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Is there a most efficient running form?

Key factors in efficient running, why triathletes need speed, and how to snack well


Good morning everyone,

Yesterday I did a swim and the set was aerobically focused - some decent volume but minimal intensity - and to be honest, it was a little boring. Even after years and years of doing these types of training sessions I still find it a struggle to get through them.

  • But as is usually the case with something I find difficult, it probably means I need to work on it the most. These types of sessions are crucial for building overall fitness, so with that in mind, I’ll keep trying to plug away at them.

Does anyone have underwater podcast recommendations?

In today’s edition: 

  • 🏎️ The need for speed - why triathletes need to train faster (not harder) - Vol. 3

  • 🏃 The key factors to running efficiently

  • 🍿 And the principles of snacking well

Thanks for being here,

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

Headshot of Matt Sharpe

Have a triathlete in your life who can't stop swimming, biking, or running? Fire this off to them. Forwarded from a friend? Sign-up for free. 


The Need for Speed - Volume 3

Coach Max Frankel's series on why triathletes NEED to train at higher intensities. Read volume 1 and volume 2.

Max Frankel is a former elite cyclist and collegiate runner and is currently a triathlete and coach based in Boulder, Colorado. Max is an accomplished coach in the marathon, track, and both short and long-course triathlon having coached multiple athletes to professional licenses in triathlon, wins at the marathon and ultramarathon distances, and numerous Boston Marathon, Ironman World Championship and 70.3 World Championship qualifiers. 

  • If you’d like to inquire about his coaching or have any questions/feedback on this new segment of The Tempo, feel free to drop Max an email at [email protected]

Welcome back to The Need for Speed! In today’s edition, we’re going to discuss what zone 6 training looks like for pros, and some of the ways their workouts can be modified to be even more effective. Professional athletes typically tend to receive the cutting-edge of training philosophy first, before coaches adapt and trickle down the same ideas for age-groupers, but there’s never a better time than the present to get even better at optimizing performance. 

In today’s edition:

  • Why longer rest is sometimes more beneficial to improving performance

  • Common traps athletes and coaches fall into when assigning high-intensity workouts

  • Overcoming our inherent bias towards aerobic strain.

I recently found myself sitting in on the performance meeting of an anonymous triathlete as their performance team went over perceived weaknesses in the athlete’s training, and tossed around solutions for how to improve them. One of the key points that came up was high-intensity output for <30 second bursts in the middle of the bike leg during races (out of corners and up short climbs). This was a weakness that had previously cost the athlete results, and prior to the meeting they had been working quite hard on improving their output and capacity for these efforts in training. However, the performance management team was unsure if enough gains had been made to soften their concerns about these efforts’ impact on results. 

One of the first things I noticed in this discussion was that every time this athlete was working on their zone 6 output/capacity in training, the efforts were firmly set within already demanding conditions - either surges inside longer efforts, or on very short rest. I voiced my concern and placed it in language we can all understand:

  • “If your “sprint” 25s in the pool are on the :20 or the :25, you aren’t working your sprint–that’s a threshold or VO2 set.”

If the only time you’re going hard is on short rest, you’re creating a situation where it’s highly unlikely your output will improve–continuing the swim example, if a 25 sprint for you is 15 seconds, doing a bunch of 18 second 25s on the :20 or the :25 isn’t going to help you bring that down to 13 or 14. It might be helping you convert that 18/25y on the :25 to a 36/50y on the :50, but the goal here isn’t getting aerobically “fitter” or more durable–it’s just about not getting dropped when the gas is floored by the strongest riders in the race. 

To achieve that goal, we need to learn how to take long rest.

Click here to read the rest of the article.


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🏃 Most efficient running: Is there a most efficient way to run? Maybe! Sports medicine researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 51 studies and the findings were eye-opening. A higher foot cadence, higher vetical stiffness, and increased leg stiffness were associated with lower energy cost and more efficient running. But implementing these factors aren’t totally easy. [Running Physio]

🦸‍♀️ Swim, bike, hero: Triathlete Tamara Loiselle was on a Cancun beach when she saw a drowning couple struggling in the strong surf. She grabbed a life preserver, battled through crashing waves, and used her endurance to save lives. Quite the vacation story! [Calgary Herald]

🍿 How to snack well: Snacking well is an art, and a very individual endeavor. This blog explains the principles of snacking well and gives some great examples of high-powered snacks to fuel your training (and life). [MLS nutrition]

👏 Determined Dede: At 53 Dede Griesbauer (USA) is the oldest professional triathlete in the world. But this IRONMAN Champion and Ultraman World Champion isn’t slowing down anytime soon. This video shows how incredible her triathlon journey has been, and how loving the process can help you conquer any challenge! [9 News]


We swear, most of the time it’s fun! 🤣


T100 Triathlon World Tour - Miami


The first stop in the venture capital-backed pro triathlon race series had breakout races, catastrophic collapses, and technical difficulties…

Women’s race: With notable absences of athletes like Ashleigh Gentle (AUS), Chelsea Sodaro (USA), and Anne Haug (GER) it was unclear how the race dynamics would play out.

  • But IRONMAN World Champion Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) took the race into her hands and pushed the swim and bike early. Only India Lee (GBR) could hang with her.

  • On the run, Lee was able to work her way past LCB and with a decisive late move took the win and the biggest race of her career.

  • 🥇 India Lee (GBR) 🥈 Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR) 🥉 Holly Lawrence (GBR)

Men’s race: The wind, heat, and humidity on the NASCAR racetrack proved to be devastating for many athletes. Others timed their efforts to perfection.

Mathis Margirier (FRA) and Alistair Brownlee set a hot pace out of the swim and onto the bike. Eventually they were caught by only IRONMAN World Champion Sam Laidlow (FRA) and #1 ranked Magnus Ditlev (DEN).

  • On the run Laidlow and Brownlee smashed the early miles, but that would be their undoing. Ditlev and Margirier slowly caught them both.

  • Ditlev showed why he was the #1 ranked athlete as he took a decisive win. But just behind him Sam Long (USA) had a near-perfectly executed race to finish in second.

  • 🥇 Magnus Ditlev (DEN) 🥈 Sam Long (USA) 🥉 Mathis Margirier (FRA)

Tempo’s take: In terms of excitement both races had plenty of intrigue, lead changes, and unexpected plot twists. As the season progresses and the start lists continue to get more stacked the quality of racing will only get better.

  • Of course, there were some hiccups. During the women’s race, there was an unexplained loss of audio for about an hour. Also, someone might have screwed up on the timing of the race as the sun went down while the women still had significant time left on the bike. Some sections of the race course were pitch black!

But these kinds of issues are pretty typical of a startup. Each race will probably improve based on feedback, and by the time the yet-to-be-named Grand Final race cracks on at least some of the kinks should be worked out.


Did you tune in to the inaugural T100 race?

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Rain cancellation: Forecasted torrential rains in Abu Dhabi forced the cancellation of this past weekend’s World Triathlon Championship Series event. Athletes were devastated and it throws a wrench into the works with only a few races left before the Olympic qualifying period.

Paratriathletes to Paris: It wasn’t just the T100 athletes who were competing in Miami. There was also the Paratriathlon America’s Championship which saw five athletes clinch a spot at this summer’s Paralympics in Paris. [USA Triathlon]

Paris problems: Speaking of Paris, more athletes are speaking up about the potential water quality issues of swimming in the Seine river at the Olympics - and the need for a “plan B.” [France 24]

Hoosier triathletes: The Southern Indiana Triathlon Team is hosting an open house this Saturday at 2 PM at the Downtown Evansville YMCA. [WEVV]

Hong Kong champions: Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour will welcome some of the best triathletes for the upcoming World Cup event. It promises to be a thrilling battle for Olympic qualification, and an economic boost. [BNN Breaking]


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