How to improve your triathlon run pace

This run session introduces race-pace running into your training so you’ll be better prepped come triathlon race day

How to inject speed into your race run pace

It’s really important, especially in athletes newer to triathlon and running, to establish a good fitness base before attempting faster more vigorous training. This is why the traditional training calendar begins with primarily easy, aerobic training and technique work.


This also means that when it comes to faster training, your body is ready for it and you’ll be better protected against illness and injury. This session is designed to introduce your body to faster running so it can begin to tolerate more. But try not to get too carried away and run too fast just because the intervals are short! The main set is continuous to provide a good endurance workout with a sprinkling of race-pace running, which may begin to feel difficult by the end of the set. Another benefit of this session is that it introduces race-pace work to give you an idea of what you might be able to sustain when racing begins

Coach’s tips


Before doing faster running it’s important to get sufficiently warmed up. A good way of doing this is by performing some running drills, such as the high-knee drill.

You can also carry out the glute muscle activation exercises in the video below. Activation drills are designed to prepare your nervous system for the exercise you are about to do, and begin activating the muscles you will be using, while increasing your range of motion.

Muscle activation exercises: how they work and why they are important


Use a sports watch to see what paces you’re hitting for a given effort level throughout the set. This will give you an idea of what race times are realistic.


This is a good opportunity to try out your racing shoes to make sure they don’t cause any problems when running at higher speeds. Always best to find these things out in training!



10mins building from easy to moderate • 5mins running drills As 50m drill into 50m run, to emphasise correct running movement and warm up key muscles (walking lunges/high knee/high knee into calf raise/fast feet/heel flicks)

Main Set

30mins As 4:45mins easy, 15secs vigorous • 20mins As 4:30mins easy, 30secs vigorous • 10mins As 4:15mins easy, 45secs vigorous


10mins easy • 5mins light stretching Adapt for beginners Give your body longer to build up base fitness by substituting vigorous for moderate. If you feel really tired after the 20min section, you can go straight onto the cool-down.

Adapt for Ironman


To add in more volume, start the main set with 40mins as 4:55mins easy, 5secs vigorous before doing the 30mins.

Scott Finlay is a tri coach with Hartree Jets Triathlon Squad and you can follow him on Twitter @SNFindlay