• Transform your running this Spring


    Here’s a question for you? Who taught you to run? Most people can say who taught them to swim or ride a bike, but how many can say who taught them to run? It’s fair to say that most of us are border-line obsessed with how far and how fast we run, without giving any real thought to how we run…..

    If you are reading this, it is because you would like to be a better runner. Whatever the goal, whether you are trying to break 30 minutes for a 10k or a Park Run, the recipe for improvement should include the same basic ingredients: development of skill (technique), development of fitness (endurance, strength) development of speed, and recovery. In this article we look at each of these ingredients in turn. These are the ingredients that will transform your running.

    Development of skill – your running form

    In the pool, we appreciate the importance of skill and technique when we are trying to improve our speed and efficiency but this is an area that many runners neglect. There are different teaching methods out there, just as there are in swimming, but there are some common areas that will benefit most athletes:

    • Body Position. By keeping our bodyweight just slightly forward when we are running (the whole body and not just bending at the hip) we ensure that we reduce the deceleration between each running stride. In fact, gravity is providing us with free momentum
    • Landing.  The most efficient landing zone is the area between your arch and your toes – the ball of your foot or the fore-foot. Your fore-foot should strike the ground directly underneath your centre of mass. If you land on your heel, you will be landing in front of your centre of mass and you will be applying the brakes
    • Speed of movement or minimizing ground contact time. If we have used our fore-foot as our landing zone, then we are able to utilize the elastic properties of the elastic tissues in our lower legs. To ensure that we do not waste this energy we need to move our foot off the ground quickly

    Crucially, it is not recommended to head out for a run and try to incorporate all of the above just as it is written! As in the pool, the best way to improve your run technique is to practice drills. Drills break the skills down into safe, repeatable actions which have the required effect over time.

    Development of fitness

    To run fast as a triathlete you need to develop cardio endurance, muscular strength and muscular endurance. Your fitness sessions need to be organized accordingly:

    • Endurance sessions lay the foundations of your fitness developing your lungs, heart and aerobic energy systems
    • Strength sessions, such as including long steady hill repeats in a run, develop the muscles that allow us to overcome the forces of gravity
    • Muscular endurance sessions train your muscles to apply your strength for the whole of the race distance

    Development of Speed

    Speed sessions should combine elements of both skill and fitness:

    • Repetitions are short intervals of 100 – 400m where the running is fast, but the focus is on good technique over effort
    • Interval training allows the athlete to develop the energy systems that will be used over your race distance. Interval training also allows you to rehearse your target race pace physically and mentally


    You need to recover both between your sessions, and between blocks of progressive overloading: it is the period after the training when adaptation occurs and you will get stronger.

    Consistency is king! Running has the highest impact of our disciplines, and poor biomechanics and preparation can easily lead to niggles and full blown injuries. Recovery techniques include self massage with a foam roller, massage, and post session stretching. Injury prevention techniques are even more important and include adequate warm up, post exercise stretch routines, strengthening exercises, and drills to improve running mechanics.


    Improving your running need not be rocket science, but it does need more than just running more.   If you would like to improve your running this spring take a look at our Transform your Running in 12 Weeks program. Our next live program begins February 15th.