Concentrate on running while keeping cycling?

Hi Guys,

After some input on how best to prepare for a half marathon while keeping cycling.

I will switch my focus more to running (Currently training for a 70.3 with the cycle training playing a bit part) as of early July for a half marathon. I want to keep cycling to maintain the gains I’ve made with my training. This will be for approximately 6 weeks.

Would something like traditional base LV be of benefit? The theory being it’s aerobic Z2, and while time consuming (I should be able to work it in to my schedule) it isn’t heavily taxing on the muscles like hard intervals.

If any runners or multisport athletes can offer some advice on what they found worked for them or even what didn’t, it would be appreciated


Whats your half marathon goal?

I am guessing you do tris… is this part of a larger plan of improving running while doing a 70.3?

TB LV is a good fit, because with no intensity (and no impact), it’s not particularly challenging, but will allow you to maintain your cycling aerobic base

You don’t mention when your 70.3 is. The downside of TB is that it doesn’t include much intensity, and you may be giving up some of the higher intensity gains you have made. However, the higher intensity stuff is something you can add back fairly quickly. If your 70.3 is In November/December, then there is plenty of time to add it back.

If your 70.3 is August/September, then you may want to look at the experimental Polarized LV plan, as maintaining a little bit of intensity while most of the cycling volume is aerobic.

Currently doing polarized MV combined with a base running plan, and it is working pretty well. Will probably shift to lower cycling volume once I start adding some running intensity.

Remember the motto of triathlon:

“Why suck at one sport when you can suck at three!”

You will lose something somewhere, just a matter of how much you are willing to give up for your other sport(s). Personally, I am too old to care so I just do what I want. But I am high enough volume that I can get away with it with only a minor impact to my cycling. I am looking at racing a 50k soon, but I like to keep myself in a position of fitness where I can run 25+ miles without preparation.

I usually find that my bike workouts aren’t heavily impacted by my running, as long as I sleep enough (doh!). Even when sore from a run, I can usually bike just fine as the primary muscles are just different enough.

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I have a Tri 70.3 in July so just a few weeks away. Once that is out of the way the focus will shift to try and gain a PB half marathon. Currently 1:54 so plenty of room for improvement.

The perfect scenario would be to make the mains, and then maintain and/or keep improving over the winter.

My next event at present is a 70.3 in May 2022.

In response to others, I appreciate that I may lose a bit of the top end on the bike but hopefully that’ll return quick enough. I guess I’ll never be great at one sport so plan to suck less at three :joy:

Once I’ve completed the half marathon I’ll turn my focus back towards the three sports but with a bigger emphasis on the bike. I think this will be the most fruitful in the long run (pardon the pun)

Thanks to all for your input

I did pretty much the opposite of the approach you’re considering. Did 1-2 fairly short but high quality sessions on the bike each week. E.g. a 2 x 20 SS/Threshold session, and/or some VO2 max intervals. Maybe a longer Z2 weekend ride once or twice a month just to keep that cycling endurance. And then did the bulk of my training hours building up running volume with mostly fairly easy paced running. Logic in my case was:

  • High quality work on the bike was the best way of maintaining as much bike fitness as possible in the shortest amount of time possible
  • I have a history of struggling with high intensity running work. Need to introduce it carefully and not do too much of it or I risk picking up injuries. So getting some intensity on the bike made sense, especially when I was first starting to focus on running and needed to build up the volume and toughen up my ligaments, joints, etc before I was able to add in much running intensity

This was the approach I used when training for several half marathons and one full, but wanting to maintain cycling fitness as I was going back to cycling events after. Also did quite a few triathlons over the years with a similar approach - bulk of my intensity was done on the bike, running was mainly about getting in the aerobic miles so that my body was able to handle the pounding, with maybe a sprinkling of form sprints, and one run a week with some race pace intervals.