Most triathletes are much more comfortable with “going long” than going fast—they can run all day, but put them near max and the wheels come off. This is only compounded by the culture of Ironman, in which an athlete’s worth is measured by miles per week instead of miles per hour. Here are the first steps to develop speed after distance-focused training.
1. Reframe your idea of what constitutes a hard training week. Your hours/miles per week will decrease when focusing on speed, but the quality of training will be much higher.
2. Learn to value the importance of recovery between workouts. Cramming in training for time efficiency is perfectly acceptable when the intensity is low. But once the focus shifts to higher-end speedwork, you must allow for full recovery between workouts.