General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Is a lsd run necessary in triathlon training? Rss Feed  
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2015-04-05 7:32 AM

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Subject: Is a lsd run necessary in triathlon training?
I typically train 6 days a week giving two days to each of the disciplines. I feel like both of my runs should be training runs. I know that the lsd is a staple of distance running but is it really necessary in tri training? Wouldn't it be better to do threshold or hills or speed work?


2015-04-05 7:52 AM
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Subject: RE: Is a lsd run necessary in triathlon training?
Two days is really not much to develop running fitness safely. (Nor, really to develop skills or fitness in any event. At best you could marginally maintain basic fitness in a sport you already have a strong background in.) Not sure how much you are running each time, but whatever you do, if one run is longer it would be more than half of your weekly mileage, which isn't advisable. Would it be possible to run more often, but not as far? At least three times a week, or even 4-5, would be better. That would help you develop stamina and make it less of an injury risk if one run was substantially longer than the others. How long depends on your race distance and goals. In my mind, you want to be confident doing the race distance and maybe 20-50% longer for the sprint and Olympic distances, 20-25% longer for half-ironman, and maybe have run at least 20-22 miles before an ironman (haven't done the latter; just thinking about how I'd train for a marathon).

Personally I usually run 4X a week during tri training. Of those, one is usually a longer run, one or two are some kind of speed work (intervals or tempo); the remainder are either brick runs after biking, or easy recovery efforts. But I have a lot of run background and generally few major injury concerns. Someone with less running experience would benefit more from building endurance with more frequent runs and gradually building to longer distances for the long run, then gradually working in speedwork.

Edited by Hot Runner 2015-04-05 7:54 AM
2015-04-05 9:18 AM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: Is a lsd run necessary in triathlon training?
All runs are training runs. If you're running, you're training.

If you are only running twice a week then I would strongly advise against threshold, hills and "speedwork" and instead opt for strides (30s efforts at about 5k pace with 1:30-2:00 easy between) or 50-75m accelerations to faster than 5k pace with easy run or walk back recovery. With 2 runs/week, you simply don't have enough run fitness to do 2 hard runs per week.

As for lsd, long steady distance runs shouldn't be easy and are an important part of developing run fitness. At 2 runs per week I wouldn't worry too much about one being long, but again, that comes back to run fitness on two runs per week.

Shane
2015-04-05 11:15 AM
in reply to: gsmacleod

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Subject: RE: Is a lsd run necessary in triathlon training?
Agree completely with the above comments.

Also that runners consider the long run to be a run workout, not just an "easy" run.

What distance triathlon are you training for? I find that I need a minimum of three days per week of swimming and running (preferably more running), but can get away with only two biking workouts. But so far I've only trained for sprint distance triathlons.
2015-04-05 12:05 PM
in reply to: jennifer_runs

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Subject: RE: Is a lsd run necessary in triathlon training?
Originally posted by jennifer_runs

Agree completely with the above comments.

Also that runners consider the long run to be a run workout, not just an "easy" run.

What distance triathlon are you training for? I find that I need a minimum of three days per week of swimming and running (preferably more running), but can get away with only two biking workouts. But so far I've only trained for sprint distance triathlons.


I've been doing triathlons for two years, so far only sprints. I'm planning to do an Oly this year. I started distance running 10 years ago when I turned 50. I'm learning biking and swimming. Because I feel pretty good about running (I usually run the 5 km part of a sprint around 22 minutes) I've spent any extra time I have on biking and swimming.
2015-04-05 1:24 PM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: Is a lsd run necessary in triathlon training?

Originally posted by b2run
Originally posted by jennifer_runs Agree completely with the above comments. Also that runners consider the long run to be a run workout, not just an "easy" run. What distance triathlon are you training for? I find that I need a minimum of three days per week of swimming and running (preferably more running), but can get away with only two biking workouts. But so far I've only trained for sprint distance triathlons.
I've been doing triathlons for two years, so far only sprints. I'm planning to do an Oly this year. I started distance running 10 years ago when I turned 50. I'm learning biking and swimming. Because I feel pretty good about running (I usually run the 5 km part of a sprint around 22 minutes) I've spent any extra time I have on biking and swimming.

If you are 60 and 2 runs per week are getting you a 22 minute 5K off the bike then I wouldn't change a thing.  Hell, walk some on the Oly if you have to.  I'm 5 years younger than you and can't keep the running injury monkey off my back.  If I were you and looking at an Oly I would try to double up my biking miles if the run is working for you.  That will make your run much easier in a triathlon.  Add a swim too.

All of the above comments are right on the money for the majority of people......but if you've truly got that 22 minute 5K doing what you are doing.....I wouldn't change a thing....it's obviously working for you.



2015-04-05 3:13 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Is a lsd run necessary in triathlon training?
Originally posted by Left Brain

Originally posted by b2run
Originally posted by jennifer_runs Agree completely with the above comments. Also that runners consider the long run to be a run workout, not just an "easy" run. What distance triathlon are you training for? I find that I need a minimum of three days per week of swimming and running (preferably more running), but can get away with only two biking workouts. But so far I've only trained for sprint distance triathlons.
I've been doing triathlons for two years, so far only sprints. I'm planning to do an Oly this year. I started distance running 10 years ago when I turned 50. I'm learning biking and swimming. Because I feel pretty good about running (I usually run the 5 km part of a sprint around 22 minutes) I've spent any extra time I have on biking and swimming.

If you are 60 and 2 runs per week are getting you a 22 minute 5K off the bike then I wouldn't change a thing.  Hell, walk some on the Oly if you have to.  I'm 5 years younger than you and can't keep the running injury monkey off my back.  If I were you and looking at an Oly I would try to double up my biking miles if the run is working for you.  That will make your run much easier in a triathlon.  Add a swim too.

All of the above comments are right on the money for the majority of people......but if you've truly got that 22 minute 5K doing what you are doing.....I wouldn't change a thing....it's obviously working for you.




Agree!
2015-04-05 3:45 PM
in reply to: jennifer_runs

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Subject: RE: Is a lsd run necessary in triathlon training?
Yeah - if you're 60 and able to throw down 22:xx 5k's in a sprint tri, keep doing what you're doing!

Shane
2015-04-05 4:01 PM
in reply to: gsmacleod

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Subject: RE: Is a lsd run necessary in triathlon training?
Originally posted by gsmacleod

Yeah - if you're 60 and able to throw down 22:xx 5k's in a sprint tri, keep doing what you're doing!

Shane


Running is my best discipline and I know it sounds greedy but I'm a terrible swimmer so I look to my run to make up time. (Beside, it feels great to chug past those young whippersnappers during the run) I may try doing two harder runs and not an lsd to see if it makes a difference. If things get worse, I'll go back to a long run and a hard run.
2015-04-06 7:59 AM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: Is a lsd run necessary in triathlon training?
Originally posted by b2run

Originally posted by gsmacleod

Yeah - if you're 60 and able to throw down 22:xx 5k's in a sprint tri, keep doing what you're doing!

Shane


Running is my best discipline and I know it sounds greedy but I'm a terrible swimmer so I look to my run to make up time. (Beside, it feels great to chug past those young whippersnappers during the run) I may try doing two harder runs and not an lsd to see if it makes a difference. If things get worse, I'll go back to a long run and a hard run.


If your going to make those two runs harder, be very cautious. When things get worse they tend to get worse almost instantly, as in injury. If you really want to do something more for your run, try a slow run after your bike(brick). You get an extra run in and not stressing your body.
2015-04-06 8:20 AM
in reply to: mike761

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Subject: RE: Is a lsd run necessary in triathlon training?
True--if you are that successful on two runs a week, then maybe there's no need to change it! If you are going to stick to two runs a week, then maybe one of the runs could be a longer, easier effort (relatively speaking) and one a bit shorter with some intensity added, like fartlek or hill pickups, so you'e getting two different types of training stress. You may well be right that for short distances, you might be better served by working on your swim or bike. If your run is good enough to consistently take your age group, training only twice a week, then maybe no need to prioritize it. This is close to my feelings about swimming--I usually swim three times a week but not really at the volume/intensity I could, mainly because as a strong swimmer in an AG full of weak, adult-onset swimmers, I can see much bigger returns from running (where I'm usually near the top but have strong AG competition in some events) and especially biking (where I'm barely MOP and can easily lose 5-10 minutes to my Oly competitors.) In the end you use the strategy that works for you.


2015-04-06 11:20 AM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Subject: RE: Is a lsd run necessary in triathlon training?
Originally posted by Hot Runner

True--if you are that successful on two runs a week, then maybe there's no need to change it! If you are going to stick to two runs a week, then maybe one of the runs could be a longer, easier effort (relatively speaking) and one a bit shorter with some intensity added, like fartlek or hill pickups, so you'e getting two different types of training stress. You may well be right that for short distances, you might be better served by working on your swim or bike. If your run is good enough to consistently take your age group, training only twice a week, then maybe no need to prioritize it. This is close to my feelings about swimming--I usually swim three times a week but not really at the volume/intensity I could, mainly because as a strong swimmer in an AG full of weak, adult-onset swimmers, I can see much bigger returns from running (where I'm usually near the top but have strong AG competition in some events) and especially biking (where I'm barely MOP and can easily lose 5-10 minutes to my Oly competitors.) In the end you use the strategy that works for you.


Thanks. I'm going to try a threshold run and a hill run each week. I think they will be different enough to not put too much stress on the legs.

I am definitely working on my swim but I live in a small town in Northern Ontario so my swim options are limited. I can get to a pool twice a week. When the ice goes, I'll put some more time in but there is still two and a half feet of ice on the lakes so it may be a while.
2019-12-31 9:39 AM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: Is a lsd run necessary in triathlon training?
Surprised it hasn't been said yet, but back in the day, there was a saying around here that went something like this: Run lots, sometimes fast, mostly slow.

I'm 43, & rarely run hard. Haven't been getting any slower. But the gals/guys on this forum are a hell lots smarter than me!
2020-01-04 2:37 AM
in reply to: #5106132

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Subject: RE: Is a lsd run necessary in triathlon training?
At 2 runs per week when training for my half marathon I did a hard interval session and a long run, but it was not too slow to consider it a long slow distance (about half minute / km slower than my race speed).
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