Many runners may turn to triathlon for the variety and a new challenge. Whether you see yourself as a runner or not, the only way to get to the finish of a triathlon is to run thru that finishing shoot.

Angela Naeth on the run at the Ironman World Championship 2018. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Related: Why a runner should try triathlons

So, how do you train yourself to run fast off a swim/bike combo? You need to re-think how running is part of the race, not a separate entity.

TOP 5 TIPS FOR THE RUN PORTION OF A TRIATHLON:

  1. Include brick workouts in your training plan. Once or twice a week, I run off the bike. These don’t have to be long, 20-45 minutes is enough. These can be done at a variety of paces. 
  2. Mix up your mileage. Build up to your long run during the week. Then give yourself a decrease in mileage every three to four weeks. You can also break up your long runs into multiple runs during the day.
  3. Keep your terrain varied. My favourite is running on groomed trails.
  4. Use your heart-rate monitor and compare it to your pace. All too often, we find ourselves running well above our thresholds. This only limits your potential later in the season, as you build up your mileage.
  5. Slow down. Don’t be afraid to go slow. The body will be able to adapt to a steady increase in mileage and stay healthy.  

Related: Easy runs are about paying attention to technique

Angela Naeth out for a run in Boulder, Colorado. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

How does Angela Naeth build her run volume throughout a week? Running for me is very aerobic, so I just go by my heart rate and stay in my aerobic zones. I start very slowly and build up to my goal pace and heart rate. During the week I’ll do many short easy runs that are three to four minutes slower than my marathon pace per mile. I do this to build up my base, and it helps keep things moving throughout the week. As I get closer to my goal race, I do add speedwork on the roads or a track to my routine.

Related: Break out of winter with a 5k road race

I’m a lower-mileage gal. Though I typically run four to six days, as a triathlete, I don’t need a lot of mileage. I’ve been known to hover around 35 to 60 kilometres per week, but it’s all about adding up the volume throughout the week.  

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