Dry Tri Preparation Program

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This 6-week program is all about developing your aerobic fitness and lactate Threshold to enable you to go all out at higher intensities for longer durations of effort.

If the Dry Tri was to be completed individually then the training would be quite boring and the event itself would be far less fun. This is why you will be working in pairs for the Dry Tri! By working in pairs, the ‘workout’ becomes far more anerobic and steps into our second energy system, the glycolytic (lactate) energy system. With adequate training and preparation, you may increase your lactic threshold to be able to hold onto a higher intensity for the duration of the event!

If you have ever completed one of Function Well’s world class Metcon (Metabolic Conditioning) classes then you will have felt the burning, battery acid feeling in your muscles. This is the lactic acid building up in the muscles. This is a biproduct of the glycolytic energy system. As we rest our body attempts to remove as much of the acid as possible but with continued bouts this acid builds up and can seriously slow down your workout. The limit to which our body starts to produce more lactic acid than it is capable of removing is referred to as our Lactate Threshold. The following program is designed to develop and extend this lactic threshold.

Before we get into the Dry Tri Preparation Program, it is important to find out what your lactate threshold is. Many athletes will undergo an intensive test to establish and exact lactate threshold however it is simple to get a predicted lactate threshold through a 30 min time trial – here’s how:

Estimating the Lactate Threshold

This method requires a 30-minute time trial at a sustained high intensity. The main goal here is to find the highest effort that you can sustain and monitor your heart rate throughout the test. This test can be done on any cardio machine or modality of your choosing – be that a run, swim, cycle, ski, or row. My recommendation would be a cycle as this is low impact and easy to replicate for retesting.

You will need:

  1. Concept 2 bike erg /ski erg / row erg / assault runner / treadmill
  2. Heart rate monitor 
  3. Stopwatch (or other device for tracking time intervals)


  1. Warm up: Raise HR to 60-70% HRmax through cardio of your choice + hamstring/quad/glute foam rolling/trigger point + Dynamic hip flexor & hamstring stretches. 
  2. Begin your test and work up to your maximum intensity within the first 10 minutes (use this time to guestimate what you will be capable of maintaining for the duration of the test – do not go all out straight away)
  3. Record your heart rate each minute for the next 20 minutes of the test
  4. Calculate your average heart rate over the FINAL 20 minutes of the test. This measurement is your estimated heart rate at your lactate threshold
  5. Cool down: Static stretching

Weekly Program Breakdown

Strength Day 1

+ POWER Sprints finisher


This Dry Tri preparation program has been written by Performance Coaches Jesse O’SullivanLewis Collocott & JP

  • Structural Balance Strength Training

    The purpose of these two strength sessions is to improve the muscular endurance and overall structural balance of the body to prevent injury & increase endurance for the Dry Tri. Each exercise in these two workouts have been specifically chosen to target the key muscles that will be used in the Dry Tri – namely glutes, hamstring, quads, calves, anterior ankle muscles, core & shoulders/upper back. Each exercise should be completed at an intensity of 80/20 – meaning you reserve 20% effort or at least 2 reps after each exercise to ensure you have enough energy to complete the total number of reps and rounds of the circuit with good form.

  • Strength Training Day 1

    Warm up: 2 min SKI -> 30s each side Forward Leg swing -> 30s each side Lateral Leg swing -> 30s hollow body hold

    Circuit of 3-5 rounds:

    10-20 reps Stability ball (or Sliders) hamstring curl 

    5-10 reps each side Lateral Lunge

    20 reps Body Weight Calf Raises

    10 each side Walking Lunges 

    20 reps Plate Russian Twists

  • Strength Day 2

    Warm up: 30s on 30s off Bike erg x3 -> 5each side spiderman lunge -> 20s each side side plank

    Circuit of 3 rounds:

    10each side Stir the Pot

    10each side reverse lunge

    10 BOSU ball push ups

    10 single leg eccentric heel raises

    10 box jumps (or 5each side single leg box jumps)

    10 DB Power Snatch

  • Bike / Running Volume Aerobic Capacity workouts

    These workouts are designed to build your base for the hardest parts of the workout. The bike to run transition, and the run itself. Perform 1-2 of these each week as well as an Anaerobic Threshold Session

  • Aerobic Capacity Workout 1

    Bike > Run Efforts. The transition from bike to run can be a gamechanger in the dry tri. These workouts are designed to build running tolerance on heavy legs.  Complete one of these workouts each week. They gradually increase in difficulty. These workouts are performed individually because run efforts will again be markedly longer than the rest of the workout. 

    1. Every 4mins for 24mins (6rds)

        400/300m Bike (RPE 8-9)

        400m Run (assault runner / SKillmill)

        *Push hard on the bike then maintain a strong output on the run. 


    1. Every 6mins for 30mins

                    400/300m bike

                    400m run

                    400/300m bike


    1. 4 Rounds

         200m Bike Sprint

         Rest :20

        200m Sprint

        600m Run

        Rest 2mins


    1. Every 7mins for 28mins (4rds)

         1km Run

         80% Bike erg in remaining time. 


    (there is no rest here, the bike is your “active recovery”. Bike until the 7min interval then repeat the 1km run.

  • Aerobic Capacity Workout 2

    1. 5x 600m RUN w/ 3 minutes rest between sets. You should aim to hit you estimated heart rate at your lactate threshold for each bout of effort
    2. 400m warm up, then 3x 800m. Rest 1min 30 seconds between each run. 400m cool down
    3. 2 sets Run 1000m – Rest 2min – Run 800m – Rest 1:30 – Run 600m Rest 3min. Repeat.Aim to increase pace across your efforts. 

      Then aim to increase pace in 2nd round compared to all first round efforts. 

    4. 4 x 4min Max Distance Run. 4min Rest. (do this with a partner)
  • Anaerobic Threshold (AT) Training

    These programs are all designed to develop and increase your anaerobic threshold to allow you to produce greater intensity for longer durations. All the workouts below are most effective when working at your predicted heart rate at lactate threshold. Use the rest to lower the HR back down. Select your own combination of the workouts provided below and try to complete 1-2 AT training sessions per week.    

  • Anaerobic Workout

    For this series, do only one part per session (ie. Week 1 – 3a, Week 2 – 3b…).


    90s ON 90s OFF x 12 on BIKE or SKI


    120s ON 120s OFF x8 on SKIor BIKE


    3min ON 3min OFF x5  BIKE or SKI

  • Power Development Sprints

    Add this to the end of your strength session to develop maximal power output.

    1. SKI ERG 100 Strokes for Max Distance 
    2. Bike 30s Max Wattage 90s rest (Repeat 5 times)
    3. 30 metre Skill Mill Push (20kg for ladies, 40kg for gents) for Max Wattage (repeat 4 times)
  • Recovery Protocol

    As this type of high volume, high intensity training can apply a heavy stress on the body it is VITAL to ensure that your body is recovering well through quality sleep, great nutrition, and a complimentary recovery protocol to ensure you avoid injury. ALWAYS listen to your body and never train through genuine pain – there is a big difference between feeling the ‘hurt’ or ‘discomfort’ of a solid session, but you shouldn’t push your body beyond pain. 

    Follow this suggested protocol to compliment your recovery on your off days or >4hr after a strength session.

    Sauna 15min as hot as you can handle -> (rinse off) 2 minutes ice bath (you will achieve greater results if you gently move within the ice bath during the 2 minutes) -> 2 minutes at room temperature/ cold shower to rinse off Repeat 2-3 times