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Run technique & training: 9 common mistakes triathletes make

Former top GB athlete and 220 running coach, triathlete Paul Larkins explains 9 common mistakes triathletes make in the run leg and provides advice on how to correct them

One pace training

Conquering all three disciplines is by no means easy, which is why so many of us drift into one steady effort for everything be that a 1500m swim, a steady 30 on the bike or a five-miler running at a good clip. The trick to effective training is remember that one pace will not cure all; it’s actually better to go much slower than usual some days and much faster on others.

Think of it as plateauing and you’ll quickly understand where you are and how to cure it for yourself. As many triathletes know the all-conquering Marc Allen discovered that; most of his training was done at one, pretty quick tempo, but when he had the nerve to back off and allow his body to recover, well… his incredible Ironman record will tell you what the result was. Runners are particularly prone to this ‘crime’, running just about everything at the same sort of tempo – usually too fast. Back off and you’ll be amazed.

Ignoring short intense workouts

Following on from the crime of one-paced training is the belief that super endurance will be built simply by running for huge distances. Steve Robinson, a 2:30 marathon runner and RAF physical instructor, has discovered that for himself. “Looking back at my training diary I saw that I put in some great long runs and excellent totals for each week so I just thought ‘more is better’”.

Results, however, while still good, began to taper, so Steve revisited his training diary. “What I had failed to notice was that when I was running my best marathon, I was also in my best shape for a 200m or even 100m. Often I would go to the track and run some sharp 200s – not many, just eight or so. It seems counter intuitive, but less really is more as long as you are working on all the different aspects of your training,” he says.

Continue reading our guide to 9 common run mistakes (2/4)


 
 

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