Big training is the sexy side of triathlon. Having a full training log and big miles on strava is a confidence booster going into a race. You can brag about it on instagram and strava kudos are always thrown at the BIG workouts. When I go do 2k of drills in the pool, or a form run for 30 minutes no one seems to be impressed.
However, these skill sessions can reap more benefits in the long run that all the monster training in the world. It is always hard to convince athletes that going slow can in the end make them fast. Getting a professional to help look at your running gait and really break it down for you can help you stay injury free, improve your running economy, and learn a bit about what is going on in your stride. This is a great way to gain “free speed”. As in, at the same fitness level you will run faster. Sounds like a win, right? Convincing athletes of this is a tough one, but if you can it will be worth it!
Using myself as an example - I would grind myself to bits every season, then get the same injury and have to take weeks off of running. I had a weak hip causing stride issues. Three years ago I took the time to get a gait analysis at Smith Performance Center. They evaluated my stride. It is extremely far from perfect. But, the only thing we looked at is what is the driver of my injury. They coupled the analysis with some muscular strength testing and formulated a plan. I worked on my hip strength and incorporated some running drills in order to encourage my left glute to fire. Since then I have been injury free on the run. I also have a better feel for my run. I can feel when muscles are doing their job, and when they are not. Developing this mind body connection is very important for staying healthy.
Take the time to run slowly and correctly and you will be faster in the future! The early season is the best time to get a gait analysis, but any time is the right time if you have never had one. See what you are doing right, and what you can improve upon. Remember to take the time to do the work in order to improve and enjoy Free Speed down the road!
Get your Gait Analysis at Playtri. Get all the details here: Playtri.com/testing