The great thing about running is that we all know how to do it! Swimming is
technique focused, cycling requires gear – running is almost instinctive
and as such is the most basic part of the tri.
However, running can lead to injuries more easily than swimming or biking. If you
are a new runner take it slowly, remember that your muscles need time to
develop to protect your joints, a little discomfort after early runs is normal,
remember to stretch after running and warm up before you head out.
Your triathlon training program should incorporate speed, power and
endurance into it’s run training plan – be careful to spilt them up through
your week so as not to overload your body.
- Aim for efficiency in your form – triathlon is all about preserving
- Lean forward slightly, from the ankles not the hips.
- Be mindful of running smoothly – try to reduce bounce which is just
wasted energy. This can be done by increasing your cadence.
- Aim for a cadence of 80-90 rpm, count steps for 15 seconds and
multiply by 4, shoot for 20-23 steps.
- Hold your arms at a 90 degree angle, relaxed but engaged.
- Move arms back and forth not across the body
The best running form is a natural one, if you are having trouble try these
- Take your shoes off and sprint 100m on soft grass (remember what it
felt like to run as a kid!)
- Do short hill repeats (find a hill it takes you 1-2 mins to run up, about
5-6% grade) run up and walk down.
Notice that both drills correct your form, try and remember that feeling in
your regular running.
Running after biking feels quite different to stand alone running and needs
to be practiced.
The way we train for this combination of muscle fatigue and muscle
confusion is by doing BRICKS. A brick workout is a combination of 2 or
more elements of tri. People have many different theories for why these
workouts are called bricks – because you’re legs feel like bricks – bike +
run = ick… the list goes on.
- Start with a short 10-15 minute run or walk run after a 30-45 minute
bike, keep the run easy, aiming for heart rate zones 1-2
- Weekly increase the time of your run (by no more than 10% each
- Build up to sprint race distance.
The bike to run brick is the most important, the more experience you have
running ‘off the bike’ the more your muscles will adapt to it and the less
fatigue you will experience. As you do more bike to run bricks you will see
how important it is to save something for the run and not hammer your
bike ride – it’s all a matter of balance.
A decent pair of running shoes – that’s it!
Go to a good running store (like The Runner's Alley in Portsmouth, NH) for a gait analysis, it’s worth the money and your body will appreciate it!
A pair of elastic laces (Yankz) are great for getting in and out of shoes
quickly. And a hat or visor makes tri running more pleasant. If you experience chafing while running use a lubricant like Body Glide, good stuff! It can also be used around your feet to reduce the risk of blisters (especially if you're not wearing socks!).