Many triathletes are finishing up their last races of the season which means it’s time to pick a winter focus area. The great thing about running is that it’s the easiest to do with time constraints, you can do it anywhere, and it requires little in the way of specialized equipment.
Of the tenets of training you can manipulate, volume, intensity, duration, and frequency one of the most underrated 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 2018 season off strong
Consider joining a group. Solo, near daily runs can get stale. Mix up your routine occasionally by joining a run group. A group is great if you’re looking for a push or somewhat to chase. On the flip side, make sure you’re not falling into that chase pattern on every single run.
Consider hiring a coach– A good coach can evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and recommend a personalized approach to attack your run. Also, a video analysis and movement assessment, like the one offered by Comprehensive Endurance Solutions, can be a great tool to identify your strength and flexibility limiters.
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