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10 Tips to be a Stronger Triathlon Runner

By Cassandra Johnson | June 06, 2017, 11:44 a.m. (ET)


Running off the bike is different than running on fresh legs. We’ve compiled our top 10 tips for a healthier, stronger triathlon run.

1. Train no faster than one pace quicker than the race you are training for. For example, 5k pace is good for an Olympic-distance race, while half-marathon pace suffices for IRONMAN training. Add more quality to your run training.

2. Keep your feet healthy and strong. Strengthen your intrinsic foot musculature, stretch your calves and plantar fascia and work on your balance. Six ways to prevent foot pain.

3. Practice running off the bike. Running too fast out of T2 is one of the most common mistakes athletes make at races. Practicing a transition run allows athletes to pace their effort to keep themselves running within their limits. Add a transition run to your training.

4. Land effectively. Place your foot on the ground, rather than just dropping it out of space. This entails accelerating your foot downward in a slight pawing move so that your foot is moving backward relative to your body just before contact. The difference between full foot, midfoot and heel striking.

5. Include core work and strength into your training. This will help stabilize your body while running and contribute to better running form. Tips to speed up your triathlon run.

6. Learn how to properly pace your run. This all starts with a smart bike. How to pace depending based on race distance.

7. Incorporate bricks into your training to get your lower extremities conditioned to running on fatigued muscles. Your cardiovascular system also needs to adapt to the different metabolic demands of the aerobar position and upright running. Three bike-run brick workouts.

8. Strengthen your balance muscles and improve coordination with trail running. The varied terrain of trails engages small, intrinsic muscles situated deep within our bodies for balance, improving coordination by teaching us proprioception. What you’ll gain from trail running.

9. Add hill training to your routine. You’ll increase your power, speed and agility. Three hill workouts.

10. Remember: It’s better to get to the start line 10 percent undertrained than 10 percent overtrained. When done correctly, however, adjusting mileage, intensity, strength training and recovery can lead to a successful entrance into longer distance triathlons. How to move on up in distance. 

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the practices of USA Triathlon. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician and/or coach.