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Triathlon Run Success - Podcast Review

By Kevin McCormick

The run is the part of a triathlon where things can go very far from expectation, meaning where athletes most often don’t perform to their potential.

In this podcast with Matt Dixon from Purple Patch coaching he talks about why so many triathletes struggle to run to their potential on the run leg of a triathlon (hint: it’s often not related to running!) and strategies to address this.

See below for my summary points and have a listen to the entire podcast episode using the link below.

What is the run challenge?

  • This is not just a run, like a 10K, half marathon or marathon. It’s a run after a swim, transition, bike, transition. A lot has already happened BEFORE you even start running. A triathlon run can’t be approached in the same way as a stand-alone run.

  • It is a weight bearing discipline to finish the event

  • There is ‘mechanical’ fatigue accumulated before you start running. Usually the issue is muscular, not a high heart rate.

  • When you arrive at the start of the run, what state are you in?

What contributes to poor TRIATHLON run performance?

  • Poor pacing on the bike. Riding beyond the target effort/power or setting the goal too high initially.

  • Poor fuelling on the bike. Not eating enough or not absorbing your nutrition.

  • Poor hydration on the bike

  • Postural stress causing a degradation of run mechanics

  • Poor shoe choice

  • Stubborn mindset/ego – ‘I will never walk’ approach

  • Succumb to not meeting expectations and mentally quit

  • Starting the race too fatigued

Steps for success

  • Arrive to the race physically and mentally fit and fresh. More training is not always better.

  • Dial in your equipment.

  • Bike fit is critical and a poor fit impacts run performance

  • Choose an appropriate running shoe

  • Have a good fuel plan and be adaptable with it. If all else fails, use Coke and water.

  • For many long-distance athletes it’s appropriate to embrace a walk-run combination

  • Commitment – the run will get tough physically and mentally. There will be difficult moments. Be FULLY committed to your mission.

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