Tri Talk Tuesday – Three Ways To Improve Your Triathlon Run

Happy Tuesday blog land. I’m very excited that it’s Tuesday again because it’s the first Tuesday of the month and you know what that means- Tri Talk Tuesday!

I’m teamed up with Cynthia and Phaedra for another month of tri chatter. And this month we’re moving through our Swim, Bike, and Run series and discussing ways to improve your run. I’ve already had a few posts on running (here and here) Today I thought I’d go at things from a slightly different perspective and talk about the run leg of a triathlon specifically. So, with that out there, here are three things to work on that will help improve your triathlon run.


1. Don’t over do it on the bike. To have a good run in triathlon you have to think ahead for it while you’re still in the thick of your bike leg. It’s sometimes hard not to want to go all out on the bike, but pushing yourself to your cycling capacity means your legs will fried by the time your feet hit pavement. It’s important to find out what can realistically push on the bike during your training to find that max to still be able to run strong off the bike.

2. Fuel probably prior to the run. Again, a lot of having a good triathlon run is all about the bike. It’s easiest to fuel while riding, so take the time to practice a fueling strategy that you can employ on the bike that will get you through or started on the run, depending on the race distance. Poor fueling will cause you to crash and burn on the run. Fuel well ahead of the run and if it’s long course than make sure you have a run course fueling plan in place as well. You can’t run on empty for very long and it definitely hurts to try.

3. Bricks, bricks, and more bricks. It is sooooo important to practice brick workouts during training. You use different muscle groups for cycling and running, and sometimes that quick transition of muscle groups makes your legs feel like lead for the first mile or two. The more you practice running off your bike in training the better adapted your body becomes at making the muscular shift and easier and smoother your run becomes.

What’s your best tip for having a great triathlon run?


Tri Talk Tuesday will be back again June 2, 2015 and with plans to increase the frequency of TTT throughout the racing season. Our next theme is going to be all about transition. Got a post on the theme? Come link up!

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15 Replies to “Tri Talk Tuesday – Three Ways To Improve Your Triathlon Run”

  1. Haha to #2, I know this but still screw it up (just this weekend as a case in point). I can get by without it on a sprint but as I go longer I need to fuel early and often. The bricks definitely help! I spent the winter in my basement on the trainer followed by treadmill and I’m running stronger off the bike so far this season.
    Kelli recently posted…Triathlon Running is DifferentMy Profile

    1. Fueling takes some figuring out for sure, but that’s what training is for!

  2. I agree with #2. While I’m on the bike I tell myself my only job is to bike and get my calories in. That’s it. I also set a timer that beeps during the ride to remind me to get my calories into my mouth.

    I think brick workouts are important but once you’ve done a bunch of them I think that the whole leg wobble thing goes away, at least it has for me. They become mostly important for testing nutrition. A long brick is where you learn whether your bike nutrition was spot on or if you messed it up horribly (which you know because 10 minutes into the run you feel like you’ve died even though you’re still moving.)
    Amy recently posted…Running and Tri-ing in the RainMy Profile

    1. Very good point about the bricks! Fueling definitely plays such a big role and bricks are great for understanding if you nailed your nutrition or not. Thanks for chiming in!

  3. Bricks, Bricks, Bricks….I’m so guilty of not doing them. What’s worse is that I know I need them but I find it so hard to fit them into my routine. This season, I’ll be making that one of my goals hahahah
    Priscilla recently posted…Tri Talk Tuesday – The RunMy Profile

    1. They’re, as far as I believe, one of the more important components to add in for tri training. Definitely build them in if you can!

    1. You should try all liquid fuel on the bike if you don’t like to move your hands. You can get an aero mounted bottle like mine (in my current gear section) if you have aero bars. If not you could get something like a speedfill that mounts where your tradition bottle cages go but still has a straw that comes up to your handbars.

    1. I definitely have races where I go to hard on the bike too. Everyone does. That’s why training is important. Find those limits and try to remind yourself of them during a race when your brain is in overdrive. I’ve had races where I’m slower than I’d like but finish strong. I prefer to finish confident in my race and still feeling good than being trashed by the time I cross the finish line. Good luck figuring out your fueling plans!

  4. One additional key for me is to have a mantra that I can turn to when my mind starts telling me how hard it is and how much the legs want to quit. I just keep telling myself, “I am strong. I am tough. I am powerful.” It helps me get through the tough times on the run. 🙂
    Kecia recently posted…13 Weeks ’til Ironman BoulderMy Profile

    1. Yes to mantras! I always remind myslef “I am capable” because really I am, just gotta get my mind on board

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