Richard Murray is a South African triathlete and an impressive runner. The two-time Olympian, who was fourth at the Rio Olympics, posted one of his workouts to YouTube in October. On this day, he did a two-hour cycling workout, followed by running a 4:05 road mile. Within the cycling workout were four six-minute intervals. On its own, a 4:05 road mile is impressive (and probably equates to roughly a four-flat mile on the track). When coupled with a cycling workout and run by someone who doesn’t train specifically for running, it becomes exceptional.
Murray’s impressive running feats don’t stop there. The triathlete recently completed a 10K time trial in 28:07 (which would make him the Canadian record-holder in the event). Across the board, he’s an exceptionally strong runner, showing range that would be notable among the best single-eventers in the world.
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Murray’s strongest event is certainly the run. He’s struggled to secure many international titles, as his swim is his weakest event. Out of the water, he’s doing a lot of work to make it to the front by the run. However, Murray is far from the only triathlete who’s also a world-class runner.
The Brownlee Brothers
The Brownlee brothers are another great example of talented runners who are also among the best triathletes in the world. These British siblings have dominated the Olympic triathlon distance, especially when it comes to running. Alistair Brownlee‘s 10K split was 29:07 at the 2012 Olympics, and he’s been reported as saying he believes he could run around a 2:10 marathon (only two Canadians have ever gone faster). Alistair is a double-Olympic champion.
His brother, Jonny, is also an Olympic medalist with a serious running pedigree. He ran a 13:46 5K over the summer, mid-pandemic. The only Canadian to run that fast in 2019 was Justyn Knight, a multi-time NCAA champion.
While these runners would need a little more specific training to make it to Olympic medals on the track or roads, their running prowess is proof that cross-training works (and can make you among the best in the world).