Cut the corners

I remember high school rugby practices and being shouted at by our coach for cutting corners when running the fields for training or punishment. He often made us re-run the lap, punishment for the infraction.

Thankfully, as adults training for Ironman, there are no negative consequences to "cut the corners" or, in more technical terms, run the tangents.

We all know that the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line, and after long day of swimming and cycling, how nice would it be to be able to cut the marathon a little bit shorter - legally?

This can be achieved by cutting through the running course's corners, even if you have only half the road to work with. If you have the entire road, all the better.

Remember to always pay close attention to what is taking place around you. Ensure your strategy does not impact on other athletes, or, most importantly, break any race rules. You can better your odds of this by knowing your race route ahead of time.

Using a simple strategy such as this one will not only save you a bunch of energy, but shorten your run time too. Our former high school coaches may not approve, but then they've likely never run an Ironman.

James Greenwood is a competitive tri and multisport athlete currently training for Ironman Canada 2009. A level 1 Triathlon Coach, he holds a post graduate degree in Exercise Science, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. James is also currently the resident health and fitness programs expert at, and has starred in a number of multisport specific fitness videos.
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