Focusing on triathlon bike to run transition training makes for a better run on race day.
At the very least, if you spend some training time on your bike to run transition it will make your run experience more enjoyable.
Even if it doesn’t make your run time faster it will make if far less painful if your legs have grown somewhat accustomed to making the transition from spinning in circles to actually carrying your weight once you have your running shoes on.
If you are training for your first Ironman you’re in for an eye-opening experience the first time your feet hit the ground after biking for 180k.
As a matter of fact you will be surprised how difficult the transition can be after biking the 40k of an Olympic distance triathlon.
HOW FAR SHOULD YOU BIKE AND RUN IN TRANSITION TRAINING?
You don’t necessarily have to bike great distances in your triathlon bike to run transition training before heading out on your run.
You also don’t have to run a long distance after your bike in order to begin to get used to how it’s going to feel on race day.
Many coaches will have you increase the distance of the bike and run as your fitness level improves.
For instance they may have you bike 20k and run 5k for starters and build from there. It all depends on your level of fitness and what your race day goals are.
Some triathletes might bike 100k followed by a 15k or 20k run as they get into the late stages of their Ironman Triathlon training.
I suppose it stands to reason that the greater the distance of your triathlon, the further the distances in your triathlon bike to run transition training.
Personally I don’t feel it’s necessary to bike and run ultra long distances in order to greatly improve how you will feel when you get off your bike on the day of your race.
THE KEY IS SHORT TRANSITION TIMES
In order to get the most out of your transition training I believe the key is to begin your run as soon as possible after getting off your bike.
That means don’t drive for 30 minutes out to your favorite cycling highway–do your ride–and then drive for 30 minutes back home before beginning your run.
That sort of defeats the whole purpose.
Out of all the different training schemes I tried over the years one of my favorite transition training methods was to bike 60 minutes at a good steady pace on my wind-trainer in my home, jump off my bike, put on my running shoes and head out the door on a 10k run.
In less than one minute I was off my bike and outside running.
Even after just 60 minutes of biking you will certainly feel it in your legs the moment you begin to run. You don’t have to bike 80k or 100k to begin to get your body used to making that transition.
If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where you can bike straight from your home and back that would be ideal.
Unfortunately many city dwellers do not have that luxury or do not have a vehicle big enough to lock up their bike if they are parked out on some highway and would like to run immediately after they dismount their bike.
That was the situation I found myself in and by the time I drove back home I was basically recovered from the bike when I began to run.
My answer to that was to use my wind-trainer and run from home.
I made a point of doing this workout once a week during my last three months of training before I began my taper for the Ironman.
It made a huge difference to how my bike to run transition felt on race day.
At the very most I would increase the distance of the bike on my wind-trainer to two hours and run 15k right after.
That was more of a weekend training session and was something I would do in the last month of Ironman training just before I began a one-month taper into the race.
My 60 minute bike and 10k run was more of a mid-week session I would do on a regular basis.
No matter what distance you are racing this method of triathlon bike to run transition training is sure to improve your run experience.