Triathlon Run Basics
You grow up running and probably think you have the 411 on it. Sorry, but triathlon running is a bit different! Read our tips on how to run more effectively, safely and with greater understanding of the sport.
Keeping in stride:: Runners with longer strides cover more ground and use less energy to get to their destination. Shorter strides may work well for certain terrain or certain situations, but shouldn’t be how you navigate your way through the whole race.
Side-to-side action and Kangaroo action :: If you find that you have a lot of height with each stride or your hips are swaying back and forth, you are wasting energy. Keep your hips aligned with your shoulders and concentrate on moving horizontally rather than vertically.
Proper footing:: Pretend you’re running on a line and aim to have each foot land on it. Proper footing will keep your body aligned and prevent knee or hip injuries.
Understanding how your foot strikes the pavement :: If you are getting lots of hip, knee, ankle and/or foot pain, you may not be wearing the correct sneaker for your foot. Head on over to you local running store (or physical therapist) and ask them to watch you run. They will tell you if you over-pronate (run on the inside of your foot), have normal pronation (run directly down the middle of your foot) or under-pronate (run on the outside of your foot). If the sales person can’t determine that for you, you are not in a real running store!
Music:: TriathaNewbie.com encourages runners to use music during their practice runs, but be careful that you don’t become dependent on music to complete your run; triathlons have strict rules against wearing them during events.
Cell Phone:: If you have a cell phone, you should bring it with you while you are training. You can buy a fannie pack and tuck it in there with your ID and a bit of money.
H2O:: Did you know about 80% of your body is made of water? When you work out, you sweat out some of that much-needed water, which is why it is so important to keep a water bottle or a sports drink available either during or after your training. The difference between water and sports drinks is that sports drinks have sugar, salt, carbs and electrolytes. Nothing will ever replace water, but sometimes an added sports drink is the key after a huge workout.
Best Beginner Training Advice from TriathaNewbie.com:: Do not start with a workout that is too hard or you will be disappointed at the end of every practice — you should feel a sense of accomplishment, not discouragement. See Triathlon Training Resource Guides for training guides.
Sunscreen :: is a must! Apply this to your face and body before your training or event to prevent a sunburn. The sunblock we recommend won’t make your face break out!
Stretching, Cramps and Fatigue:: Stretch out a bit before you start running, do a short warm up and then do a second round of stretching. Loose, warm muscles respond much better to exercise than those that have been sitting stiffly behind a computer all day. The main reason for cramps, headaches and general fatigue while you’re training is normally dehydration, so drink lots of water. If you’re still feeling bad after you’ve redydrated and got some rest, check with your doctor.
Terrain:: Training for the terrain of your intended race is the best strategy. Try to also include straight roads, rolling hills and steep hills for a even greater challenge. See Triathlon Training Resource Guides for suggestions.
Safety: If you are running alone during a training session, always bring along a loud whistle for safety reasons. Be safe and choose paths that are well traveled. Run facing the oncoming traffic if you are running in the street.
Brick Training: Brick training is incorporating two disciplines in one workout. For instance, you complete a bike workout and immediately start a run workout. Learn why this will prepare you both mentally and physically for your race.
Good Tip: Never use new equipment in a race. Always try new equipment out during training sessions before using in a race.