Running is the last event in a triathlon, and usually the one people feel most comfortable doing. A majority of triathletes come from a running background whether it be competitively or as a means of exercising. As you train for your triathlon be sure to practice the different disciplines back to back, otherwise known as a “brick” workout. For example, this would be where you ride your bike and immediately go into a training run. Your legs will likely feel heavy after you get off of your bike and transition onto your run. This is normal and even more reason to practice before your triathlon.
There are many types of running shoes out there. Be sure to find the right type of shoe depending on your individual run style. A gait analysis, typically performed by your local running store, is an assessment of how you run and a great way to identify the perfect pair of shoes for you.
You can run in anything comfortable, but as distance and time spent running increases you may need to adjust your attire and gear. Weather will also play a factor in what you wear. In cold weather you may want to add a hat, gloves, vest or jacket.
Nutrition and hydration are important for long runs. There are various types of compact hydration systems: hand held, fuel belt, camelbacks and vests. For long runs you may want to bring gels or other types of fuel.
If you are currently a runner, then be sure to practice a few “brick” work outs. A “brick” work out is when you practice two of the triathlon disciplines back to back. The best way to do this is to go for a 15-20 mile bike ride that is immediately followed by a run. This is also called “running off the bike” and will mentally and physically prepare you to deal with heavy running legs.
If you are a new runner, then start with short intervals of running and walking to get the miles in. Intervals are also a great way to get your body used to running and increase speed later on. Remember, you don’t have to run continuously in the beginning. For example, run for 5 minutes and walk for 1 minute. Repeat this interval for distance or time. Once you are more comfortable or have built up some endurance, you may shorten the walk interval or remove it altogether.