Triathlon Training - Run
Hopefully, running is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. To run fast you should learn to run nice and slow to build a base. And in order to run fast, you have to find the right combination of speed workouts, long endurance runs and tempo or pacing. To finish your best triathlon, don't run fast until you tire, hold back a little in the beginning, and give all you've got in the end.
In training you should not increase your mileage by more than 10% each week or increase any daily long run by more than 10%. If you want to get faster, your weekly schedule should include one long endurance run, a speed work and easy days to work out the kinks. The speed workout will teach your body to be mechanically efficient and work without oxygen. As you progress you can add a tempo run to ingrain the proper pace in your psyche so on race day you don't go all out at once. One day a week should be a rest day with no running, and the remaining days you can run an easy 2-3 miles unless you're a die-hard seasoned endorphin addicted veteran.
For a endurance athlete, the long run is the most important workout of the week. It teaches your body to burn fat, builds muscles, adds blood capillaries to increase circulation and boosts confidence. Studies have also shown it increases mitochondria, the work-houses of the cells. The long run should last 1 1\2 hours and up and increase no more than 10% or 15 minutes per week. Beginners will need to build up to this slowly but the rewards will be great. This is the workout
that makes you an endurance athlete and a triathlete is an endurance specialist. It'll help you get faster also. The best pace for the long run is one or two minutes slower per mile than your marathon pace. If you don't know what that is, then don't run any faster than you could run while carrying on a normal conversation. Beginners should only do one long run every two weeks. Seasoned veterans long runs shouldn't exceed 3 hours.
Of the above suggestions, speed work is the most challenging and I recommend joining an organized team to make it a lot easier. Speed workouts generally consist of a 2 mile warm-up, varying lengths of short distance track work such as 400's, 800's, 1200's and then a 2 mile cool-down. It's hard to run around a track alone so if you want to train by yourself and hate the track, you can pick up the pace in the middle or your medium distance runs. There is a method called fartlek which deals with this type of training.
Tempo runs are 2-3 miles up to 10 miles in length. These are run at a speed a little slower than 10K pace. The purpose of these is to teach your body to run fast and relaxed; imagine yourself as a gazelle with Nikes on.
There are lots of books and magazines to help someone serious about getting faster or running further, my favorite is "The Complete Marathoner" by Runner's World and their Web site has tons of great info on all distances.
To help me enjoy running physically, mentally, and spiritually, I find the writings of the late Dr. George Sheehan to be very inspirational. He has written many books of which "Running and Being" is probably the most popular. George taught me that it's ok to run and cry (emotions)at the same time.
Everybody dies, but not everyone lives