The Weeklong Workout
Think your workout regimen is tough? Here's how 45-year-old professional triathlete Karen Smyers spends a typical week training for competitions in and around Lincoln, Mass., where she lives:
Monday: About an hour of swimming in the morning, then an "easy" bike ride of between 45 minutes and 2 hours (less if she feels tired or doesn't have the time).
Tuesday: A 1 ½-to-2-hour bike ride that includes either hill repeats (riding the same hill over and over) or intervals (shorter bursts of speed followed by a recovery period) to add intensity. Later in the day, a running workout on the track, which builds over time from 2 ½ miles to 4 miles of intervals.
Wednesday: About an hour of swimming in the morning (which she might skip if she's going to swim on Thursday and Friday), then an easy bike ride of between 45 minutes and 2 hours.
Thursday: Long "brick" day with intense back-to-back workouts: first a 3-hour bike ride, followed immediately by a 60-to-90-minute run. And maybe a 2-mile-plus open-water swim at Walden Pond.
Friday: As much as 90 minutes of swimming in the morning, then an easy bike ride of between 45 minutes and 2 hours.
Saturday: A long bike ride of up to 130 miles followed immediately by a 3-mile "transition" run to reacquaint her legs with running.
Sunday: A long run of 15 to 20 miles.