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In 20 days, I need to run fast after swimming 1500m, and cycling 40km. What do you think I should do? High mileage? Short fast runs? In training I can go about 11k long runs, just under 6:00/km. I can race sprint triathlons at 4:30/km.

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How far do you have to run?

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As much as I hate to say it, 20-days is not much of time frame to gain much ground. "Training effect" is an endurance term referring to the fact that your training today won't be felt as an improvement for 3-weeks, for most people. That being said, the training you do today isn't going to bring about much for changing that triathlon in 20 days. The "hay in the barn" in regard to long-distance events happens during the prior training phase which should have started probably 6-months ago. I'm guessing it's a 10km run for your tri. For an ideal performance, at this point you should have been logging long runs of like 10-12 mi and alternating the other days of the week between 4 and 8 mi days. Unless you've got this kind of mileage in the bank, there's no worrying about speed. A lack of endurance will be the battle of the day. So really, my advice is to pick a peak race 4, 5 or 6-months out, build up the mileage for most of that time frame, get some speedwork in during the last few weeks before the race and hit it in ideal condition. Races sprinkled in there otherwise are fine, but realize you won't be "fast" in the sense of tuning yourself for a top-notch effort.
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