Triathlon Run Training Tips

Run smarter with these triathlon run training Tips

It was simpler back in the early days of Ironman. There was only one race.

The first thing to decide when it comes to the running component of your triathlon training is what your ultimate goal is. The distance of your triathlon is also of major importance.

Are you doing an Olympic Distance Triathlon, a Half Ironman, or a full Ironman race for example?

You would train far differently if you were preparing to a 10k run as compared to a marathon and triathlon is no different.

Are you trying to qualify for the World Championship in Kona or are you just trying to finish your very first triathlon?

If your goal is to just reach the Ironman finish line any way you can in the allowable time limit your run training will be far less intense. Chances are you will walk and run the marathon, but these triathlon run training tips will still be helpful to you.

A triathlete trying to finish the race in the fastest time possible might attempt to run the entire 26.2 mile distance without walking at all.

Three important triathlon run training tips to keep in mind.

Training for any triathlon is complex by it’s very nature because there are three disciplines involved. The same mistakes are made over and over again by novice triathletes.


When people first get hooked on triathlon they can get pretty excited about it. They’re losing weight, getting fit, and improving in so many ways every day. It’s worth getting excited about and it’s perfectly understandable.

[bctt tweet=”Over-enthusiasm is the cause of most run injuries. via ironstruck”]

The problem with over-enthusiasm and sports is that it often leads to injury. This is especially true with a high impact sport like running. When your foot strikes the ground it impacts your feet, your knees, your spine, and pretty much your entire body in one way or another.

triathlon run training tips  -Plantar Fasciitis symptoms

If you feel like you have a bruised heel, it’s most likely an early warning of Plantar Fasciitis.

Your body can stand a lot, but if push to hard it will start to give warning signals. It might be a sharp pain in your shins, a twinge in your knee, or a feeling like you somehow managed to bruise your heels.

Lets use the bruised heel for an example. As soon as you feel pain coming from your heel, stop running. Take a few days rest. If you feel like you’ve bruised your heel it’s most likely the first indication of Plantar Fasciitis. If allowed to progress it can end your run training for months and could even end your entire season.

This is just one possible injury. The point is, listen you your body. If something hurts you’re far better off to stop running until you find out what it is. Better yet, don’t push to hard in training to start with and avoid triathlon run training injuries all together.


Knowing when to rest is imperative when it comes to balancing three disciplines like swimming, biking, and running.

Lets say for example you are doing 10 workouts a week. You’re swimming three times, biking three times, and running four times. This is more what a triathlete might do if an Ironman is the race they’re training for. I’ll use Ironman training as an example.

Let’s say there are also two full rest days during your training week. This means that most days you will be doing two training disciplines. For instance swim/bike, swim/run, bike/run etc.

Your run days might include a fairly short run one day, a medium distance, a hill or interval workout day, and a long run day. Of course long run days are different things to different people. For some there triathlon run training distance could be 90 minutes and for others it could be three hours. Regardless of the exact distances, the timing is always important.

triathlon run training tips  -two female and a male runner hill training

Hill training workouts can be demanding.

If you decided to incorporate hill training or intervals into your program keep in mind that they can be just as taxing as distance training. You wouldn’t want to plan your long run day for the day before or after interval or hill training.

It’s best to separate the two workouts with a rest day or an easy day. For example you might do an easy 1500 meter swim and a spin workout on a wind-trainer before your long run day or interval day. The day after could be a rest day.

However you decide to do it, learning when to stress your body and when to rest it is one of the most important things to understand. I can’t stress enough how devastating overtraining injuries can be, especially when they are avoidable.


Many triathletes forget all about transition training when they’re getting ready for their race. It’s a vitally important component of triathlon run training.

It’s not so much about shaving seconds off your overall time. It’s more about making the transition from the bike to the run as painless and seamless as possible. In an Ironman this can save you a lot more than seconds. It can save you hours.

Many triathletes over-extend themselves so much on the bike course that they have little left for the run. It can really help matters if you train for that transition.

It would really be helpful to do at least one transition workout a week. For example, do your bike training and do your run immediately after. It doesn’t have to be great distances in order to be effective.

triathlon run training tips  -cyclists on a wind-trainer wearing cycling shoes.

A wind-trainer is a great idea for transition training.

As a matter of fact, one of the best transition training workouts can be done on a wind-trainer in your home. This is especially useful if training time is at a premium. All you would really have to do is about 35-45 minutes on your wind-trainer.

Get off your bike, put on your running shoes and head out the door on your run. Your transition time will most likely be less than two minutes. That’s great! Even if you just run 30-45 minutes it will help get you used to what it’s going to feel like on race day.

As you get in better shape and your race is just a couple of months away and you are increasing your training distances, it’s a simple matter to adjust your triathlon run training transition workout.

You can head out onto the highway and do a two hour bike and follow it up with a one hour run as soon as possible after you get off the bike. This works great if you can bike from home. You can even do a two hour ride on a wind-trainer for that matter.
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