I was looking back at my first blog which included some ideas about training – I hope these have helped you build up to the distance you’ve signed up to. Whether you’re running for the triathlon, duathlon, half or team marathon, or 5km, I’ve included some technique tips in this blog that will work for everyone.
With just 10 days until the event, you should now be running regularly and feeling comfortable with the distance that you will be doing. If you are still building up to the distance, that’s fine too. The easiest way to complete the full distance is to run and walk, and reduce the walking little by little.
Last week I talked about negative split training during your cycle to help you run after. You will have time and energy left, to do a good run after completing the bike leg, if you pace yourself carefully. There will be a lot of people around the transition area cheering you on and it’s very easy to get excited coming into this last leg. Maintain your own pace and the plan that works for you.
If you’ve been training on a treadmill, as with indoor cycling, it is important to get out on the road as it will feel different. Running on a treadmill is like stepping up and down while the surface moves underneath you. On a road, there is a push phase of the run movement as you drive forward. This requires more effort.
Staying focused in transition
The second transition (T2) is the last change before the end of the race. It’s important to stay focused. It’s easy to forget your plan here so here are my tips:
- Rack your bike, and then take your helmet off. I’ve seen people set off on the run with their helmets on and have to come back…
- If you’re wearing bike shoes with cleats, now’s the time to change them. If you can get some elasticated laces for your running shoes, they are much easier to put on. If you are tying your laces and you start to fumble, take one or two deep breaths, take control and slow down.
- Any changes of clothing, such as swapping a cycle jersey for a t-shirt, need to be practised in advance of the race. You still have plenty of time to practise.
- Remember where the run exit it is. You checked this when preparing before the start of the race. You can now run through transition towards the exit. It gets busy in transition so be aware of other people moving around at speed.
- If you’re handing over to a relay buddy, this is your chance to cheer them on, another moment of encouragement.
Running after a cycle and general running tips
Have you tried running after riding yet? It feels odd as the muscles switch from cycling to running. This will soon pass, and you will find your rhythm.
Here are some tips on running comfortably:
- Run tall with a slight lean forward, as if just off balance at all times, and look to the horizon.
- Imagine a piece of string with a balloon tied to your hair pulling upwards to the sky.
- Relax your shoulders and arms with your elbows bent at 90 degrees, swinging gently from the shoulders.
- Keep your hands relaxed.
- Lift your knees up and forward before landing your foot on the ground directly under your hips.
- Land on the ground with the midsole of your foot rather than the heel. If you stride too far in front and land with your heel, there is a tendency to create a braking effect and possible injury.
- As you drive forward lift your heels clear off the ground, flicking up towards your bottom.
Don’t forget to hydrate
It’s very easy to forget to drink in a race. If there is water available, take it so you don’t become dehydrated. You lose a lot of fluid both in the lake and on the bike, even though you may not feel hot. This is also a chance to slow and control your pace before you head off for the rest of the run.
If you feel uncomfortable at any point, then slow down to a jog. This may feel odd because your body will have a natural rhythm and pace because of your training, but focus on your technique!
You will find a rhythm that works and once into it, the run will pass quickly.
As you come in towards the finish line remember that’s where the cameras are, so keep smiling. Enjoy the encouragement of the crowd and celebrate your race. If you’re in a relay team, celebrate your success with your teammates!
I’ll be back next week for my final blog before your event. If you have any questions, I can cover these, so please do get in touch below, or in the comments via Facebook or Twitter.