Here are a few triathlon tips to make each run a little more productive. By performing these simple drills, you can improve functional strength in your feet and ankles, and improve your stability. These drills also prepare your body and mind for the workout to come, and help make your workout more effective from the very first step! Here’s the routine:
Before your run, do two to three sets of the following drills:
One Leg Hops: Balance on one leg, then hop 12 inches forwards and 12 inches backwards 10-15 times. Then on the same leg hop 12 inches right then 12 inches left another 10-15 times. Repeat the drill with the opposite leg. Take 30 seconds rest interval (RI) between sets.
Square Hops: Balance on one leg, then hop 12 inches forward, 12 inches to the right, 12 inches backwards, and 12 inches to the left. Go around the square three times, then switch legs and perform the drill with the opposite leg. Take a 30 second RI between sets.
Forwards and Backwards One Leg Hops: Balance on one foot, then take 10-15 hops forwards. Then, still facing the same direction, immediately take the same number of hops backwards. Do the same drill with the opposite leg. Take 30 seconds rest between sets.
Take a 2-3 minute RI between exercises. For all drills, strive to stay light on your feet (or foot, as it were). Your foot should strike the ground slightly behind the ball of your foot, and the ball of your foot should land directly beneath your knee. Try to let your foot stay on the ground only for the shortest amount of time possible, like you’re jumping on a scorching hot pool deck in the middle of summer. These drills are great for improving balance, foot and ankle strength, and secondary supportive muscles throughout your lower body. Include these before each run and your form and strength will be sure to improve!