Our running coach Sam Murphy answers your training questions.
What sort of run training should I do before my first Olympic-distance triathlon? Photos
Q What sort of run training should I do before my first Olympic-distance triathlon?
A For an experienced runner,10km may not seem like a huge challenge, but tag it onto the end of a 1,500m swim and a 40km bike ride and it’s a different picture. For the first few strides, you may feel as if your legs don’t belong to you at all, and once you start to feel as if they do, you may be wishing they didn’t! Australian researchers found that the energy cost of running within a triathlon is higher than that of running without a prior bike ride– and muscle-usage patterns differ,too. The ‘concrete legs’ sensation is partly a result of the general fatigue resulting from 90-120 minutes on the move, but mostly because of the transition between two very different actions: cycling and running. This is often referred toas ‘running off the bike’.In cycling, the muscle action is mostly concentric, which means muscles shorten as they contract to push and pull the petals round. Inrunning, there’s a lot more eccentric– lengthening – muscle action to control the body’s landing.
Going from one to the other can cause havoc with your already-fatigue neuromuscular system.The absolute key thing is to practise the transition in training by performing a regular ‘brick’ session(a session that links up two of the triathlon disciplines). Better than cycling 40km, then running 10km is a session in which you repeat the transition several times: for example,10 minutes of cycling followed by five minutes of running, three times.Then you get to experience the sensation three times instead of one and grow more familiar with it. To Begin with, don’t worry about pacebut, once you’ve practised it a few times, start to increase towards your goal race pace in both disciplines.(You could do this session with an indoor bike and treadmill if it’s logistically easier.)In the race itself, as you near the end of the bike leg, increase your cadence (rpm) to let your legs ‘spin a little. If it’s safe to do so, stand up from the saddle a few times to remind your feet that they’ll soon be supporting your weight again. Once You begin to run, keep your stride short and quick while your muscles adapt to the new action. Good luck!
THE ONE TO RUN
ROYAL WINDSOR TRIATHLON Sunday June 18 Dust off your triathlon trainers for this iconic event at Windsor Castle.Cycle around grounds that boast over 900 years of royal history,running from the gates of the castle in the park. Spaces are filling up fast at human race.co.uk.
BROOKS JUNO SPORTS BRA£50; brooksrunning.com The new version of Brooks Popular Juno bra boasts better ventilation in the keysweat zones and it’s now easier to get on and off.Runners will appreciate the compressive support that beats the bounce.
ADİDAS GRAPHİC SHORTS£17.95; adidas.co.uk)Unleash your inner beast in these blue animal-print shorts. Sweat-wicking and light, they’re perfect for those hot summer runs.
HOKA ONE ONE HUPANA£85; hoka one one.eu Lightweight but with an extra-thick midsole, these trainers have the Hoka Trademark. However, unlike previous models, the Hupa Boasts Hook’s first super-stylish knitted upper as well.
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