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3 Key Run Sessions and When to Use Them

When it comes to triathlon training, we are all trying to find a way to balance training with work, home life, and all the unexpected surprises that come with the day-to-day grind. With time for training being limited for most triathletes, we need to make the most of our time. Adding these workouts to your training plan, at the appropriate times, will allow you to build strength, speed, and endurance without forgetting what your family looks like or missing that rare get-together with friends!

Long Run:  Long runs are critical to building your aerobic engine and race-specific durability. The key is to do these runs at the right intensity. Long runs are meant to be executed an easier effort. This allows you to get “time on your feet”, which promotes muscular adaption and builds endurance while limiting risk of injury and overtraining.

Tempo Run:  Tempo runs are meant to simulate an effort that is often utilized in long course racing. If you want to run well on race day, then practicing running at race intensity is critical. These runs should gradually increase in duration and intensity as your training progresses.

  • Example:

30 minute aerobic warmup

5 x 5 minutes at long course race effort with 1 minute recovery jog in between.

15 minutes easy cool down

Strength Run:  Strength/Speed runs are great for adding power, increasing leg turnover and thus translating into faster run times. These workouts should be done after your aerobic building phase, but before your race specific training, so that the gains and adaptation from these workouts manifest on race day.

  • Example:

20 minute aerobic warmup

10 x 90 seconds at 5k to 10k effort with 90 seconds walk/jog in between

15 minutes easy cool

Tim Delss

Owner – CB Multisport

Coach – AJ Baucco Coaching

PresidentMid Maryland Triathlon Club

IRONMAN Certified Coach

International Mountain Bicycling Association Instructor