General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Bike/Run Frequency vs Duration- same total weekly mileage Rss Feed  
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2012-01-21 6:26 PM

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Subject: Bike/Run Frequency vs Duration- same total weekly mileage

Question for the experts here.

Running: I have found that I prefer running every day of the week, as opposed to 4 or 5 days at longer distances.  I am averaging 37-38 miles per week, and right at 5.5 miles per run.  I know that as we get back into racing season I will need to mix in some longer runs to prepare for longer races i.e. HM's and HIM's.  Are there any drawbacks or advantages to doing this during the off season regarding overall running fitness?

Biking: I just started biking last May (did a little mtn biking before) and I really could only get in 1 ride a week.  This worked fine for me doing 2 olympic's, 1 sprint, and 1 HIM.  For the HIM i built my weekly ride up to 60 milers and probably did that 5-6 times before the race.  When it got cold I bought a trainer, and have been logging 4-5 50 minute rides per week.  I have found that the trainer is much more difficult than riding outdoors and my HR is higher than when I ride outdoors.  I am now logging 60-75 trainer miles per week.  Obviously I will mix in long rides outdoors as it gets  warmer, but will this approach be as good as doing half the number of trainer rides at twice the distance (same total mileage?)  And, can my 5 ride weeks with a total of 75 trainer miles build better fitness for going long than doing 1 60 mile outdoor ride per week?

Thanks in advance for the advice!



2012-01-21 9:41 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike/Run Frequency vs Duration- same total weekly mileage

Do you do the same intensity on all your runs and bikes each week?

2012-01-21 9:48 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike/Run Frequency vs Duration- same total weekly mileage

For the running, the consistent mileage will provide a good base on which you can build. But if you plan to do HM and HIM distance races, then I'd suggest to mix things up a bit more. Do the same total mileage, but with some longer runs, balanced with some shorter days. 

For the biking, your goal in an HIM-distance race is to be able to ride quickly for 2 1/2 hours or longer while holding plenty in reserve so that you can then run a strong half marathon. For this you need an FTP that is as high as possible, and you need the sheer endurance to be able to ride at 80%+ of FTP without it killing you. The long ride and the frequent short rides both contribute to one part of that, but neither will be sufficient. So my advice on the bike would be similar to the run. Mix it up a little. Have some days where you ride just 50-60 minutes on the trainer, but include 30-40 minutes of high intensity riding in there. Then perhaps skip one of your current ride days (use that for a long run) and make another day a trainer ride of 1.5-2 hours.

2012-01-21 10:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike/Run Frequency vs Duration- same total weekly mileage
KathyG - 2012-01-21 9:41 PM

Do you do the same intensity on all your runs and bikes each week?

Runs: No, usually 4 runs I do with my wife, and both kids in the jogging stroller.  We run around 9:30/mile.  I run 3 times per week on my own, typically between 7:30 and 7:45 pace.  All runs have ranged from 5 to 7 miles over the past couple months.  When in training for a specific race distance I will mix in longer/shorter runs to prepare accordingly.

Bike: Well, the trainer is kicking my butt Tongue outso most rides are at the same intensity- grueling.  However, I learned that I am not able to recover from these rides quickly enough to keep them up 5 times a week so now i'm doing a "recovery" ride every now and then.

2012-01-21 10:48 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike/Run Frequency vs Duration- same total weekly mileage
colinphillips - 2012-01-21 9:48 PM

For the running, the consistent mileage will provide a good base on which you can build. But if you plan to do HM and HIM distance races, then I'd suggest to mix things up a bit more. Do the same total mileage, but with some longer runs, balanced with some shorter days. 

For the biking, your goal in an HIM-distance race is to be able to ride quickly for 2 1/2 hours or longer while holding plenty in reserve so that you can then run a strong half marathon. For this you need an FTP that is as high as possible, and you need the sheer endurance to be able to ride at 80%+ of FTP without it killing you. The long ride and the frequent short rides both contribute to one part of that, but neither will be sufficient. So my advice on the bike would be similar to the run. Mix it up a little. Have some days where you ride just 50-60 minutes on the trainer, but include 30-40 minutes of high intensity riding in there. Then perhaps skip one of your current ride days (use that for a long run) and make another day a trainer ride of 1.5-2 hours.

Thanks for the advice on the run; I am planning a HM at the end of March so need to start doing some longer runs, and probably going to race a HIM in May.

I had to google FTP (haha) but I understand what you are saying.  I don't have a power meter but for my first and only HIM last October I used RPE to stay within myself on the bike and the run went great.  I averaged just under 20mph though, so the bike is really my weakest point.

Based on your advice, I should probably cut down to 4 bike sessions per week, with 2 remaining around the same 50 minute mark.  I am really spent after these already so I think I am already following your advice on high intensity.  The others should be longer but lower intensity.

I have my fingers crossed, but it looks like it will be 60 degrees here tomorrow; might actually get to ride outside!!!

2012-01-21 11:17 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike/Run Frequency vs Duration- same total weekly mileage
wbattaile - 2012-01-21 11:48 PM 

I had to google FTP (haha) but I understand what you are saying.  I don't have a power meter but for my first and only HIM last October I used RPE to stay within myself on the bike and the run went great.  I averaged just under 20mph though, so the bike is really my weakest point.

You don't really need a power meter. Especially if you're on a trainer. I don't have a power meter, but I know the resistance curve of the trainer that I use, and I'm fairly anal about setting it up consistently, so that I know what speeds map onto what power values (my high intensity rides are typically 21.x mph, steady rides typically 18-19 mph). Of course, the power profiles of different trainer models vary a lot, but with the advent of trainerroad.com, which is getting great reviews, there's now a cheap way of getting poor-man's-power for many types of trainers. 

Based on your advice, I should probably cut down to 4 bike sessions per week, with 2 remaining around the same 50 minute mark.  I am really spent after these already so I think I am already following your advice on high intensity.  The others should be longer but lower intensity.

In a good bike week I'll try to do 2 bike interval sessions (1 longer, 1 shorter), 1 longer steady ride (1:30-2:00), plus one or two easy rides of less than an hour. All on the trainer. Although some frown on the lower intensity trainer rides, I find them useful. When I was injured in the fall and unable to run I was on the trainer every day. I found that with the additional steady riding I was able to recover faster from the more intense days. Just like in running, I guess.

Based on your race times, it seems that you have a lot of talent. Good luck with your progress.



2012-01-22 12:03 AM
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Subject: RE: Bike/Run Frequency vs Duration- same total weekly mileage
Since you don't seem to be interested in training on the trainer as much (can't blame you there), make your short rides count, but be sure to give yourself adequate recovery. Some intervals mixed with some recovery rides or off days would be an okay way to build up power. You will want to get in some long rides eventually to build up your endurance.
2012-01-22 6:41 AM
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Subject: RE: Bike/Run Frequency vs Duration- same total weekly mileage
A side note regarding trainers and power curves in case you want to use it as a proxy for a power meter: Only fluid trainers have consistent power curves that allow training with power. Magnetic trainers' curves are not consistent enough to do this.
2012-01-22 7:32 AM
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Subject: RE: Bike/Run Frequency vs Duration- same total weekly mileage

Do yourself a huge favor. Buy a sufferfest video for $11. www.sufferfest.com. Try it (I suggest Angels) on the trainer. Do 2 of those a week along with some tempo rides and you will improve your bike.

Even better, do Jorge's winter plan.

What kind of trainer do you have ?

 

2012-01-22 9:01 AM
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Subject: RE: Bike/Run Frequency vs Duration- same total weekly mileage
Don't forget a fan for the trainer.  Having good air flow can make a huge difference in your HR and your ability to hammer.
2012-01-22 1:25 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike/Run Frequency vs Duration- same total weekly mileage
marcag - 2012-01-22 7:32 AM

Do yourself a huge favor. Buy a sufferfest video for $11. www.sufferfest.com. Try it (I suggest Angels) on the trainer. Do 2 of those a week along with some tempo rides and you will improve your bike.

Even better, do Jorge's winter plan.

What kind of trainer do you have ?

 

I have a 1up usa cpr-a 2000.  Good tip on the videos.  I bookmarked Jorge's page about a month ago but I thought I would try to build a little trainer fitness before diving right in.



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