Minimum days on the bike to maintain or gain

I’ll try to make it short, I find that six days a week on the bike ends up being too much on the shoulders, knot in the back starts up and then right arm starts throbbing. This brought me off the bike last September for a month till I started running and slowly increasing cycling.

Fast forward to this month, recently got back up to six days and I see this happening again, stiff neck, knot in the back. Maybe what started never was resolved. So, being stubborn, decided half marathon in April.

Okay, training. My question would be the minimum days on the bike where I could enjoy outdoor group rides during the summer. (don’t want to be dropped or struggle in a group ride) My thoughts is, right now my training for half marathon (btw, running does not bother my neck, back or arm. In fact, I think the strength is helping) is four days a week and going to try to incorporate two days a week on the bike. Also with running, yoga continues along with weights three times a week. I think with six days a week on bike, I neglect core, back, shoulders, etc. Searching for that balance. Figured I’d reach out to the forum for thoughts.

Without knowing any background I would argue if your priority is a HM running event and you are building fitness for that, structured bike riding on top of a group ride, gym and yoga is only going to overflow the fatigue bucket. I know in my case anyway a hard weekend group ride would take away from a Sunday run workout, but hopefully it’s not a smashfest. Just take the Tuesday workouts from SSB or from the maintenance plan but i would probably just go out and enjoy your riding while you train for the HM.

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I made my goal of 100 miles on bike in August before my neck issue in September . Maybe that’s part of it, who knows. Off and on runner for years. Recreational. First marathon and half marathon was 2015. Switched to cycling the following years, 2016 till now. Running around 20 plus years, cycling little less but not by much.

During the summer group rides are no drop, you can push in the front of the group or keep up in the back. I really am thinking of letting cycling take a back seat for a while, continue strength, yoga and running as my primary. Test the waters again down the road to see how much I can handle on the bike. Soon to be 52, so this all health, recreational and keeping active. 168 lb at 5’10", so not a lot of extra stress on the body. 158 over last summer when I was pushing the miles.

Rather than picking random workouts, you might consider using one of the “Enthusiast” training plans .

  1. Maintenance
  2. Time Crunch 30
  3. Time Crunch 45

Each one has different volume options to fit a range of schedules. I see these as better options with intent and planning behind them.

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To give you an idea of how long energy system gains stick around and what you need to do in maintenance mode:

(I could have sworn there was a blog post on this but I can only ever find the forum post now :sweat_smile:)

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I’m in a kind of similar position. Training for a HM (in May), running 3 days a week. I started running in October as i’d lost interest in the bike (not really sure why, but that’s for another post).

I have a duathlon in September, and I don’t want to be completely unfit on the bike come Spring so I was thinking of trying one of the Sprint Tri base phases first as they’re only 2 bike sessions a week and low TSS (45 min sessions). I want any cycling to compliment the HM training right now (rather than detract). I’m also commuting ~10 miles a day 3-4 days a week.

I’ve never given that much time to train (when racing my local track league i was only training 2 - 3 days a week) and I want to keep that life/training balance. Maybe I’m asking too much of my time and should just focus on the HM and then include some bike June - September before the Duathlon.

  • Maybe this is the right one?
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@ellotheth I’ll give that a read.

@JamesFarndon I’m training four days a week, running and with a goal of two days a week on the bike. I have not lost interest in the bike, still new from last summer but my shoulders, neck and back don’t care for too much time on the bike, so I’m searching for a balance or strength where the neck won’t be an issue.

Got on the bike this morning, immediately knew I shouldn’t be, neck and arm already let me know. Quit the ride minutes in, did some physical therapy the chiropractor gave me back in September, did some core and yoga. So, 45 minutes of stretches and strength instead of a ride. Running doesn’t do this to me. So, I’ll stick to four runs a week, two days of yoga and pt, three days a week of weights. Test the water again down the road. Really hard to drop to four days a week of cardio, something sticks in my brain that wants to add a fifth day of running. Doing HalHigdon marathon training, novice 2.