As the last event of a triathlon, the run is where most Sufferlandrians races are won or lost. Since your legs are the primary muscle group involved in both cycling and running, it is not uncommon for people to go too hard on the bike leg and have nothing left for the run. This event is the only part of a triathlon that the human body was designed to do. That does not mean that Sufferlandrians have innately good running form. The better your running form the less energy you have to use to go the same speed. That means that maintaining proper technique and form throughout the run can make the difference between a personal best and bonking.
With that in mind, we have devoted many sessions focused on working through drills that are designed to increase your form. Beyond that, these drills help strengthen the ligaments in your legs and ankles. In particular your achilles tendon, which acts as a spring while running. The stronger your achilles, the greater this “spring” reacts to each stride. Unfortunately, building that strong spring takes years of consistent running, so don’t get discouraged if you face off against someone who has been running for years.
OPTIMIZING YOUR TRAINING
Equipment you will want for training:
- Running shoes...
»» Keep in mind running shoes should be replaced every 300-500 miles, or every 3 years, so those trainers you got back in 2010 need to go!
- A watch that allows you to take lap splits...
»» These days there are a good number of relatively inexpensive watches out there that can take splits as well as track heart rate. Ideally you will be able to get all your splits written down after the session, this will allow you to track your changes in speed over time.
• Access to a running track...
»» This will be tricky for some of you, but it will be important for the days with harder efforts*. If this is not an option, then a level field (like a football field) can work in most cases, and you can do almost all of these workouts on a treadmill if needed.
»» There are a few important reasons that competitive track & field events are held on a purpose-built track, and it isn’t just to mark distance. When running, you impact the ground with anywhere from two to four times your bodyweight depending on your pace. This joint stress adds up over the course of a run and throughout a training plan. A running track is more spongy when compared to running on concrete. This helps absorb some of the energy that would otherwise transfer through your joints. While one of the main benefits of running is the increased joint and bone strength that develops from these impacts, doing too much too soon is a recipe for injury. You can get away with doing some tempo and aerobic runs out on sidewalks, but if you try to complete Crazy 8s on the road you will give your body a much harder beating than intended.
RACE DAY PREP/WARM UP
Head over to our “Transition Tips” section to learn about how you can properly set up your Transition area to ensure you’re ready to get your run started (and with a swim and run under your belt you should be plenty warmed up!).
RACE DAY RUN
This run is all about how you finish, not how you start!
- Remain calm exiting T2 and fight the urge to match the pace of those around you, focus on settling into your own rhythm.
- Don’t be worried if your stride feels awkward coming off the bike, it takes time for your body to make the switch.
- Remain calm and find a pace that you feel comfortable with - it’s always better to hit the halfway mark and increase your speed rather than go hard at a pace you know you can’t hold and blow up.
- Remember, you have already been racing for awhile today, so don’t be upset if you aren’t holding the same pace you did on a day you only had a run workout.
- Take in some water at the aid stations as needed. Past the halfway point in the run in an Olympic distance (or shorter) race anything you take in won’t make much of a difference, so hit those aid stations early and often!
- Most Importantly have fun with it! You’re here to get the best out of yourself, and your best performances will always come when you’re enjoying what you’re doing!