Running well off the bike means striking a balance between pushing your pace and managing the pain. Joe Beer helps you hit the optimal sweet spot with this drill for beginners…
This is a perfect once-a-week lunchtime session or time-efficient weekend run. Plan to have a moderate-to-light day before this workout. It’ll create some fatigue but it won’t stop you training the day after.
For this session you should ideally have a snack 1-2hrs before, such as a sandwich; you’ll also need race shoes, plus calf guards if you’re forced to run on the road or pavement.
10-12mins relaxed running.
10 x 30m @10km pace with 30secs recovery; 4 x 300m @ 5km pace, 400m jog recovery; 3 x 4mins (4mins below threshold; 4mins at threshold; 4mins above threshold).
5-12mins easy jog or spin on a bike.
Pacing is a matter of knowing how hard you can push and what the effort at different paces feels like. The second half of a triathlon run leg can be all-out, so learning how to hit and hold this pace means faster race finishes.
You need to be prepared to hurt yourself a bit on the run or your results will never improve. Pacing is a mental battle against yourself – get it right and you could be crossing the line 10 places higher up the finishers’ list.
Putting your muscles under a higher load forces them to work harder – they adapt by being stronger next time. High-intensity interval training (HIIT), such as the 3 x 4min threshold set above, improves your ability to tolerate the effort involved in racing.
Holding good form while repeating these efforts also ingrains the movement pattern into your muscle memory so you can remain running efficiently even though you’re pushing hard.
Adapt for Ironman
Increase the 3 x 4mins ‘tolerance’ set to 3 x 10mins. It’s a hard set but you can do it, and you want to be ready for Ironman, right?
(Main image: Jonny Gawler)
For lots more performance advice head to our Training section