Improving the Run Off the Bike


Posted by Coach John Murray

Very frequently I hear the comment that both novice and some experienced triathletes are struggling with the run off the bike. In many cases it’s an easily fixable condition. Just as Team MPI touts the “frequency and consistency” mantra, the same holds true for how we approach improving an athlete’s performance in the run portion.

The “brick” is an additional but essential triathlon training tool that generally consists of a bike training session followed closely by a run training session. For the novice, a shorter version of this combination can be a remedy for race day early run discomfort or adaptation. A “transition run” can be a 10-20 minute easy run following the bike ride. These transition runs are a low-key effort that can be added to nearly all of your bike rides. This frequency can, over time, convert a triathlete from one that dreads that initial uncomfortable feeling to an athlete that no longer remembers how bad it used to feel.


Take the pressure off of yourself when doing these transition runs. No need to rush through a timed switch from bike to run. You can practice your fast transitions on another day. You might even squeeze in a quick bathroom break before you go out. Keep the pace light and the time short. Get in the habit of having your running shoes with you and knowing that after your ride you are going to do something you initially don’t enjoy. Set yourself up for success by keeping the run very short and very easy. Expect to look forward to that run before you know it and on race day you will be a transformed triathlete!

~ Coach John Murray

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