It’s the first Tuesday of the month, and that means it’s time for Tri Talk Tuesday! Tri Talk Tuesday is a monthly linkup of triathlon blogs, on the first Tuesday of every month, co-hosted by me, Courtney at The TriGirl Chronicles, and Phaedra at Blisters and Black Toenails. We’ve cycled through The Swim, The Bike, and now it’s time for The Run. I’m excited about this one, since I’m primarily a runner, so my contribution today is 7 Do’s and Don’ts for The Run.
I wasn’t always a runner – I used to complain about running and couldn’t stand even running the perimeter of the field in softball practice growing up. If you had told the “me” in high school that one day I’d have run several marathons and be a certified running coach, I would have laughed at you. Me? No way!
But here I am – just passed my RRCA coaching certification exam and I’m looking forward to my fourth marathon this year. And I look forward to the run portion of every triathlon. “Just get me to the run!”, I’ve said on multiple occasions while swimming and biking.
So what can we do to ensure the run portion of the triathlon goes smoothly and that we not only get through it to the finish line, but maybe even enjoy it? Here are 7 Do’s and Don’ts for The Run.
1. Do Incorporate brick workouts into training. What’s a brick workout? After you bike, you run. This gets your legs used to running off the bike and working through the heavy or jelly-like feeling that they may have. When I first started doing bricks, I felt a little wobbly and uncoordinated, but I also realized that I ran kind of fast off the bike. My legs were used to spinning on the pedals, and once on land they just wanted to go. Which leads me to…
2. Don’t go out too fast. Pace yourself, and practice pacing in training. Don’t go out at a speed that you know you can’t sustain for the duration of the run. It’s better to pick it up in the second half of the run than to burn out in the beginning and struggle through the rest of the run.
3. Don’t forget good form. It’s easy to forget running form when we get tired, especially if we’ve just spent a chunk of time hunched over on the bike. Periodically during the run, check your form – if you’re running with good form then you’re running more efficiently, and your body will use less energy.
How’s my form in the NYC Triathlon run going up a hill in Central Park? I was getting tired!
4. Do train in the outfit you’ll wear on race day. I find that in triathlon, it’s more important to make sure I train in my outfit than in a running-only race. I’ve worn new shirts for a running race with no issues, but racing in a triathlon kit you’ve never worn until race day? You’re may end up with surprise chafing that ruins your run, or tugging something that’s riding up. Remember, you’re in the outfit through three different sports and body positions. Try to practice running in what you’ll wear in the race.
5. Do set out your transition running gear together. With every triathlon, I’ve gotten better at laying out my gear in transition. I still don’t have the fastest transitions, but I have a pretty good organizational system of keeping the bike things together and the run things together. You want to be able to grab your running stuff without searching or scrambling, and go.
For a triathlon transition checklist, see this post.
6. Don’t ignore speed work. It’s easy to focus on the cycling training since it’s the biggest chunk of time in a triathlon, and plan to just “get through” the run. But consider incorporating speed work once a week into your triathlon running training. It can make a huge difference in how you get through that run! It will make you a stronger runner.
7. Do enjoy the run. I’ve seen the look of pain on people’s faces, and I’ve had my own look of pain. Try to remember why you’re there, and soak up the experience of the race. Smile, breathe, and know that you’re on your way to the finish line.
Here’s my “no-pictures-please” face on the run in Ironman 70.3 Augusta. Shortly after, I pepped back up and smiled, and as a result, my pace picked up for a strong finish.
For more Tri Talk Tuesday posts with tons of triathlon information linked up from other triathlon blogs, see my list of previous posts here.
Which is your favorite leg of the triathlon – swim, bike, or run?
Do you “get through” the run or do you enjoy it?
Join us on the first Tuesday of every month for Tri Talk Tuesday – next month’s theme on Tuesday, June 2 is TRANSITIONS!
Check out the other Tri Talk Tuesday posts below!