To be a good triathlete you don’t need to be a good runner. You need to be able to run well off the bike. Many single-sport athletes have taken up triathlon hoping to dominate by virtue of a single strong leg. Unfortunately, these folks quickly learn that the sport is unforgiving of those who fail to take a well-rounded approach. If you have a tough time finding your run legs after riding, try the following sets.
1. Practice transition workouts: Early in the season these sessions can consist of a 20- to 50-minute aerobic run immediately following a two- to three-hour ride. In these runs, incorporate 4-6 x 30-second pick-ups, building to your goal 10km triathlon pace. Take a full recovery after each 30-second effort before beginning the next work interval. Gradually progress to transition runs that include a 10-minute block at your goal 10km triathlon pace after a long ride. This is a good simulation that does not require a lot of recovery.
2. As the season approaches, include transition-specific workouts that allow you to adapt quickly to the stresses of running after riding. One such workout is 2-3 x (5-mile bike/800m run). Complete both the bike and run sets above your goal race pace and allow full active recovery (of easy running or spinning) after each round.
LifeSport head coach Lance Watson has coached a number of Ironman, Olympic and age-group Champions over the past 25 years. He enjoys coaching athletes of all levels. Join Lance to tackle your first triathlon or perform at a higher level.