What Triathletes Should Know About The Run
You have just come in from the cycle course and you are feeling great. Your bike is now racked and you have removed your helmet.
1. Pull on your running shoes and tie up the laces — you will have a quicker transition if you use elasticated laces — take a quick drink from your water bottle and head off to the run out chute. You will be directed by the exit marshal onto the run, it may take you a while to get your running legs in operation, it is worth your while training to run off the bike, the quicker you can get into your stride the quicker you will eat up the miles.
2. Another exercise you can practice on the bike is to stand up and cycle for a short time this will help stretch your leg muscles prior to the dismount line and may make it easier for you to come up to your running speed quickly. While running keep your eye on a distance mark, this will prevent your head from dropping and will hold you in an erect position. As you run drop your hands, arms and shoulders every so often to prevent yourself from tightening up, as you gain more running experience you find you will not have to do this because you learn to relax. Allowing your hands to loosen up translates into reduced tension in the shoulders and less wasted energy.
3. If possible while you are running keep your arm/elbow at about 900 again this prevents your shoulders from tightening up, if you are able, keep your fingertips pointing in the direction you are going this reduces body swing and again holds you in the correct running position.
4. During the run section it is important to ensure you keep you torso cover, if you have a zip on your running/tri top it should not be opened any lower than 8cm (3”) below the top of your breast bone. If you do not do this you will be asked to stop and rectify the opening.
5. Now that you are on the run course only eat and drink what your digestive system is used to, it’s not a good idea to start taking energy gels if you have never used them before, your gastrointestinal tract becomes accustomed to a certain mix of nutrients, so don’t change on race day. There is an exception to this rule — if you are about to hit the wall eat something.
6. You now have completed the 5k run, the finish line is in sight, the marshals will direct you into the finish chute, this is a moment to enjoy and savour, you are about to cross the finish line — it doesn’t matter if this is your first or twenty first triathlon there is a great trill running up the finish chute to the finish line —ENJOY IT.