Triathlon Transitions - Improve your T-2 and Run Split
Justin Robinson, MA,RD,CSSD,FAFS,CSCS
Director of Strength & Conditioning
Tri Season is in full swing, so I compiled a few tips to reduce leg fatigue and ultimately improve your run splits:
- The only way to truly improve run splits is more brick training (or smarter brick training, rather). I highly suggest alternating your bricks during training; i.e. long ride followed by short run and later in the week a short ride followed by a long run.
- Start your run with a shorter, quicker stride, for at least the first half mile. Neuromuscular-wise, this cadence simulates the bike and thus, will allow time for your muscles to adapt. Once the legs don't feel as "heavy", relax into a longer stride - with the emphasis on staying relaxed
- Tight hamstrings and hip flexors are common culprits of leg and back pain (since the hips spent the last 9-112 miles in a shortened position). Stretching for a few seconds during T-2 can help the hamstrings and low back release/relax.
- 3D Hip Flexor Stretch: Put one leg in front of the other, with the front knee bent (lunge position) and the back knee locked out and back toe pointed straight. Drive your arms (3-10 reps in each direction): 1- Straight overhead, 2-Overhead to the right, and 3-Overhead to the left.
- 3D Hamstring Stretch: "Sit" onto on leg and fully extend the other leg with the toe pointed up and towards you (lengthening the calf and hamstring). Alternate your reaches in three directions (3-10 reps each): 1) Straight out to the toe, 2) Right hand to the left side, and 3) Left hand to the right side.
- The dynamic rotation/twisting while stretching truly makes the difference; taking 10-15 seconds to do these stretches (especially during a 70.3 or Full Ironman) can save you a lot of pain, effort, and time later in the run