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Run with Maria

Run Workshop at An Riocht“Good day for ducks!” as they say. It was a cold and wet morning at An Ríocht but that didn’t stop our brave souls from coming out to do the second running technique workshop of the year with our club  running coach Maria O’Keeffe McCarthy. Maria is only fresh off winning the National Masters Indoor Track and Field Championships Women’s 3000m event. She must be doing something right 🙂


After a few laps of the facilities to warm up we took to the track where Maria started with some mobility exercises followed by drills with the mini hurdles. By time we were finished the blood was flowing and the breathing a little bit laboured. Then it was onto some drills to encourage proper form and motion.

Maria gave us plenty of tips and useful information along the way like why you see sprinters going up and down on their tippy toes before a race. It’s to balance themselves on the balls of their feet. From that point they lean forward from the ankles (not the waist) for efficient form. Maria demonstrated the proper form for each of the drills and while she looked like a gazelle I’m sure we looked like a herd of stampeding elephants in her wake 🙂

And now run!

RunWorkshop12Apr2015 (16)

Of course all of the drills were leading up to something. The focus of this running technique workshop was to increase speed and train fast twitch muscles. As triathletes our slow twitch muscles are the ones that are primarily engaged as most of our training  and racing is aerobic (with oxygen).  But when that finish line is looming and you have someone in your sights you need to be able to up the pace. Sprinting builds the specific muscles needed to be faster while also generating better use of your fast-twitch fibers. Since sprinting requires maximum effort, the exercise is similar to maximum-effort strength training.

Maria started us off with some short sprints with plenty of rest in between. Then it was onto the business end with 2 x100m, 1 x 200m and 1 x400m sprints at a full out pace. Most of us doing okay until our last effort which was the 400m.  Plenty of heaving for breath afterwards.  There’ll be a few sore bodies after that 🙂 Great session!

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Established 2009

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Tralee Triathlon Club

Established 2009