Pre Season Olympic Triathlon 10k Running
Created On: 21 March 2012
In this article, Dave Lonnen, running coach and Ex-International
athlete, with over 30 years of experience, shares his expertise to
help you prepare for the upcoming triathlon season.
If you are one of the many triathletes who just go out and run
with no specific goal or focus in mind, then this article is for
you. Your pre-season running programme needs to be structured
to improve your olympic distance 10k times, and ideally you should
be running a minimum of 3 times a week to improve over this
Over the past 12 weeks your focus will have been on building an
aerobic base and strength endurance. To achieve this you should
have included threshold intervals of between 800m-2km, at around
85/90% of your max heart rate (mhr) and tempo runs of up to 20
minutes, closer to 80% of mhr. Assuming your race
season kicks off in May, you have 8 weeks to build on your aerobic
base and sharpen up.
Interval sessions and tempo running are 2 of the most effective
types of training and will improve your running if you practice
Interval Running: Interval runs are used to
increase anaerobic threshold levels. By repeating sustained hard
efforts at near anaerobic condition, the runner improves their
ability to run hard without going into oxygen debt.
Interval training also increases a runner's endurance. This
means that the runner can continue at a certain pace for an
extended period of time.
Finally, interval training builds muscle strength. Typical
distance running exercises the leg muscles in a certain range of
motion, with the focus on slow-twitch fibers. By running at faster
speeds, the runner exercises all leg muscles and improves
flexibility during running, both of which will mean improved muscle
performance in races. This makes running at a race pace easier and
improves top speed for sprint finishes.
Tempo running: This is designed to build
strength, endurance and increase your cruising speed, and should be
completed on your own or with someone of a similar level. These are
of a longer duration and lower intensity than interval runs.
Focus should be on running strong, relaxed and with good form. Do
not get drawn into flat out racing with a group, or the objective
of the session is lost.
Developing race fitness. Some of
your intervals should now be completed faster than threshold or
race pace and rest should be increased between repetitions to
ensure adequate recovery. As we are increasing the intensity of the
reps, the total volume of intervals should be reduced.
The following are examples of 3 weekly winter sessions and 3
Lactate threshold intervals of between 800m - 2km with a fairly
short recovery of 60-90 secs. These should between 85-90% of
max or comfortably hard.
5 x 1.6km
90 secs jog
3k warm up, 3k warm
Mixture of threshold and max effort intervals of between 800m -
1.5km with a full recovery of 2-3 mins. These should between
85-95% of max.
4 sets of : 1 x1km
1 min jog recov, then 1 x 600m (95%)
5 min jog between
3k warm up, 3k warm
Steady run with a tempo section.
4 km (70%)
Steady run with tempo section.
1km easy warm down.
Aerobic development steady running around 70% of max.
1 hour steady running from October, increasing by 5 mins every 4
weeks to 1hr 15 mins through February. Run off-road working up any
Steady running around 75% of max.
50 - 60 min run approximately 30/40 sec per km slower than 10k
Brick Sessions. I remember my first triathlon 6
years ago. As a runner, with little bike training, I still felt
that I could get round on the bike and catch most people on the run
leg. I dismounted the bike after the fairly short 20k section,
attempted to run but found my legs just would not function.
After I eventually managed to break into a steady jog, my
hamstrings then went into cramps, much to the amusement of my
watching friends! I learnt my lesson that day and realised
how much time and dedication that triathletes put in to the 3
Regular running off the bike in training is essential to allow
your body to adapt to 'triathlon specific' running. Your
programme should incorporate some form of regular indoor turbo/run
sessions or steady outdoor bike/runs. Your cycling and running
training should compliment not compete with each other.
Training between races. Your focus
from May to September should be to remain race fit and injury
free. This means allowing adequate rest after a race before
embarking on your next interval session. If you are
building up to an end of season Ironman or Half Ironman, do not
increase your total weekly mileage or single runs by more than
between 5-10% a week. This also applies to total volume of
interval sets, allowing 3-4 weeks to get used to longer interval
sets before adding extra reps. Remember, if you keep training
through tiredness or a minor injury, you may end up having to take
weeks off anyway, when the niggle turns into a serious injury.
To find out more about Dave
Lonnen visit http://www.runcoaching.co.uk