On the rationalization of mixed training for running and cycling, non-triathlon

Right now I use trainerroad for indoor training and DISCIPLINE is Road Race, low volume. In the build phase, Monday VO2max for an hour, Wednesday SWEET SPOTS for an hour, Friday threshold training for an hour and a half, and Saturday and Sunday back at my parents’ house, unable to ride for training. Tuesday and Thursday would be interspersed with 1 hour or 90min of Z2 training.
Indoor ride training is all scheduled in the morning when I wake up.
Also, I run three times a week in order to improve my 5km running performance, threshold training, V02max training, and long distance on Sunday, but usually no more than 1 hour, due to scheduling, I will schedule VO2max training on Saturday and long easy runs on Sunday, and if the week is very intense and I feel fatigued I will drop Saturday’s training and just rest.
On top of that, I’ll play tennis with a friend on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, which can be a bit high heart rate, but overall, the average heart rate is also zone 2, and basically I’ll play tennis for about two hours at a time.
What I’m inquiring about is whether the Z2 for cycling and the Z2 for running need to be just one type of exercise, and even some running books say that the vo2max is only recommended once a week, and that it’s just enough to stimulate the cardio, so do I just have to choose either running or biking.
Lastly, I’m almost at the end of the first phase of my trainerroad course, starting next month, basically Anaerobic for an hour on Monday, Anaerobic for an hour on Wednesday, and vo2max for 90min on Friday, and I don’t know of any other recommendations for overall weekly workouts, so please help me out, thanks!

Hi, you are falling into a trap that many people fall into.

As a triathlete you are not training for three sports, you are training for one sport with three disciplines.

Consequently, you do not do a swim plan + cycling plan + run plan. You do a triathlon plan.

This spreads intensity across the days in a way that the human body can recover and adapt from. Trying to train three sports on top of each other will only lead to fatigue and injury.

You are further compromising training by doing three tennis sessions a week but that’s not the end of the world. Reduce intensity of your hard bike and run in order to still gain adaptations and be strong for your next workouts.

What race are you targeting?

Thanks for the reply, I’m trying to keep my original trainerroad training three times a week, Monday Wednesday Friday, then Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday runs, two quality runs and one long distance respectively, interspersed with EASY RUNS to reach 64km for the week!
Tennis on Tuesday and Thursday evenings
After a month of this schedule, I was so fatigued that I was waking up every morning with a low hrv and a higher resting heart rate than ever before
The day before yesterday, I was on run to for running training according to the schedule, during the jogging warm up, I found my legs were sore, my heart and lungs felt labored, and my body felt terrible, so after the warm up, I gave up the training
Now it’s been three days of rest
Local races are few and far between, maybe I just work out to stay in shape and healthy, maybe once or twice a year for a 5k run

You’re doing way too much intensity. I’m guessing you are under 30 years old because your attempted schedule would kill a 50+ person? Do two hard cycling workouts per week (maybe Monday and Friday) and do 1 hard run session per week (maybe Wednesday). This still leaves Tuesday and Thursday open for tennis. Everything else should be relatively easy zone 2.


If you are not doing longer than 5k races then you don’t need a long run - do all your zone 2 on the bike and just have 1 interval run session/week plus 2 others of 30-40 mins. That will leave you some time for more intense cycling. I run 10k/10m races in the winter and do a 90 min long run when it’s not the TT season but if I only did 5k I wouldn’t run more than 30 - 40 mins.

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So what I gathered from your posts, in a week you are doing…

2 x VO2 (one running one on the bike)
2 x threshold/sweet spot
2 x Z2 rides
1 x long run
Plus “ interspersed” easy runs & 2 x 2 hours of tennis

That’s a lot of high intensity work. Even though you mention you are non-triathalon in the title, I would recommend talking to a triathlon coach or athlete to see how to better schedule your training appropriately.


I’m reading up on Ironman related books, I’m probably not doing it for Ironman, I’m just trying to be more logical about scheduling multiple workouts a week to avoid my body not being able to handle it; it’s really too complicated how to schedule it, and I think the main reason is that adding a lot of running makes it too much of a load on my body, because I just recently read the book Lactate Zone Running by Dr. Daniels, and for 5k races, the book There are tutorials in there for it, and probably a week is 64km+, which is too much for me, considering I have other sports. In fact, I used to run properly, probably 40km a week, and my body was able to take it!
Do you mean running training once a week in I or T zone, plus 2-3 easy runs. Also, I have tried the Ironman class schedule on trainerroad and there is so little explanation in it, even the running is just a brief description of the duration of the workout.

If you cycle you don’t need more than 3 runs/week. Remember, most running schedules include longer runs as that is the only sport they do so they get their zone 2 mitochondria/capillary development off their easy running miles. If you do plenty of zone 2 cycling you get it from that. If you run longer distances you need the long runs for joint, muscle strength, although you can get some of that from gym work. For anything over 10k you need time on your feet miles. For 5k it is speed that is the limiter so an interval session a week plus 2 other runs in the 4 - 5 mile range with suffice. If you were an elite 5K runner then sure 50-60 miles/week would make you faster and a 90 min long run would help - just not if it’s an add on to cycle training


One thing that I don’t think you’ve really mentioned is what your goals are- it sounds like you’re chasing a lot of different things at this point, and without a solid idea of where your priorities are or how to measure improvement I think it’s easy to get lost in the weeds and/or end up doing too much. There’s no ‘right’ balance between 3 sports- it’s subject to what you’re actually trying to do, and I don’t think you can realistically expect to improve on all of them at once.

I’d second the above suggestion of talking to a coach- even a one-off consult will be useful in clarifying the parameters you’re working with and getting some rough guidelines in place, everything else follows from there.