TR Running Thread 2024

I don’t think anybody knows, really. It’s a valuable question and worth asking, but I’ve seen this issue come up a few times and no one can point to research, long coaching experience, or any other body of knowledge that would indicate any kind of answer.

For running it’s mostly dimensions - like I’m 5’7’’ and weigh 61kg - that helps for running - not so much for flat TT though…my FTP is about 270W on a road bike 255W on the TT bike - that’s decent W/kg - doesn’t help me against the big guys who weigh about 80-90kg though!

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Power is king… thats why a Mustang can beat a miata although the miata has much better p/w ratio.

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But even a lowly ecoboost mustang has a better p/w than a miata.

I would not call anything with 350hp lowly tho…

Alright, we’ll refer to it as the base model. Though that’s usually just another term for lowly.

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Can we circle back to the adding cycling into a mainly running focussed regime? I’ve got a couple of thoughts/questions:

Lets assume we’ve got decent experience on bikes seeing as this is TR forum.

The reason why I’m considering doing this is that when i upped my volume over Christmas, my knees got sore. Not injured as such but sore enough that I then spent the rest of January moderating my training to let them calm down. (Successful!).
Whilst I’m sure i could progressively increase my training at a rate that my body could adapt to, which I have actually been doing for the last three years, it is tempting to want to train more.

So my question:

What would we be trying to achieve by incorporating cycling into the mix? Purely cardiovascular improvements rather than musculature?
Cardio surely transfers perfectly between sports so why the reticence to cross train for running?

There will be a number of replies based on personal experience, my $0.02: if you want to maximize your running potential, you have to be solely focused on running (and vice versa with cycling). When you bike, you add stress logs to the fire, and you are more likely to get injured. Not necessarily in some sort of physio-mechanical way, but with increased Stress you don’t recover from the workouts as quickly or easily. I don’t think athletes appreciate that enough - injuries aren’t solely related to mechanical processes. If you are really stoking the fire, your catabolic hormones are up, your anabolic hormones are down, and those previously tolerable little niggles that you would repair and move on from can grown into full-blown injuries because you aren’t healing as well.

So, from this perspective, you are much more likely to get a running injury by adding stressful cycling workouts. The solution is to cut back on running to make space in your Stress-O-Meter for cycling, which makes you a sub-maximized runner. This happens to triathletes all the time (including myself). I had done multiple marathons with no issues, but 4 months into Ironman training, I started developing a heel injury. Luckily I was able to complete my race, but it affected my time for sure. If I could go back and do it again, I’d cut back on intensity and show up to the race intact and ready to roll.

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Maybe I should clarify here. I’m not aiming to be my very best at anything physical anymore. I’ve done that in the past and it took me years to mentally and physically recover.
For the rest of my life now my goal is to be fit, healthy and happy. With running I want to be able to do a flat out road race one week, then a mountain ultra a few weeks later. I’ve already managed that last year so just want to keep refining my abilities to open up even more opportunities.
I’d say im training at about 50% of my energy availability. I’d happily ramp up my running milage considerably but don’t want to become one of those permanently injured runners that seem to be everywhere in this sport. Hence wondering whether I could shift some of the cardio responsibilities to the bike, leaving me to run pain free and with good form. (And race cyclocross next autumn for shits and giggles)

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I think it all depends on Goals.

If your goal is to be OK on both running and cycling, and not really racing, then a 50-50 mix will achive that.

If your goal is to train for a triathlon, say a sub 5 HIM, then usually you hit the bik MUCH harder and running is secondary. All because you spend most of the race on the bike, and having the legs to sustain a 2:3x and then run a 1:4x will be decided by the bike… at that point is a very delicate balance of wo between run WO and cycling wo.

If your goal is to xtrain while racing the other, then you have to add massive volumes to the one you are training.

Anecdotal, but last year, I was training for a marathon after 2022 NC HIM. Goal was a Mid Feb 2023 marathon. I maxed out maybe at 40-45 miles (mostly on LR) and was keeping bike wo. The race was not what I expected. My legs were fine for the first 15 miles, then slowly my legs disintegrated under me.
This year I am dropping the bike, and just doing easy, endurance bike ride on the trainer 1 or 2x a week. So i am basically replacing easy runs for easy bike rides. And i can tell there has been a HUGE difference. I did 58 miles 3 weeks ago, was suppose to do 6x 2 weeks ago and then even more last week, but I fucked up my back and had to take a week off, but I should be back to low 50s this week…hope to climb up to mid 60s in 2 weeks… now i feel like 14 miles is nothing. Last year at this point I was struggling a bit…

TL;DR
Focus on the one sport you want to improve, keep the other as rest, xtraining or for fun.

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unfortunate - but true…although my diminutive size does mean I can, even at the age of 55 run 6 min/miles on not a lot of running!

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That has nothing to do with your size… that talent.

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Those are good goals IMHO. Kinda thinking maybe i should take a page out of that book :rofl:

People can really handle huge amounts of work if done at the right intensity. Its when you start adding in days of intensity that it starts to get dicey. Z2 to your heart’s content!

I trained with a coach from 2014-2017. He was very inspirational and got me to 23rd overall in the National cyclocross series (UK). However he prescribed what now is obviously far too much intensity plus I’ll hold my hands up to doing far too much volume as well. An 800tss week with 5 sessions was normal for extended periods of time.
In my final season of cross, my most successful on paper, every joint in my body ached all the time, I stopped mid long rides to have a sleep, and at one point my ankle gave out mysteriously and i was on crutches for a week until the day before another race. I was in a complete mess which he should have noted.
Quit racing after the season and couldn’t face training properly ever again. Removed all data from the bikes. 2020 was my saviour; i found bikepacking and my love of bikes and adventure grew again. 2021 I started running with the goal of one day doing a 5k. Took it incredibly steady so it was the end of the year before i was ready.
So now, even though im getting quite fast; clocked another 5min/mile on Monday night (coached club track night), I’m determined to stay free and easy with the training and racing. Hence I’m in a much happier place and feel amazing despite turning 50 this year.
For reference I average about 50km/wk comprising of one ‘spirited’ session a week and the rest bimbling along my local trails, enjoying the beauty all around me.
My dream is to race in bigger and bigger mountains (current biggest day was 50k and 3500m in 6hrs) so am keen to progress my abilities, but not to the detriment of my health and happiness. Which circles me back once again to wondering if its time to reintroduce a bit of bike training in order to help my overall fitness with less risk than increasing my running rate of progress too rapidly.

I take on board the point that all training stress reduces ability to recover btw. That was a pertinent point so thank you.

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That’s inspiring, thanks for sharing. Sounds like you’re in a good place!

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Sorry, jumping back a pile of topics as I only started reading this thread a couple of days ago…

Supershoes.

Some early research suggests that you should train in them progressively in the build up to races to familiarise your biomechanics. Some correlations of metatarsal injuries with racing following very limited training time in them. Postulated because the way they roll and spring changes the mechanical load.

Also, it’s thought that they benefit running paces on the faster side of marathon times. So the effect is diluted for slower times. Which would suggest there is no point in training in them for easy runs.

That Triathlon Show covered these topics Ep 383. Full transcript & summary at the URL.

I wear them for workout days and races. My easy and long are in regular aka non-plated shoes. Knock on wood, I haven’t had any issues. That said, I think it’s highly individual. I have friends who train in them daily, for years now and not a single issue. I also have a few friends who can only wear them at most once or twice a week. Otherwise, they get niggles and/or injuries. A few friends switched brands and all their issues went away. Again, I believe it to be highly individual.

edit/p.s
Welcome to the thread :smile:

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If you like riding bikes, absolutely go back to it… life its too short. Just replace a “garbage miles” run with maybe a more spirited bike ride… just have to be careful of not over cooking the legs with wo. There is 0 harm on going on the bike as cross training. You recover from bike rides much faster than runs.

Do anyone have a good site to create running rotes?
I used Strava when I was paying for it, but now i cant. Garmin route creator is wonky… Looking for something a bit better.

TIA!

I use plotaroute.com

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