For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.
We asked legendary coach Brett Sutton for some simple advice to help age groupers make the most of their run training. Find more training thoughts from Sutton on his blog, Trisutto.com.
1. What are a few of the biggest mistakes age groupers make in run training?
“It’s my belief that the biggest mistake both pro and age-group triathletes make in run training is the feeling that they need to run every day. Given the amount of aerobic training done across the three disciplines, running each day is just not necessary, and my experience tells me that for female and older age groupers running everyday actually inhibits performance.”
2. What are the essential run workouts age-group athletes should be doing regularly?
“The essential run workouts age-group athletes should be exactly the same as pros. The difference would be the amount. Even if you only run every second day I believe there are four workouts that are essential.
a. The Long Run is a must and can be done at a conversational pace
b. The Tempo Run, which is non-stop and at least 50% the distance of your race completed at race speed.
c. The Fartlek Run, which in total should equal the same distance as you’ll be racing and is completed with surges of short duration between 6 and 15 seconds as you feel.
d. The Recovery “Feel Good” Run is a light jog 20-30 minutes duration to loosen up again and recover. These runs can be done over an eight-day cycle, they tick all the boxes and give one ample rest and recovery time to help with performance.
(Note: If training for Ironman distance then it should only be 25% of race distance for the Tempo run and 50% of race distance for the Fartlek run.)
3. Is there a run session you do with your pros that you would modify to be beneficial for age-group athletes?
“The most beneficial run I’d say is an easy choice. We do the Triple M in our squad, which stands for Moderate effort, Medium effort, and then, only if you’re feeling good, Mad or really hard effort! This can be done by anyone at any level. It can be an hour long, 30 minutes or even 15 minutes! The important part is breaking it up in three different intensities. Yes it’s simple, but overall it’s the most effective session I’ve ever devised. I hope the readers have a great upcoming season.”