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2013-10-23 5:52 PM

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Subject: Running speed increase - triathlon training rocks
I started running casually at 45. At 50 I trained for and ran a half marathon in 1:42. It was a flat course along paved roads. I ran a marathon a year for the next four years and then stopped for a couple of years because of lack of access to roads. Last year I dabbled into triathlons and did a try a tri. This year I dove into triathlon training and did two sprints and a sprint duathlon. Saturday I ran my second half marathon and ran it in 1:40, two minutes faster than I did eight years ago. This half was hilly, partially along rocky trails and cold.

In short, I have increased my running speed even though I'm eight years older and running two days a week instead of five and not training specifically for a half marathon.

I can think of a couple of possible reasons for this. It may be that my running technique has improved with the distance running but I think that triathlon training is the cause. I think that running only two days a week has let me have much more productive and effective run workouts and has not over stressed my running muscles. Am I way off base here because I am feeling like trumpeting the sport of triathlon to all my running friends, whether they want to hear it or not.


2013-10-23 6:22 PM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: Running speed increase - triathlon training rocks
If you are getting better run results from tri training than run training...I'd guess your run training was not well guided.
The bike can help build your CV without the pounding of running, and would definitely given some quad strength to help power up the hills, but both combined should be small in comparison to the benefits of well executed run-only training.

But then again...who cares? You smashed your PR! The circumstances don't change that you are a better runner now than you were back then. Congrats!
2013-10-23 6:47 PM
in reply to: dfroelich

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Subject: RE: Running speed increase - triathlon training rocks
Originally posted by dfroelich

If you are getting better run results from tri training than run training...I'd guess your run training was not well guided.
The bike can help build your CV without the pounding of running, and would definitely given some quad strength to help power up the hills, but both combined should be small in comparison to the benefits of well executed run-only training.

But then again...who cares? You smashed your PR! The circumstances don't change that you are a better runner now than you were back then. Congrats!


I was following a running room clinic and I stuck with the program pretty religiously.
2013-10-23 6:48 PM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: Running speed increase - triathlon training rocks

It could be the tri training, it could be a lot of other things but one thing I assure is that it wasn't the switch to running only 2x/week.  

2013-10-23 7:37 PM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: Running speed increase - triathlon training rocks
Triathlon training makes a big difference. A lot of us AGers tend to over train and don't value recovery as much as we should. While there are too many variables to say whether it was triathlon training that was the sole cause for your improvement, I'd guess it had something to do with your improvement. It's certainly made a difference for me. Prior to triathlon my PR for an HM was a 1:40:00 (run training only). That was at least 15 years ago when I was in my mid 20's. In August, I ran a new PR around 1:37 and I only ran about 50 miles total in the month leading up to the race. I went into the race well rested. Never underestimate the value of cross-training and recovery. They are way underrated!
2013-10-23 7:44 PM
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Subject: RE: Running speed increase - triathlon training rocks
Originally posted by thebigb

It could be the tri training, it could be a lot of other things but one thing I assure is that it wasn't the switch to running only 2x/week.  




This.

But congratulations on your improved speed eight years older. That's awesome.

p.s. I slowed down a lot in running when I switched from all running, 6-7 days/week, to tri training running 3 times per week.

Edited by jennifer_runs 2013-10-23 7:45 PM


2013-10-23 7:58 PM
in reply to: jennifer_runs

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Subject: RE: Running speed increase - triathlon training rocks
Originally posted by jennifer_runs

Originally posted by thebigb

It could be the tri training, it could be a lot of other things but one thing I assure is that it wasn't the switch to running only 2x/week.  




This.

But congratulations on your improved speed eight years older. That's awesome.

p.s. I slowed down a lot in running when I switched from all running, 6-7 days/week, to tri training running 3 times per week.


I agree that this happens to the young but I suspect it's different with those of us who have a lot of years behind us. I think that the older muscles can't maximize the training from running almost every day.
2013-10-23 9:13 PM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: Running speed increase - triathlon training rocks
Originally posted by b2run

Originally posted by jennifer_runs

Originally posted by thebigb

It could be the tri training, it could be a lot of other things but one thing I assure is that it wasn't the switch to running only 2x/week.  




This.

But congratulations on your improved speed eight years older. That's awesome.

p.s. I slowed down a lot in running when I switched from all running, 6-7 days/week, to tri training running 3 times per week.


I agree that this happens to the young but I suspect it's different with those of us who have a lot of years behind us. I think that the older muscles can't maximize the training from running almost every day.


I'm younger than you but not exactly young. I'm 47 and have been running for 10 years. I started out running 3 days/week and made huge improvements in my mid-40s but running more, not less. A good friend of mine in his early 50s runs 100k/week and would definitely doubt that running less would make him faster. Just go over to Runner's World forum and you'll see lots of people in their 50s running lots of miles.

I took up triathlon last year so I cut my running back by a lot and saw a huge loss in speed. I love it and want to continue doing triathlon, but I know it's going to take gradual adjustment to doing all three sports before I see my speed come back.

So I'm not saying that running more is better-- do what you enjoy. I'm definitely impressed with your improvement but more impressed that you're enjoying it so much. But don't think that you're faster BECAUSE you're running less-- you're faster despite running less.
2013-10-24 10:55 AM
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Subject: RE: Running speed increase - triathlon training rocks
Congrats! The same thing happened to me. I've been a runner for many years, but once I started triathlons my running improved across the board, from 5Ks to marathon. I'm faster at age 31 than I was at 18 and I have found that I stay healthy when I'm tri training. Again, congrats!

Edited by summerk 2013-10-24 10:56 AM
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