A good training plan has the right mix of workouts, specific to the your race, while still developing your general weakness, race day strategy and technique.
Triathlon running can be very different to road racing, when you start your run you are already at a very fatigued level and with an increased heart rate. The technique and training intensity you do when training for a triathlon is different to stand alone training.
I’m typically against very intense run workouts for age groupers, the risks of injury are exponential the faster you go, while the benefits are limited especially for beginner athletes who are barely shuffling on race day.
The below workout, which we call leg speed intervals, is one of my favorites for all levels and what I recommend as still very safe yet intense workout for beginner athletes.
It’s best done on a fast treadmill at 0% grade (learn more about the benefits of a treadmill here) but can also be done at the track or on any flat road.
After a 10-20min build warm up, do
*30 seconds FAST
*30 seconds recovery
Repeat the above 10 to 30 times (depending on your ability and targeted race). Then finish off with a 5-10min cool down
* Build into it. Start with your 10k speed focusing on technique first, then increase it in 0.5kph increments until you reach a point where it becomes very challenging, stay there. Expect some soreness on your hip flexors 24 hours to 48 hours after you are done
*If doing on the road, do a similar approach, start with a conservative intensity, then eventually fatigue will kick in and you will find your rhytm.
*Count your steps, for the 30sec repeats aim for at least 50 steps cycles (one side). Stay as relaxed as you can, engage your core and let the legs do the work
* Time efficient: If done along it takes anywhere in between 30 to 50min. This is also one of our suggested workouts when traveling to stay in shape with limited time
* Improves technique: especially if done off the bike or day after the long bike: it doesnt let the fatigue from the bike slow your cadence down. The equation of triathlon is low cadence on the bike, high cadence on the run.
* Aerobic conditioning: This has a 1:1 work:rest ration which means intensity is near VO2max, the highest possible aerobic intensity you can handle.
* Hormonal balance: The high intensity nature of the session will help mitigate the catabolic effects of the long bike if this run is done off the bike or the day after a long bike ride. Running sprints have been used for decades in the fitness industry to increase the release of testosterone and growth hormone
All in all, other than endurance, it works all the important systems of your fitness and specific running technique: speed, technique, aerobic conditioning.
Enjoy your training.
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