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Attacking your Weakness- The Run

This is the second post in our four part series about attacking your weaknesses during the off-season. If you missed part 1 of working on your weakness, be sure to check it out!

Let’s say the run is dragging you down and you’re ready to do something about it. There are a number of different approaches to take with this goal. This article will assume that your primary goal is to perform well during triathlons and that you’re not a pure runner. However, If you primarily consider yourself a runner who dabbles in triathlon, or you just have the strong desire to marathon and are relatively injury free. then ignore this advice and keep running.

For triathlon your run goals are a little bit different and thus your needs are different as well. Of the tenets of training you can manipulate, volume, intensity, duration, and frequency one of the most underrated and underutilized variables, in my opinion, is frequency. Many triathletes fall into the trap of infrequent runs that are then too intense or long for their training to support. One examples that I have seen often is the athlete who will do a very long run on the weekend and perhaps one other tempo to all-out run during the week and call it good. This is not only a good path to injury, but it’s also a recipe to burn out and top out quickly.Why? For a number of reasons but one is lack of run durability from lack of proper training. If you’re time constrained, like most people are, one of the best things you can do for your running is to add in proper frequency.

If you’re serious about improving your run this winter, here are some steps to get started:

  • Working on form– Some folks believe that the best way to work on form is to try and consciously manipulate stride, carriage, or cadence. Others believe that the best way is to work on specific weaknesses in strength and flexibility.
  • Increase frequency– If you’re currently a student of the run twice a week group, then you will need to build up your frequency slowly. First, you should reduce the length of your current runs and then add more frequent runs over time.
  • Intensity– After you’ve built up frequency, then add in some intensity. An easy way to add in intensity is to run with folks who are slightly faster one time per week.
  • Set midterms goals. A good way to keep motivated and track your progress is to sign up for some periodic winter races of short runs. Targeting an off-season PB in 5k, 10k, or even half marathon will set you up to start the 2014 season off strong
  • Consider joining a group. Solo, near daily runs can get boring. There are lots of great groups, but my personal recommendation would be joining the Atlanta Triathlon Club. Their schedule allows you to get in three runs a week with a group. They include a Tuesday or Thursday group run at either RoadRunners Sports or Big Peach Kennesaw, a Thursday night boot camp for functional strength training, and the weekend long run.
  • Consider hiring a coach- A good coach can evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and recommend a personalized approach to attack your run. Also, video analysis can be a great tool to identify your strength and flexibility limiters

Questions or comments? We always welcome feedback! Email us at info@energylabatl.com