your answer may be interval training, cross training and pushing weights in the warmth of a gym.

At the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Emil Zátopek became the first person to win the 5k, 10K and the marathon in the same Olympics. Before then he had never run a marathon, not in training, nor in a race. His secret? Interval training.

Combustion Triangle

The “combustion triangle” of sports training consists of:

  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Strength & conditioning and
  • Technique

Using just one activity to train for these components is not uncommon; many runners only run. However, this can be time consuming and risky considering the amount of impact and the time it takes to recover from running.

My Marathon Training Experiment

I wanted to experience how effective cross training and interval training could be for this blog post, so I signed up for a marathon as an experiment. Apart from a very slow Ironman in 2014 (with a 5hr run split), I had never run a marathon before. While I’m used to high volume swimming and cycling, I don’t run more than 10km at a time.

Looking for a women’s-only triathlon training camp with a bit of luxury?

Buzz Women in Triathlon HolidayCheck out the Buzz Women in Triathlon Holiday, a fun-filled and confidence-boosting week. Hosted by Buzz Performance, this camp in located in the beautiful area of Morzine and it’s surroundings. The training takes place in 25 and 50m swimming pools, Lac Montriond, on quiet roads and on river trails.

This women’s only holiday brings together women of all ages with a buzzing interest in triathlon for a fun filled and confidence boosting week. It helps ladies of all abilities gain new skills, improve current technique and experience training in a relaxed and supportive environment.

There is even

triathlon cycling tipsOur latest article focuses on triathlon’s longest leg – the bike.

Even if you’ve ridden all of your life, there are some easy ways to help your triathlon bike leg go smoothly (and to help make it even more fun).

You will spend the majority of your time in a triathlon on the bike, so even if you feel comfortable with basic cycling, it’s worth spending a little time thinking – and practising – how to get the most out of triathlon’s longest leg.

See the article here.

Triathlon Training in the GymHi Trigirls!

We received a question on our website recently asking if it was possible to train for triathlon at the gym. I’m pretty sure that with our hectic lifestyles and ‘temperamental’ weather, a lot of people training for triathlon in the UK have wondered about training indoors. Sometimes it’s just easier to train at the gym. So is it an option?

Yes, you can do quite a bit of triathlon training in the gym, but you must train outside as well.


Vegetarian TriathleteConcerned that following a vegetarian or vegan diet will prevent you from performing at your best in triathlon?

It can be difficult to eat a balanced diet in general, let alone as a triathlete. Throw female vegetarian triathlete into the mix and you’re facing very different nutritional necessities than say… a guy who doesn’t spend his time endurance training! 

You may find that everyone is suddenly asking, ‘How do you get enough protein?’ or perhaps your energy levels have dipped because you’re not consuming enough calories to keep up with your heightened energy expenditure.

All of these concerns and more are covered in the latest Trigirl article by nutritional therapist, Jo Scott-Dalgleish, where she shares tips on what you need specifically as a female vegetarian triathlete.

Follow her advice and you can perform at your best, without having to compromise on your dietary choices!

Our very popular Trigirl Women-Only Triathlon Training Days are back for 2014.

Based on sold out success last year, we’ve added more days and additional locations, but we expect spaces to go quickly, so sign up now!

      • Triathlon Training Days 2014READING – 22nd March 2014
      • MANCHESTER – 6th April 2014
      • STIRLING – 6th April 2014
      • LONDON – 26th April 2014
      • BRISTOL – 27th April 2014
      • LONDON – 17th May 2014
      • READING – 7th June 2014

Trigirl Training Days are perfect for novice or improver triathletes, providing an opportunity to receive small group coaching in a supportive, friendly, women-only environment. There will be plenty of time to ask all of your triathlon questions, meet other women who are triathlon training and to work with a trained coach who can help you get to the finish line and have a great time doing it.

Not sure a training day is right for you? We’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions in our brand-new video, featured below! Or for more information and to book, please click here.

We look forward to seeing you at a training day near you!

Willesden-Training-Tri Trigirl posted a while back about a new triathlon training series at Willesden Sports Centre in Brent, North West London. We’re excited to hear that the triathlon training is going strong and that they are officially launching the Willesden Triathlon Club!

Suited for all levels with a special focus on novice and improvers, the club is the first triathlon club in the Brent area. A friendly and welcoming group, the Willesden Triathlon Club encourages both men and women to come out and try triathlon training for the first time or to get faster with an experienced coach.

For more information or to sign up for sessions, see willesdentriathlon.co.uk