Olympic Speed skater does 98% of training on a bike

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    Hi – I read an article today on how the Olympic champion 10k speed skater did 98% of his training on the bike.

    The Wildly Cool Training Approach of Speed Skating Gold Medalist Nils van der Poel

    I’d be interested in your views on specificity of training – ie. most of his training was not speed skating! How does that apply do you think to triathlon? I know that my bike aerobic training definitely improves my running, but not sure the other way around.



    Leyla Porteous

    Hi Gazandjenkins@mac.com
    That was a great article on Nils van der Poel.

    Obviously he has had great success from doing large amounts of training on the bike, which sounds like it provided him a training adaptation that translates well to speed skating (I’m guessing watts, leg strength etc). This is only an insight into his training in the recent lead up to the Olympics and I’m going to assume that he has amazing technique already established from years of specific skating training. I also think that some sports require more specificity than others such as swimming and running. So in terms of your question about triathlon training, you are already really banking fitness from non-specificity when you train 3 sports, and in order to develop technique and skills you wouldn’t want to throw that balance out too far. As an example though there can be a shift in emphasis in triathlon training – so for a very experienced swimmer, they can swim a little less and focus extra time on their running for instance and not loose swim fitness, whilst a developing swimming who is working on swim form would need to add in an extra swim session to ensure they develop their swim skills, and perhaps reduce time on the bike or run in order to do this.

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