Jake Birtwhistle, 18, of Launceston, Tasmania, is the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival Triathlon winner. Here are his top three training tips.
1 Go Hard
“I do a simple fartlek session: 1 min hard (3:00 min/km), 1 min float (3:20-3:30 min/km), 8-10 reps. This simulates race conditions, and gets my body used to pushing harder and surging.”
2 Go Fast
“I do strides at the end of my easy runs to get my legs ticking over again after going slow. This keeps my neuromuscular patterns sharp. Distance runners generally have less fast-twitch muscle fibres than other athletes, so it’s important to maintain the fibres we do have.”
3 Go Strong
“I do variations on planks: while in plank position I raise one arm to the side without any rotation through my hips or shoulders. This helps improve my posture, which is important for developing an efficient running style.”