In­juries run Re­dis­cover Your Run Form nu­tri­tion Beet­ing Your Per­sonal Best

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Contents Volume 8 Issue 6 - By Me­lanie Mcquaid

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Ifyou have re­cently com­pleted a heavy bike fo­cus in your train­ing, or been off run­ning due to in­jury, your re­turn to train­ing might not feel as ex­hil­a­rat­ing as you hoped. In or­der to re­dis­cover your run form, you will need to spend time re­train­ing your body to bounce off the ground. The fol­low­ing run train­ing tips should help.


A few weeks of easy run­ning is the best way to restart your run train­ing pro­gram. The ad­di­tion of strides, short run in­ter­vals of 20 to 30 sec­onds at a fast pace, is a great way to pro­mote solid tech­nique, leg turnover and short ground contact. In­cor­po­rat­ing four to six strides at the end of each run, even if it is a very short run, will im­prove your form and will bring you back up to speed quicker.

Me­chan­ics and drills

Track ath­letes de­vote a large pro­por­tion of their train­ing on tech­nique and spe­cific skills to hone their run­ning form, which then trans­lates into higher speed. Triath­letes tend to fo­cus very lit­tle on the me­chan­ics of their run­ning. Learn­ing, and im­ple­ment­ing, proper tech­nique and in­grain­ing these skills will make your run­ning faster. Ex­plore run­ning clin­ics like Mind­ful Strides ( mind­ful­strides. com), or em­ploy a run coach to eval­u­ate your run­ning tech­nique to learn to make each stride more ef­fi­cient. Adding run­ning drills to your train­ing pro­gram will also help im­prove your run ef­fi­ciency. Drills like Karaoke (side­ways leg cross- over drill), high knees and butt kicks will give you some men­tal cues for bet­ter run form.


There are many dif­fer­ent train­ing ap­proaches in terms of run­ning vol­ume and fre­quency. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, the more easy run mileage I in­cor­po­rate into my train­ing the bet­ter I re­spond to hard run train­ing. Adding more fre­quent run train­ing to your pro­gram is more for­giv­ing than in­creas­ing the length of your runs. Try in­creas­ing your mileage by 10 per cent a week by adding a few short runs to de­ter­mine if the in­creased load on your legs im­proves your splits. Keep in mind ad­di­tional mileage re­quires more main­te­nance, so don’t for­get to fo­cus on good re­cov­ery from ev­ery ses­sion even if the runs are short.

Run­ning off the bike

Pre­par­ing for the speci­ficity of run­ning off the bike in a triathlon is im­per­a­tive for a great run split. Many ath­letes with a strong run back­ground find that tran­si­tion­ing off the bike hob­bles their speedy run­ning legs un­til they train to run off the bike. Adding the fol­low­ing work­out should im­prove your bike to run per­for­mance.

Ad­just the dis­tance of each in­ter­val to re­flect the length of your event and en­sure the race pace ef­forts are re­al­is­tic. The in­cluded work­out is long enough for sprint to Olympic dis­tance. For half iron dis­tance races or longer you should dou­ble the dis­tance of each round of in­ter­vals (10 km on the bike and 2 km for the run).

Re­bound­ing from a run lay­off can seem daunt­ing at the be­gin­ning but if you im­ple­ment these run­ning tips you should come back to form quickly. Keep at it and you will find your stride again. As pro­fes­sional Cana­dian marathoner Eric Gil­lis once tweeted: “If run­nin’ is suckin’, run some more, it’ll come around – al­ways does.” Three-time Xterra world cham­pion Me­lanie McQuaid is also a coach based in Vic­to­ria.

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