The run is the last leg of a triathlon and perhaps the most difficult for many. Any triathlete will tell you how fatigued your arms and legs feel after the swim and bike, and this affects your running speed.
According to triathlon coach Matt Fitzgerald, triathletes need to aim to become better pure runners. He says, “I have found that the most effective way for triathletes to become better pure runners is to focus on running during triathlon’s offseason.”
So here are seven ways you can improve your triathlon running speed this winter while you wait for the 2018 triathlon season to kick off:
- Learn Proper Technique
Investing time in mastering proper technique yields big gains. Not only are you going to get faster, but you’ll also prevent injuries. It’s a good idea to find a running coach who is well-versed with form to guide you rather than just depending on a triathlete who runs fast.
Shortening stride, maintaining a good running posture, keeping your arms and hands in running position, and breathing are all areas a trained professional can help you look at. In addition to this, you need to make sure you practice proper technique and integrate it into your running style.
- Make Running a Habit
Making running part of your daily or weekly schedule will help you practice your newly learned technique and allow you to increase your fitness gains. It doesn’t really matter if you don’t run fast or hard during these frequent runs, but you have to pay attention to good technique.
- Work on Your Strength
Strength training and flexibility offer great benefits for your running. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that strength training helps runners improve speed, endurance and efficiency. Runners who added three days of resistance training exercises to their weekly program increased leg strength and endurance.
- Practice Brick Training
Brick training is a highly recommended style of workout for triathletes. It involves including two disciplines during the same workout with minimal interruption in between. Brick training lets your body prepare for the next phase while recovering from the previous. It also allows your body to get used to aerobic, anaerobic, and muscular demands of a triathlon.
- Learn Nutrition
Dehydration and lack of calories can lead to poor run performance. It is important you learn how to sustain calories and stay hydrated on the bike.
- Try Running Off Road
Running on a road can take a toll on your body and get monotonous. Adding a little bit of off-road to your running practice keeps things interesting and allows different muscles in your legs to step in.
- Add Meaning to Your Run
When you are inspired by other runners and their stories, your intrinsic motivation and love for running help you overcome pain and negative thoughts you might have had about running. There are several books on running you can pick up. For example, “Born to Run” is one by Christopher McDougall which is packed with inspiring anecdotes.
Offseason is a great time for you to master the run. While you’re at it, you can also ensure you have the right triathlon gear and accessories. At Just Wetsuits, we offer high quality triathlon apparel like wetsuits, gloves, swimrun bottoms and more. Check out our website for great gear to get you set for the next season.