I love to run off the bike. I don’t love it when I’m doing it, but somehow I always tend to look at it fondly as soon as it is over. These are two big contributors as to why I enjoy it.
By focusing on form I’ve worked to reduce the shortening stride and limited knee drive associated with running off the bike. These changes have helped me to limit the loss from open running to triathlon running. Running in a fatigued state causes vulnerability to injury and loss of stride length.
To limit these issues, maintain a focus on your form with weekly drill work, and particularly during difficult run sessions. Any time you begin venturing towards the “marathon shuffle,” throw in a couple of knee highs, skips, butt kicks, or bounds. Condition yourself to recognize the fatigue setting in and engage in practices that encourage you to retain your form. This transfers over to brick work, and reduces my need for volume and distance in brick runs, instead focusing on quality.
The best way to improve your run off the bike of course it to practice. This training session is probably my biggest confidence booster and my absolute favorite session prior to short course racing.
HARD Brick Intervals
Hop off bike and run HARD as such:
30sec HARD, 30sec EASY
1min HARD, 1min EASY
2min HARD, 2min EASY
3min HARD, 10min EASY
This 20-min post-ride run is a confidence booster because it’s so much fun to look at the data afterwards. Jumping off the bike and immediately breaking into an almost strideout-like effort makes you realize you have the capability to run fast! Nothing makes me feel more ready to race than hitting some vomit inducing, unsustainable paces in 90 degree weather after a long hard ride.
Use this session and focus on form to maintain your efficiency and limit the percentage loss from your open run paces to your triathlon run paces.