I always thought I was quite good at running until I tried to run straight after a long bike ride. I mean, running’s just about putting two feet in front of the other, isn’t it? Well, if your back is stuff after a 40km bike ride and a 1.5km swim it does affect how you can move.
Ahead of the AJ Bell London triathlon on 9 August, in which I’m doing The Olympic Distance, I’ve been very lucky to receive training by experts in each of the disciplines. I received swimming tips from Swim Canary Wharf chief Ray Gibbs, I found where my Gluteus Medius were and how to engage them for the bike thanks to former gymnast turned cycling coach Chris Ball and now I’ve been given some running tips by previous winners of the London triathlon, Emma Pallant and Stuart Hayes.
Emma Pallant, the winner of 2014 London triathlon, says:
- Everything with triathlon is about rhythm and keeping focused. It’s the world’s biggest triathlon but try not to let that phase you on the day. Keep doing what you’ve been doing day in day out with your training but use the buzz of the event to lift you when you need it.
- Don’t change your diet in the next two weeks, stick to what you know and food that works for you.
- Fail to prepare…prepare to fail! The night before you should get yourself as organised as possible, check everything off your packing list and make sure you know what time you need to be there, it’s important you’re as calm as possible on race day
Stuart Hayes, Olympian and 14-time entrant of the London Triathlon says:
- Practice getting in and out of your wetsuit before race day – that’s vitally important!
- Start hydrating yourself more about 3 or 4 days out, it’s been quite hot recently so make sure you’re not waiting till the day to get hydrated.
- Make sure you get to the ExCeL Centre as early as you can, don’t leave it to the last minute and rush yourself – you’ll want to familiarise yourself with transition and get yourself prepared to enable you to have the best race possible.
And if that’s not enough tips that are specifically related to running, there were also some top technique pointers from Laura Fountain, a UK athletics run coach and author of the fab book Tri-Curious.
Laura Fountain, UK Athletics Run Coach, Author of Tricurious, says:
- When you’re out on the run, think about your form – when you’re tired the temptation is to hunch your shoulders and lean forward. I always see see a lot of people shuffling along at the end of a triathlon. But, if you can remember to stand up nice and tall, imagining you’ve got a balloon coming out the top of your head it’ll make both a mental and physical difference to your run.
- To maintain power in the run, particularly if you’re doing Olympic distance, think about eating early on whilst on the bike so that you don’t start the run with a full stomach but have enough power to move you forwards.
- If you’re feeling nervous, just remember that so many people are in the same position as you so the key thing is to relax and enjoy it.