Improve your Triathlon Run Split – AND Avoid Injury

Triathlon training, as we all know, is a delicate balance of swimming, biking and running.

A lot of triathletes have probably also found out to their cost, that injuries are most likely to occur from running – simply because of the greater pounding your joints and muscles take compared to swimming and biking.

In the video below, Coach Rob talks through the Team Oxygenaddict approach to avoiding injury while improving your running.

To start with, the most effective way to improve your running ability in triathlon is to not get injured.

Sounds obvious, right?

So it follows that you should be thinking really carefully about any run training sessions that risk you picking up a niggle or affecting your ability to train in ANY of swim, bike or run.

A lot of Team Oxygenaddict’s run training is centred around ‘easy’ and ‘steady’ runs.

This is almost always a new, and often questionable concept for our athletes who are all about improving times and racing as fast as possible.

“How is my running going to improve if there’s little speed work in training?”

It’s a sensible question, and one that we’ve answered, and later been able to show evidence of, many times!

So lets take a step back and look at triathlon training as a whole. in Team Oxygenaddict, over winter our athletes typically have a couple of hard bike sessions per week. These sessions are aimed at improving your bike power but also have the benefit of building your cardiovascular system.

If you are “just” a runner then yes – you likely need to push yourself hard while running, to improve. But we’re multi-disciplined. We’re already pushing ourselves hard through the winter bike and swim session(s) each week.

So our focus of running becomes more about conditioning, strengthening and improving the durability of your run-specific ligaments, tendons and muscles. But you don’t need to run hard to do that. Longer, slower runs are just as effective at achieving this and provide the benefit of significantly reducing the chance of injury and the ability to recover quicker compared to higher intensity running.

So you’ll have had a winter of building your cardio ability via hard bike sessions and conditioning your body for running. When winter passes and you transition to riding outdoors and focusing more on bike endurance, you’ll have a bullet-proof body. It’ll be injury protected and ready to absorb some harder, faster running sessions that we’ll then prescribe in your training plan.

We’ve seen a number of our Ironman and 70.3 athletes achieve 5km and 10km PBs this year by following this philosophy. Quite a few of these were already fast runners – well under 40 minutes for 10km – and still managed to knock more than a minute off their PB.

So, who fancies running faster by running slower 🙂

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