100 Tips for a Successful Triathlon

Running

Running is a terrific way to get exercise quickly. You need little more than a good pair of shoes and can run almost anywhere. I have explored many cities on foot quickly by sticking to my running schedule while traveling. You can run in almost any weather, as long as you are dressed for warmth at the end of the run, when you are often wet and tired.

               

Timberman 2013

                                                         

Run two to four days a week, with one long run and one day of hill or fast interval training , supplemented by steady runs near race pace

Correct running form is upright or leaning slightly forward from the ankles (not the waist). Leaning forward from the waist will cause back problems.  Arms should flow almost straight back (like you are elbowing someone directly behind your elbow) and forward parallel to your leg movement

Try the 3:2 method (breathe in for three steps and out for two steps) to improve breathing technique and possibly reduce injury potential. This technique is truly a new development that seems to help propel you along.  See

http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/running-air-breathing-technique

The "Pose Running Technique"  also may help avoid injuries. See, for example,

http://www.posetech.com/library/pp-SIB-0001.html

Harvard researchers have made videos of forefoot strike (as in the pose technique) and heel strike and concluded that forefoot strike is in many ways easier on the legs and joints. They also discuss barefoot running. They also caution that no scientific studies have been done of which approach results in fewer injuries.
 http://barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/5BarefootRunning&TrainingTips.html

Choose running shoes appropriate to your feet, joints and  other physical characteristics.

Much has been written recently about running barefoot or with 'minimalist' (light,thin) shoes. They have the advantage of light weight, but really are designed for those who need little or no cushioning. Now we have highly cushioned shoes appearing on the market such as the Hoka One One and (after February 2014) Brooks Transcend. The Hoka One One is surprisingly light and is excellent for people who need a lot of cushioning because of joint problems. It gives a spring like feel when your feet land.  As a general matter, heavy people and people with high arches need more cushioning.  People with flat feet need stability. The huge variety of shoes on the market means that there is something for everyone if  you have the time and patience to find it at your local running store, from write ups on the Internet, advice from other runners, and trial and error.

Train on firm, unpaved surface; if not available, train on asphalt; avoid concrete as much as possible--it will inevitably result in injury

The camber (tilt) of the road surface can help compensate for a short leg,, but prolonged running on the same side of the camber will result in injury

Wear highly reflective clothing or a vest at night and , if you are running in the road, use a flashlight to make sure oncoming cars see you

Avoid high heels; they can trigger or exacerbate injuries

Keep toe nails cut short

Tape toes with duct tape to prevent blisters on very long runs

Treat black toes by draining the blood underneath the toe nail using a sterilized needle

Replace running shoes every 3-500 miles 

 I trained for and ran my first marathon in tennis shoes in 1976 (in three hours and 16 minutes). Since then,   running shoes have come on the market with a great variety of materials and design. Its most important to find one that fits your arches--you need motion control for flat feet, cushioning for high arches and something in between for medium arches. If you are heavy, you need more cushioning. no matter what arches you have. Orthotics can definitely help prevent running injuries if your feet are not perfect.

Tape your ankles if you have a sprain or tendonitis, after appropriate rest and treatment.

If you need to tape your ankles during a triathlon, cover your cloth tape with duck tape so that it will stay on during the swim.

Check for leg length discrepancy by putting a level across the top of hip bones; add extra insole or orthotic to shoe for short leg

 Almost everyone has one leg shorter than the other. The discrepancy is a common  cause of knee, back and muscle injuries, especially in runners.

For a long or hot run, carry a bottle with sports drink and refill at aid stations (in a race), or drinking fountains. I found I feel much better if I also take salt pills.

Carry gel or nutrition bars on long runs and races. I found taking in nourishment substantially reduces recovery time after a long run.