Flora Duffy is an Olympic and Commonwealth triathlon champion and has made it to the top of her sport through an unrelenting training programme.
Having started as a runner, Duffy tried out triathlon for the first time at the age of seven or eight and has committed her life to being the best athlete she can be.
She now lives and trains in Boulder, Colorado - a hub for endurance athletes due to its position at altitude. There, she trains seven days a week and dedicates her life to the sport.
Here’s a glimpse of what Flora Duffy’s training programme looks like.
Flora Duffy’s Triathlon Training Philosophy
Duffy does six swims, six bike sessions and between four and six runs every week.
Elite triathletes are known for logging a crazy amount of training hours (typically between 20 and 30 hours a week) and Duffy has one of the most professional attitudes around.
Spending so much time either in the pool, in the saddle or in her trainers is what builds her huge aerobic engine to power her through a triathlon.
In an amongst all those hours is a lot high-quality work, too. Duffy says herself that her coaches are often having to tell her not to push too hard so that she doesn’t overcook things.
The quality work in her programme includes lots of threshold running so her body becomes better at dealing with lactate, and plenty of bike power output work on flat ground because most triathlon courses are relatively flat.
What enables her to take on so much training is the fact that Duffy takes recovery so seriously. She has a lot of naps in between workouts and even has an ice bath in her basement.
She also stays very well connected to her source of motivation: “I enjoy racing and that gets me out of the door. Part of my motivation is definitely loving the sport, enjoying the lifestyle of it and everything that comes with it,” she says.
Flora Duffy’s Strength & Conditioning Routine
Duffy does three strength and conditioning sessions a week with a focus on improving strength and stability for performance and injury prevention.
Two of the sessions are strength agility-based. These involve plyometric drills like hurdle jumps for more explosive power on the run leg of the triathlon.
The third session aims to improve core strength and stability. These involve a lot of single-leg exercises and other movements focussing on balance training.
Duffy says she tries her best not to skip these S&C sessions because they help her body to absorb all the training and racing she does throughout the year.
A Typical Day Of Training For Flora Duffy
Most often, a day of training for Duffy will involve two or three workouts.
An example day would start with a small breakfast before heading out for an aerobic swim.
She’ll then rest before a run session consisting of intervals. Depending on what stage of the season it is, this could be a short neuromuscular session like 16 x 25 seconds hard with a 45-second recovery, or a threshold session like 6 x 2:40 with 80 seconds recovery.
The final workout of the day will be a three-hour bike ride with some big climbs on the roads around Boulder.