Looking at many triathletes training the main thing I see them doing wrong is running their easy aerobic runs to fast. Running to fast in aerobic runs damages your ability to maximise the benefits of when you do your hard runs. The biggest gains in run times are made from your track/tempo/threshold runs which should be your main focus in the week not how fast you can do your easy 30mins or your long run. Listed below are the 3 favourite run sessions, I like to do.
1) 1km Repeats (6 to 8)
This stock standard track set for both runners/triathletes is always my go to session to gain and assess my fitness levels. I usually have 2 different approaches to this set.
One is focusing on my threshold speed (1hr max ave. speed) which I try to hold throughout the set while leaving off a short rest (4min cycle). Adjust this to suit your speed. In my case I might be doing these in the 3:15 vicinity.
My other approach to 1km repeats is off a longer rest (5min cycle. Once again adjust to suit your speed) starting at my threshold pace and descending each effort to work on my speed endurance.
2) Mona Fartlek
Created by the great Australian runner Steve Moneghetti, this 20min workout is a perfect mix of endurance/speed combined in to the one session. This is always my last run session I do before a big race as it tends to bring out the speed in my legs. A lot of triathletes struggle with changing pace and therefore limit their options when it comes to racing. Being able to change to a faster pace then going back comfortably to your race pace will enable you to shake that person sitting behind you. Introducing a fartlek into your training enables you to hopefully change pace throughout the race hurting your opposition more than yourself.
3) Threshold into 400m Efforts
A mix of threshold running into speed work to finish. Running a 3-5km threshold run to start with to fatigue your body then go into multiple 400m efforts much faster than your threshold speed. A lot of triathletes never run faster then their race speed which just limits their run potential. Whether training for 21/42km you still need to do some speed work. Your 21km time is limited by what you can run for 10km which limited by what you can run for 5km etc…
Getting your body to run comfortably at a faster pace will make running at your race pace feel much easier.