How to Run Well Off the Bike


Imagine it’s race day. Imagine it’s your “victory lap” after all of the hard work you put into your triathlon training. Now, imagine conquering your swim and bike, but feeling like your legs just “won’t work” when it comes time to run towards the finish line.

Not only can the running be the most difficult portion of your race because it’s the last and your body is fatigued from swimming and cycling, but “running off the bike” can feel totally different if you’re not used to the feeling. So what can you do to ensure that your body is physically and your mind is mentally strong enough to cross the finish line of your triathlon?

Let’s take a look at these top tips for running well off the bike:

  1. Add Brick Workouts to Your Training

A brick workout essentially is combining two or more portions of your triathlon to get your body and mind used to the feeling of doing two workouts with zero down time. It’s preparing you for that moment on race day where you need to quickly transition from swim to bike to your run.

When adding brick workouts to your triathlon training, start small and work your way to longer workouts. This will allow your body and mind to get used to the feeling of doing two completely different workouts seamlessly.

What to learn more about brick workouts? Check out this post for everything you need to know about adding brick workouts to your triathlon training.


  1. Work on Running Form After Transitioning


Transitioning from riding your bike to running means your body is going from a hunched over position to a straight up position. While it might be difficult to do at first, it’s incredibly important to have great running form. Stand upright like you’re a puppet with a string tied to the top of your head. Relax your shoulders. Move into a breathing rhythm that will allow your body to remain calm as you transition from the bike to the pavement.


  1. Fuel & Hydrate Before You Get Off Your Bike


Utilize the time you have on your bike to drink enough water and take any gel/sport beans before transitioning to your run. This will boost your blood glucose and give you the hydration and energy you need to stay strong until you reach the finish line.


  1. Practice Pacing Before Race Day


Heading into your triathlon knowing what you can physically and mentally handle is important to successfully completing your race. This will allow you to monitor where you’re at in terms of pacing throughout the entire race without burning out. The last thing you want to do is over exert yourself swimming and biking and have nothing left to give for your run. This is another reason that brick workouts are an important component to triathlon training. You will know generally how much your body can take going through the different parts of your race. This will ultimately allow you to have a target pace to shoot for on race day and if you can adjust accordingly depending on how the race is going.


When it’s time to transition from your bike to your run, practice makes perfect. You want to practice this transition time and time again before race day. It will not only physically prepare you from cycling to running but it will mentally allow your brain to know the transition, allowing you to run upright, feel strong, and maintain a smooth breath until you’ve crossed your finish line. Utilizing cycling time fuel up and rehydrate is also important for a strong finish.


Need more triathlon tips for race day? Contact me for all of your race day tips!


Train Right, Tri Right!

Coach MJ


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