July 24, 2017

Improve Your Times This Season

Jarrett Pflieger

Running off the bike can be a tricky thing to master. Even the best runners on the planet will have a hard time running directly after cycling in a triathlon race. Here are a few tips to help you improve your run times in your next triathlon.

1. Enter running races

If the only races you do are triathlons, you may be missing out on some serious performance gains. Entering purely running races is a great way to continually test yourself and improve your running performances in triathlon. No matter what we may say, we always work harder in a race than we do in training. Going out and doing a few 5K, 10K, half and full marathons during the year, depending on your race distance, can really help you develop your speed and endurance on the run. You also get more used to the nervousness associated with racing that many people have.

2. Pace yourself

Running after swimming and biking is hard. Running after swimming and biking at full speed without pacing yourself is impossible. To have a good run, you need to save some energy, especially on the bike. Knowing how hard to push it on the bike to get a good time and still have enough for the run is part science and part art form. You need to practice this in order to have your best race possible, which brings us to the next tip.

3. Brick workouts

Brick workouts are when you pair two or more exercises together done back-to-back without rest. A very common, and beneficial, brick workout is a bike-run brick. The feeling of running on tired legs is hard to get used to, but brick workouts will help you grow accustomed to and push through the discomfort. Brick workouts also help you determine how fast you can go while still conserving energy for the next leg of the race.

Some people do one large brick every week or every other week. I personally like running a very short distance (one mile or less) after each ride I do, and will do a long run after a bike once a week, maximum. Experiment to see what works best for you.

4. Gain endurance on the bike

It may seem counterintuitive to think about the bike when you are trying to improve your run, but additional endurance on the bike could enable you to run better. Longer bike rides may not make you faster, but they will allow you to feel better and have more energy after riding the same distance at the same speed. Even if you don’t improve your bike times at a certain distance, but do feel and perform better after you ride the distance, it is still a win. Try incorporating some longer rides in your training if you feel your endurance is lacking.

Hopefully these tips will help you become a stronger triathlon runner in 2010. It may be wise to consult a certified coach before attempting any new training program if you are an inexperienced triathlete.

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