Tri Plans - swapping the long bike and long run days

I started the Half Distance High Volume last week. I’m about 10 seasons into triathlons (with a few 70.3’s and a full under my belt). Since the long run and long ride are generally two of the more difficult workouts from a TSS and recovery standpoint, I’ve tried a couple different strategies

  1. Move the long run to midweek so it’s separated from the long ride
  2. Do the long run on Saturday then the the long ride on Sunday. The thought behind this is it’s a little less likely to lead to injury as I’m not trying to do a long run on tired legs on the last day of a training week

I get that there is a school of thought that in the race you are running on tired legs, so get used to it. However when it has come up on the ST forum in the past, a number of individuals recommend doing the long run before the long ride. Jordan Rapp (ex-pro) made the comment at one time that no-one needs practice running crappy.

However this, most plans that I see out there still have the long ride on Saturday and long run on Sunday. The TR Half plan being one of them. So my plan is to just swap the two days. The only thing I wonder is am I affecting anything by doing so. As it is set up, Thursday and Friday are often 60-90 minute sweet spot rides and then Saturday is the 2.5-3 hour ride. So 3 of the 4 rides for the week (accounting for >80% of the bikes weekly TSS) are in those three days in a row. By separating that long ride from the two am I messing with anything? ie would I be better off leaving the the bike days where they are so 80+% is condensed into those three days?

I do the first option, separating the long ride and run. The nature of generic plans is that they tend to be set out in a way that fits with a ‘traditional’ working week which may or may not be optimal, but for some (most?) people it’s just where the time for the longer sessions is available.

I’m of the same opinion as Jordan Rapp that unless you are specifically running a brick session then it’s better to have the freshest legs possible, especially for any key sessions like a long run or a quality interval session so if you have the time available to create separation between those longer or harder sessions I would.

I do the Saturday Run/Sunday Ride as well because of the same thoughts as Rappstar. I also tend to have less commitments on Sunday than Saturday so I can go a little longer with the bike and maybe a brick run after if I start early enough too (I usually try to wrap up by noon either day though). I don’t think swapping the days in the plan should have too much impact, especially if you’re still getting stress in on the long run. It may depend on if you’re focusing on one more than the other right now too though.

If you are, that would be an incredibly marginal matter - especially compared to the very significant impact of continuing through your season injury-free and consistent.

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