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This post reminds me what is discussed in the Time Crunched Triathlete by Carmichael: training on higher intensities on lower volumes.

Michael I

Hey Joe..
Do you realy mean 7-8x(20+10s)?? at 170% of VO2-max power(CP5). Or is it CP6-power?

Joe Friel

Michael--Write it any way you want. I always use 7-8 x 20s (10s). There are other ways, too.

Darren Knight

Hi Joe, loving the posts. From what you have said it appears a Build period of high intensity would still be appropriate after the Base phase, even for an Ironman lead in. In your training bible and from your other discussions you prefer a Base 3 prior to the peak as its more race specific.

Michael H.

I've already got a good sense of your approach to interval training from "Your Best Triathlon", but I'm still looking forward to more details on the process. Great series for those of us currently in the Build phase for fall races.


My worry with raising intensity as a race approaches is the risk of injury. Surely you are statistically more likely fail to reach the start of the race with this approach.

Bob Pain

Hey Joe, I like the blog. I am a huge advocate of interval training. I use it training for myself and clients following the Crossfit methodology and sometimes we do the Tabata workouts with just about every exercise. Now with the first study, the Mcgill one, you said that the people in the SIT study acheived the results in a fourth of the time. Now do you think it would be better to start an athlete with interval training versus the traditional approach of building a base of long distance? and build up the distance from the intensity??

Philip Turk

Very informative, Joe!

Joe Friel

Bob P--When I have started novices in the past I started them with intervals. For ex, walk, run, walk, run, etc. Over time I'd have them doing longer hard efforts and shorter recoveries. But the type of interval is aerobic.

Dave S

Great topic Joe. With CrossFit popping up everywhere as of late I would love to get your thoughts on the CrossFit methodology to endurance training where high intensity intervals lasting less than 30 minutes are the norm, with little or no LSD.


hey joe, I've red that there are pro triathletes who hold some state records in running and swimming
I don't understand how they can beat specialised runners/swimmers
I don't think that this pro triathletes can train so specific(with so much volume and intensity in one sport) like pro swimmers/runners

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