Ever since the Brownlee brothers won their medals (and our hearts) we’ve wanted to know how it’s possible to swim, ride and run that fast…
But just watching them claim their gold and bronze Olympic medals wore us out. So, we snuck along to the exclusive preview of the Virgin Active Triathlon Fast Class, in Virgin’s swanky new flagship club at 200 Aldersgate, to see if we could keep up. The class itself – led by Virgin Active’s James Tevorrow – is high intensity and short duration, which basically means you work your ass off. It’s designed to give you the maximum workout in a minimum time frame. Perfect for trying to fit in classes around a busy workday.
After only 30 minutes of working out we were hot, sweaty and feeling the burn. It was clear we’re not quite up to Olympic standard. But world-class triathlete, Lois Rosindale (who trains alongside the Brownlee’s) was on hand to give us some top training tips. And we needed them.
How many hours a week do you train?
I normally do 30 hours of swimming, cycling and running and then three gym sessions a week, an hour long each. I don’t get to fit much else in. It’s literally Train, eat, sleep. Train, train, train.
Wow that’s a lot of work. How do you fit in food between all that training?
It’s all about planning. If you know you’re going to do a session after work and you’re going to be out late have something in for tea that’s quick and easy like a stir-fry. Obviously you’re going to be hungry when you finish work but it’s best to plan snacks like flapjacks, bananas and cereal bars.
Does your diet change the closer you get to a big race?
I basically just try to stick to the same food as in training. You know it works for you in training so don’t try and change it.
What do you eat before a big competition?
I used to have pizza every single night before a race but now I can’t have gluten so I have chicken, rice or potatoes. And I always have ice cream the night before a race. It’s like a tradition.
Pizza and ice cream? Even we can handle that. What is your top training tip?
I guess coming to classes like this and doing walking lunges. It just helps your core running technique. After being on a bike for an hour you need to be able to stand up and run. If your core is not strong enough then your running technique goes to pot. You need to be strong when you get off the bike otherwise you’ll be shuffling and waddling about.
Feel like you could face the challenge? The Virgin Active London Triathlon takes place on 22-23rd September 2012 in and around London’s Excel Centre. For more info and for your nearest class, visit: virginactive.co.uk