Coach’s Corner: Julie Emmerman’s Blender workout

The Blender uses a mix of short Tabata-style efforts with longer steady threshold work.

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Companies like Sufferfest and TrainerRoad have created a popular form of workout that use a complex mix of intensities along with video, sounds, and on-screen stats that are often as much about the experience as the workout. “I just enjoy that it gives me a little bit of everything,” says pro Julie Emmerman. “I enjoy the cheeky humor. I enjoy the music. I enjoy the video footage. I enjoy the length of the video itself, which I think is about an hour and 40 minutes. And I enjoy that I feel worked afterwards.”


Emmerman’s favorite is a Sufferfest workout called The Blender. It uses a mix of short Tabata-style efforts with longer steady threshold work. As the name implies, it doesn’t target a specific energy system, because a race itself is a blend of everything giving this workout its own form of race specificity.


This type of workout should be an add-on to your primary training work. Emmerman’s coach gives it to her about once per month. Use it as an enjoyable periodic reward, or when you need something a little harder, longer, and more fun.


You don’t have to spend a lot of time memorizing workouts like The Blender or perfecting your efforts. Just install the app, connect it to your trainer, and let the app do the rest. “One thing I do have,” said Emmerman, “is the ability to just drop into the moment and immerse myself in what’s going on right there. And that’s the video I happen to enjoy. I perfect [my training] in the process of it.”