How can I sharpen my speed for my next triathlon?

A good way to sharpen your speed for an upcoming triathlon is to practice your mechanics of running. One way to do that is to use a speed ladder. Try to practice your foot contact in each box by landing on the ball of your foot and use a forward lean from your ankle. Try to keep your posture fully erect and focus on a point in front of you rather then looking down at the ladder. Efficient foot contact to the ground will help develop speed as well as decrease unnecessary braking forces such as heel running.

Another technique is running with dumbbells. Use 5-8 lb dumbbells. Hold the dumbbells in your hand and run for about 50 yards. Remember to use an arm pump by keeping your arms bent at about a 90 degree angle at the elbow. Focus on driving your elbow back and allow your arm to fall forward naturally. After running with the dumbbells for 50 yards, try 100 yards distance. As you run 100 yards, drop the dumbbells at the 50 yard point and continue to run the additional 50 yards without the dumbbells. This is allow your body to experience the extra speed because of the lack of extra weight and will allow you to run faster.

For all of you who want to PR on your next sprint triathlon, incorporate the following run sessions into your training. These workouts are best added in the weeks leading up to your race, anywhere from 2-4 weeks out from your next race. We call that the Specialization phase, the time when you are putting the finishing touches on your training before you begin your taper). Incorporate these two intensity workouts and reap the rewards.

Workout 1 (35 minutes): Hill work/ Leg Strength. 15 minute warm up. Perform 5x2 minute hill repeats with 2 minute walking recovery. Think about running from your core, strong abs and back and performing a rhythmic arm swing will help you motor up those hills. Jog or walk down the hill for a full recovery and have at it again and again. 10 minute cool down. Hill intervals will not only prepare you for the minor undulations on your next race course, they will also help you build leg strength that translates nicely to on the bike power. An additional bonus to working the hills is dialing in your running efficiency. Your body naturally minimizes extraneous movements while running up a hill, thus figuring out quickly the “easiest” and most efficient way to make it to the top. Running up and down hills will not only make you faster on the hills, it will make you faster on the flats as well because you will learn how to be a more efficient runner. So while you may dread the incline, revel in the challenge of it all and know that with each climb you are getting faster and faster!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.