The ideal is to first assess your current run technique. If you undertake run analysis, the expert should then suggest a strength-and-conditioning routine to work on weaknesses and improve your ability to tolerate higher training loads through the off-season. You can then formulate a training plan. A coach would be helpful here. If not, bear in mind…
• When building run volume, frequency’s better than duration. Generally, four runs of 30mins are more effective than two runs of an hour.
• In long-course racing, strong runners are strong cyclists. There’s a tendency for longer-course athletes to want to run too much. Try to resist this. Yes, you should do some longer runs, but you can practise running with fresh legs in shorter, higher-quality sessions while getting used to the feel of fatigued legs by running shorter runs off of a longer bike.
- Ironman run training: how important is the weekly long run?
- Should you include long runs in your training?
• Similarly, there’s no need to run a marathon before an Ironman. It won’t help you much in the race, but it’ll put a massive hole in your preparation.
• Increase run volume slowly. The idea of 10% a week is batted around quite a lot, but it’s arguably too much.
• Don’t run too much, too soon. Even a fairly novice runner wouldn’t need to really up the mileage for more than 20 weeks before an Ironman. As a well-conditioned athlete, you probably don’t need to work on run volume until 16 weeks before. Use the time up to this point to work on
getting stronger and faster.
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Joel Enoch is a sports scientist and triathlon coach who’s helped athletes of all abilities reach their multisport goals.
Read more articles by Joel Enoch here
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