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Run Tips With Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander | Professional Run Tips

Run Tips With Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander | Professional Run Tips


– Running is a crucial
part of any triathlon because, well, it’s what we
finish with when we are racing. Now a lot of you might well
be wondering what it takes to step up in distance
from say a half Ironman up to a full distance Ironman
and tackle that marathon. So I thought a great person
to speak to is somebody who’s pretty used to running himself into the winning position of races. And that is 3 times Ironman
World Champion Craig Alexander. (intense digital music) Now Craig, an awful lot of people, myself included when I think back to it, get a little bit hit up
or worried about thinking about their first Ironman
because it includes a marathon. – Yeah. – So they might well have
done a half marathon, or a few in 70.3s beforehand,
but then they’ve got to think about moving up to that full distance. So have you got any
standout tips or thoughts that you remember having to go with, go through in that process? – Yeah, there are, I guess
there are a few things that will hold true for everyone. Again it’s an individual thing though. I mean, for me, I came from
a short course background, and speed wasn’t my issue. When I stepped up here to
race, I was racing guys like Normann, and Macca,
and Faris, and Rutger Beke who had a lot more, should I
say, years of racing Ironman. – Diesel engines maybe? – Yeah, well diesel engines, just a lot more years
of racing the Ironman, so they had a lot more
strength and endurance I felt. They were stronger and had
more endurance than I did. So for me, moving up, that was my focus. Trying to run a good marathon, and a good back half of the marathon. So my focus became more about volume. Speed was never an issue for me. It was more I thought I
had to build the volume in. Now when you build the volume in, you have to be careful
obviously to build up slowly, to be gradual and I think
one tip that holds true for everyone is strength and conditioning. You know, there’s a saying
in endurance sports, “if it looks good, it is good.” So you want to have really good technique and good fundamentals. Hopefully you’ve got good
biomechanics, not everybody does. But there’s things you can work on, there’s exercises in the gym,
and obviously running as well. Running hills, there’s a
lot of things you can do to build your strength and also improve your core stability and strength. So I think anything, this
holds true for swim, bike, run, but if we’re talking about
the marathon specifically, anything that involves the same motion over a long period of time,
particularly in a marathon, we’re talking about not
so much about speeding up, we’re talking about not slowing down. So you want to, I guess you’re
thinking along the lines, to answer your question,
is what are the things that are going to help
me to not slow down? Good aerobic conditioning,
good muscular strength, and good biomechanics or good
core strength and stability. So that has a performance
benefit, if you’ve got good efficient technique
it means you’re efficient. So you can sustain your output for longer. But there’s also an injury
prevention component as well. If the technique is good,
and the core strength and stability is good,
as you up the mileage there’s going to be less chance of injury. So as an endurance athlete,
of course the enemy is getting sick or getting injured. You know, the whole premise is you want consistent training over time. So I’d say the main thing is embrace the challenge physically. Work out specifically what your own limitations as an athlete are, and it might be you’re an age-grouper who hasn’t got a lot of time to train. So in that regard, you
might want to give yourself a much longer lead-in to your Ironman. And build that strength and conditioning over much more time. It might be that you’ve
been a collegiate runner and you have a great running background, but you’re a short distance guy so you need to build the
backend aerobic conditioning. So I think you need to
identify, as an athlete, where your strengths and weaknesses lie and address those, and it
doesn’t matter who you are, you can never do enough
core strength and stability. I think that efficiency component, and operating with good
functional movement to prevent injury is always important in the longer distance races, and in any kind of endurance training. – Yeah, so basically really
worry about not slowing down, and that’s the back half of the marathon. – Yeah. – And to do that, really look
at things like core stability, working the gym, hill
reps is a really good one I heard you say there. – [Craig] Hill running, a lot
of negative split running, so you do your faster
running on tired legs. – [Interviewer] So out for a half an hour, back quicker, stuff like that? – Yeah, and build that into your long run. I think it’s good to replicate the race without doing the race. I don’t think to run a good marathon you have to run a marathon in training. But you have to replicate the
similar demands on your body. Like holding form and
pace on fatigued legs. So do a long run where you just go out at a certain pace, like very easy, and come back at your goal
or race pace, or close to it. So trying to hold form and
hold your goal race pace on fatigued legs. – [Interviewer] And that could also be as part of a brick of the bike, right? – Part of a brick, so yeah,
you’re simulating the demands of what your body, what
you want your body to do, but in training. Yeah, so I think running
hills is always a good thing. I used to do a lot of my aerobic
easy runs over the hills. It builds in that natural intensity, the aerobic conditioning, but
also the leg strength as well, which I think is important. So yeah, you want to concentrate on your strength and endurance. You know, most people, if you’ve
done sprint distance races, or Olympic distance races,
and that’s generally the path a lot of people take building up, or they do it, like you mentioned, you might have done a few half
marathons or half Ironmans. The pace you’ve done in those
is probably going to be quicker than your marathon pace. So speed’s not really
going to be the issue, it’s more holding speed. – And just not slowing down that quickly over the length of the longer race. – Yeah, so you want to incorporate
things in your training, and it doesn’t matter
whether you’re a pro athlete trying to win in Kona, or you’re a first-timer at any event, core strength and stability;
you look at the best athletes, or the ones who have good outcomes, whatever their goals may be. I think that’s always time well spent in the training program. And it’s something you can do at home. You don’t have to go to a gym. You just need maybe a couple
of dumbbells and a Swiss ball. I mean, you can google core
strength and stability exercises for swimming, cycling and running, and there’s hundreds of them. There’s many great exercises you can do. – You’ve got a video for us there Craig? – Well there’s videos… – There we go. – a lot of pay per fan videos. – You beat it to us, yeah. – But yeah, there’s a lot
of exercises you can do where the strength gains you get translate well into those disciplines that we use in swim, bike and run. – [Interviewer] Think I’ll
go give them a go now. – [Craig] (laughs) – Well I don’t know about you guys, but I find those points from
Craig really interesting, and certainly something worth implementing into a training routine, so hopefully you guys are able to do that. And please let us know in
the comments section below if you are interested
in taking up his advice. You should be. Hopefully you enjoyed this video, so please hit that thumb up like button. Find the globe on screen
for all the other content that we have here on GTN. And if you want to see, well,
another video about running that we’ve done, you can find that here.

17 comments on “Run Tips With Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander | Professional Run Tips

  1. Why i feel burning sensation in my head and face while exercising? I just started to jog 1 week ago. i jog everyday today is my 8th day of walk/jog 1 hr a day . and i am 70 kg 5'5 18 years old . i want to become fit what should i do ? because i am breathing kinda fast after jogging while walking but i am using my diaphragm . when i use my heart rate monitor app from play store i see 161-170 bpm
    if i reach like 40 minutes while walking while breathing kinda fast and suddenly turn to 120 bpm . 40 minutes walk/jog and i feel burning sensation my heart rate from 170 drops to 120-135 in 1 minute . I walk 500 meters and jog 500 meters . i am doing this on my jogging . Every 2 steps i Inhale and exhale is that correct?

  2. Is it too late to become fit? i am already 18 and i want to become fit and increase my oxygen consumption . when i wake up early in the morning i see my heart beat is 45 bpm. because i exercise everyday and this is my 8th day .
    i also never drink liquor,smoke anything in my whole life. i am just fat 70 kg 5'5 18 yrs old .

  3. That GTN guy with the black hair has seriously bad foot placement, pronates and both foot are landing on the same straight line making leg go inward

  4. Excellent video, really good advice from a legend! When it comes to pacing what would be a reasonable IM pace ? Somewhat close to fundamental endurance I guess? Half IM I can sustain roughly my marathon pace. I think nutrition is key as well, and it's hard to replicate those demands in training, experience might help a lot there as well.

  5. I will have to try some negative split runs. Never really thought of that. I had great success this year splitting longer runs into two parts within 24 hours. That doesn't beat up my body as much.

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