Your First Triathlon - 3 Tips for Running to the Finish

Train on terrain similar to the race course Train on terrain similar to the race course

The run stage of a triathlon can be tough because it is the last stage, and temperatures may be rising. Being prepared can help you finish strong.

Finish Strong

The run leg is the third and final portion of the triathlon. The run is tough because most athletes are tired from the swim and bike. Also, the run is when the temperatures are rising, which adds another challenge. Smart run training will ensure success. Here are three tips for training for the run:

Tip #1 – Determine how hilly or flat the run course will be for the race, then train on similar terrain. Typically, Race Directors will post a course map on their website. Sometimes it will include the elevation. Once the difficulty of the course is determined, find roads or paths that are like the run course.

Tip #2 – Practice running right after your bike ride. At first, this is an awkward feeling because the leg muscles will not be accustomed to changing from the work they were doing on the bike to the work they are now doing on the run. Incorporating a 15 – 20 minute run right after your bike ride will start training the muscles for this sensation.

Tip #3 – During the race, hold back a bit on the bike so you have enough energy for the run. This takes a lot of discipline because athletes who have done the appropriate training will feel really good once they get on the bike. Sometimes these athletes ride a little bit too hard and don’t leave enough in the “tank” for the run.  

Follow these tips and you will be running to the finish of the race with a smile across your face!

Run Like the Wind!

Mari Fridenmaker

Mari Fridenmaker is a USA Triathlon Level I Certified Coach in Atlanta, Georgia.  She is the President and Head Coach of Blue Iron Coaching, LLC.  She has been active in the sport of triathlon since 2003 and has been coaching athletes of all levels since 2007.  Her services include Team Coaching, Personalized Coaching, Private Swim Lessons and Individual Consultation.  For more information, please visit her website,  She can be reached at or 404.667.0817.