Knutsford Tri coach Rob Wilby outlines a walk/run training session that reduces the risk of injury and leaves you fresh for your next session.
Schedule directly after a strong/long bike ride for time efficiency and simulating the feeling of leaving T2 in a race.
For beginners, or those returning to running after a long break, start at 1min run, 1min walk and increase the run section by 1min each week until you’re at 5mins run, 1min walk. For more experienced runners, use 9mins run and 1min walk.
For this session you’ll need running shoes and kit, and a stopwatch, ideally with countdown timer.
5mins easy run.
Start at 5 x 1min run, 1min walk. Progress to 5 x 2min run, 1min walk. Add a further minute each week until you reach 5 x 10mins (9mins run, 1min walk).
During the walk section, concentrate on keeping cadence high, and keep arms bent at 90°, as if still running.
5mins easy jog.
The main benefits will be vastly reduced recovery time after the session. You’ll experience much less muscle soreness the day after a long run and will even find you can extend your long run without the usual associated muscular fatigue.
Knowing that you only have to run for a short period of time before you get a ‘walk break’ can really help mentally break up your run, and make it feel much more achievable.
Faster recovery means you will be ready to run again much sooner after the session; running more often will increase your run fitness faster.
Adapt for Ironman
Once progressed to the 9min run, 1min walk, this is already the perfect session for the iron-distance athlete. As you extend the length of your long ‘run’, just add more 10min blocks.
(Images: iStockPhoto / Ben Winston)
For lots more performance advice head to our Training section