Are you a triathlete that has been plagued by the following question?
What can I do to improve my triathlon specific run times? I’m a strong runner and consistently meet my expectations in running races, but my running times in triathlons don’t seem to represent my true running ability.
If you are performing well in running races and your run times in triathlons are not within ten percent of those times (assuming comparable courses and weather conditions); then the typical culprit is a lack of cycling fitness.
For example, let’s say you are a consistent 1 hour 30 minute half-marathon runner when racing in running events at your current fitness level. All things being equal with the courses (e.g. terrain, weather), one would then expect you to run within 1 hour 39 minutes for the half-marathon leg of an Ironman 70.3 event (10 percent of 1:30 is 9 minutes).
If, however, you are falling outside that ten percent range and nutrition doesn’t seem to be a major factor, a good strategy is to work on building more cycling fitness. Since you know your running fitness is where you want it, you can maintain your run as you shift the training focus to cycling. Improving your cycling will allow you to come off the bike fresher and ready to run to your ability.