By Jay Patel, Speed and Explosion Specialist
Keeping proper form after a long swim or a bike ride while in a triathlon is difficult to maintain. Biomechanical changes in the hips, knees, and ankles can occur and leads to a slower finish to any race. Keeping a perfect stride will take seconds, even minutes off your time.
Keeping your head in a neutral position can open up the airways. Keeping the shoulders shrugged uses too much energy while running. It is recommended that you relax your shoulders when running. Every mile or so shrug your shoulders once, if you cannot fully shrug this means your shoulders are already too high. Try to carry your elbows at about a 90-degree angle and forearms above the waist.
A strong core is essential, slumping while running is due to a weak core. Strengthening the abs and stabilizing muscles is important. Planks, pushups, leg raises, overhead squat are recommended 3 sets of 10-20 reps 3 times a week. Your torso should be tight with a slight lean to carry your force; leaning back signifies you are slowing down
Regardless of pace a total of 170 steps a minute is efficient running. To achieve this, spending less time your soles are in contact with the ground will make your stride more efficient. Flexed calves and ankles is where all the speed comes from and what makes your strides quick and short. Pushing off of the back foot will propel your further each step. Also avoid landing on your heels, this will result in energy expenditure by rolling your foot forward. Each foot should land just slightly to the front of your heel pad, so the arch can absorb the impact and help transfer energy into forward motion.
Below is a link of exercises to improve your speed: