course à pied triathlon

The Triathlon: how to tackle the running stage ?

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To properly prepare for the running stage of the triathlon, choose the right equipment, know how to manage the transitions and don't neglect your nutrition...

As the final stage of a triathlon, how you run will determine your final standing. Triathletes whose speciality is running will approach this section with the aim of overtaking as many competitors as possible. Others will try to "limit the damage". Nevertheless, even if you're a running ace, there are several things to take into account to achieve that fantastic comeback.

 

The bike to run transition

The first few metres can make you feel like you've got "heavy thighs". The cycling stage calls mainly on your thighs, and getting off your bike can often prove strange for beginners. Beforehand, make sure you've chosen the right road bike.  Finally, to minimise this sensation, opt for easier gears at the end of the cycling stage: go for pedalling rate rather than power over the last few kilometres to prepare your muscles for getting back into action when you're back on solid ground.

 

Hit the ground running

It's generally good fun to start the running stage around the bike park. The spectators who are often gathered here will give you wings. And if running is your forte, it will be very tempting to set off too quickly... So watch out because a few hundred metres later runners generally find themselves alone on the road with only the other competitors nearby... You want to get off to a good start but without getting into the red. Gaining a few seconds at the start by running above your pace will often lose you several minutes over the rest of the race.

 

What's the right equipment?

Triathlon is a sequence of 3 disciplines, but there is also a fourth which is repeated twice: the two transitions. The first is between swimming and cycling, the second between cycling and running. And they can cause you to lose a huge amount of time... It's important for you to find the right balance between comfort and speed. The shorter the distance, the more you should prioritise speed. Clearly in an Ironman putting on socks is often advisable. On the other hand, if your run is shorter than 10 km, you can run with bare feet! This is why it's important to try out your running trainers without socks to avoid unpleasant surprises. In addition, add elastic laces as they will allow you to slip your shoes on more quickly and secure your shoes throughout the race.

 

Nutrition...

As running takes place at the end of triathlon events, the roadside is often the scene of numerous participants stretching due to cramp. A valuable tip for triathletes: drink! Here are some tips for the best ways of managing your triathlon nutrition for the running stage. It is recommended that you drink small sips every ten minutes when cycling and that you take advantage of each water station. And be careful: the triathlon is a tidy sport. You must throw your cup into a signed bin or risk incurring penalties. The referees rigorously monitor this rule.

 

With these few tips you can really live up to your potential during the running stage. The finish line is in sight, you just have to enjoy these last few metres with the crowd applauding you all the way !

 

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