I've now done three sprint tris this year, and while I've seen pretty good improvment in my swim and bike times, there's been little to no change in my runs (which are really more like walks). It's really frusterating. I've got a tri coach that provides my workouts and he generally thinks that sticking with the plan will make it all work out. But his workouts are runs or intervals, and do not address things like drills. Not that I have any idea how useful drills are either. Wondering if a specific run coach was worth it or if there are other options I may not be aware of. Any help would be great. Thanks!
Are you running enough? I find it difficult to maintain or improve my run fitness if I take more than 2 days off from running at a time. I start to lose the feel for my stride. Then on the next run, it takes me half of the workout just to get back into my usual form. This doesn't happen if I run more frequently.
If you're only running twice a week, then you may not be doing enough to improve. You still want to be careful about doing too much as a beginner, but if you can bump up the schedule to three runs a week, then you may see better results. Eventually you could move up to 4 days a week, but not right away.
If you are doing triathlons, get a tri coach. If you are doing road races, get a pure running coach. Running in triathlons and the way you approach and train for them are a bit different than just pure running. A pure running coach may make you a better runner, but that may come at a cost of making you a worst swimmer and biker.
A good tri coach as all three disciplines in mind when he assigns you a running routine. I think that most tri coaches also know a thing or two about pure running. Don't discount the fact that he's a tri coach that he's not as knowledgable about running as a pure running coach. His approach is different because he has to make sure that your run training meshes well with your bike and swim training.
Perhaps the reason why your run times are not as fast as you expect is due to the fact that you are going a bit too hard on the bike than you should. Endurance Nation has a saying that goes something like ... there is no such thing as a good bike split followed by a bad run.
If your bike split is pretty damn awesome, but is causing you to have less energy/endurance for the run then it may not be as awesome as you think. If you are walking or near walking at the begining of a run leg then most likely you are ridding the bike a lot harder than your triathlon bike fitness level can handle and has little bearing on your run fitness. When I'm out with my bike friends, I can crank out some pretty decent speed. If I crank out that same speed or put in the same level of effort at a triathlon, I'll be walking like I have an STD for the first mile or so.
I would discuss this with your coach. I wouldn't change anything that he gives you without talking to him first. If you don't believe that he's helping you the way that you need or is not communicating to you why he does what he does, you need to talk to him. Or, get a new coach. Trust in a coach and a solid communication channel are the keys to success. It's your money. You paid for it.
Tuan can also teach you how to Run the swim. I've seen him do it.
What Tuan said. Also, if you are having problems, are expressing them to your coach, and your coach isn't provide suggestions that are helpful, get a new coach. (If pacing is the issue, drills won't help, though. Having a coach provide feedback on how fast to go on the swim/bike would.)