4 Ways to Save Your Legs for the Triathlon Run

If you're like most triathletes the one thing that makes you most anxious about racing (other than the dreaded swim start) is running well off the bike. The secret is knowing how to save your legs during the bike. Here are few steps to get you moving in the right direction.

Build Bike Fitness First

The number one strategy to run faster is to get in bike shape first. The absence of solid bike fitness will leave you too physically and mentally depleted to snap off a solid run afterward.

Plan to spend about 40 to 50 percent of your training time in the saddle. Since the bike leg accounts for about half of the overall race time, it stands to reason you need to spend a lot of training time on the bike, unless you come from a cycling background. But there's a little bit more to it than just going out and spinning your pedals. To step up bike fitness, focus on frequency.

More: Tri Training: Which Sport Should You Focus on Most?

Cycling 3 to 4 times a week instead of twice minimizes the down time between bike sessions, which accelerates bike fitness and makes you more efficient simply because it improves your pedaling skills. Your total cycling time for the week doesn't have to go up dramatically. Just shorten the bike sessions and do them more often.

This is where a bike trainer can be an invaluable and time-efficient piece of training equipment. A trainer will allow you to log some high quality bike sessions in less time. If you make this one change, particularly early in the season, you'll be well on your way to setting yourself up for a stronger run leg.

More: Learn to Master the Bike-to-Run Transition

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About the Author

Jay Zacharias

Jay Zacharias is a USAT-certified coach and licensed primary sports nutritionist. He's been involved with triathlon since 1981 and is co-founder of TriathlonExperts.com, the leading community for self-coached triathletes. Grab your free short and long-course training plans by visiting www.triathlonexperts.com.

Jay Zacharias is a USAT-certified coach and licensed primary sports nutritionist. He's been involved with triathlon since 1981 and is co-founder of TriathlonExperts.com, the leading community for self-coached triathletes. Grab your free short and long-course training plans by visiting www.triathlonexperts.com.

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