I just got a text from a client of mine. He just came 2nd in his age group, last year he was 50th!
I have been training this person for Sprint Triathlons since last November. His goal was to podium in his age group. So we did the logical thing, we looked at all the times for the various triathlon components and got the average times for the top 3 finishers. Then I put him on a plan for meeting those times. Simple? Well not so simple, it is very hard work.
One of the things that make me a bit different from most coaches is that I insist on at least one technique session a week for all triathlon components, during the racing season. These sessions are usually 30minutes long. Also at the end of the season, during the detraining and transition phases (3 months), about 70%-80% of workouts are focused on strength and technique. So when we start building volume, it is always on a strong foundation of strong efficient body.
I also do strength/conditioning intervals that really improve performance. The following is an example of one of my speed workouts:
The running and swim workouts are below. These are short intense workouts, done in the last build phase before peaking, really sharpens the knife. These give great results and can be used for Sprint to Olympic. My Ironman and Half Ironman are a little different.
I hope that you find these helpful, but before you try any of these, it is important to note that you need clearance from your doctor before you do any strenuous activity. Also, these are part of a total training plan that builds, so that the joints and tendons could withstand this intensity.