General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Run fitness complimenting bike fitness? Rss Feed  
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2017-05-02 1:50 AM


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Subject: Run fitness complimenting bike fitness?
I've been working on my weakest leg (the run) this season and have got my OD run time down from 46mins to 42mins, it's probably more like 40 - 41 now, the OD was a while ago. Does an improvement in your run fitness benefit your bike fitness? And also your swim fitness? Or are there two very different things. I have a couple of mates that are elite swimmers and cyclists and are terrible runners. I had one of them pegged as a future top triathlete, 26min swimmer and rode a 2.10 (70.3), but then ran 2.20! And he didn't overcook it on the bike, because 2 months later he did a HM and only went 2.10! Thoughts?


2017-05-02 4:20 AM
in reply to: zedzded

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Subject: RE: Run fitness complimenting bike fitness?
Unless someone is pretty much completely untrained, the research says there is little crossover benefit between the three sports. The key in improving in each of the three is specificity so to improve one's running, one needs to run.

Having said that, it is possible to build up a huge aerobic fitness base which can be beneficial in the other two sports but one still needs to do the specific sports if they want to make meaningful gains.

Shane
2017-05-02 8:08 AM
in reply to: zedzded

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Subject: RE: Run fitness complimenting bike fitness?
Dude probably over biked and was under trained for the run. 26 on a 1.9 k swim is pretty pedestrian by swimming standards. My guess is your friend was either a sprinter or breaststroker in the pool.
2017-05-02 11:56 AM
in reply to: simpsonbo

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Subject: RE: Run fitness complimenting bike fitness?

My first triathlon about 10 years ago I did the huge aerobic base thing that Shane referred to.  I was a runner at the time averaging 1 hour 24 minute half marathons and 18 minute 15 second 5K's.  I didn't have access to a pool and didn't have a street bike but some friends were all signing up together to do a spring triathlon and wanted me in the group with them so we could motivate each other as we trained and just enjoy doing something together on race day.

I was not in a good position to do any swim training and decided to not do any bike training on my beast of a mountain bike either to see how well I could be in a swim and bike leg with only run training.  So I followed my favorite 16 week half marathon plan.  I borrowed a high end street race bike for the race and bought some Speedo jammer shorts, a compression shirt, goggle, and a swim cap the night before the race.  

 

No amount of running fitness could have made me faster on the swim.  My form and body position were so bad that I only was getting enough air with each breath to go about 40 meter with the front crawl.  After that I switched to the side stroke.  I was working that stroke hard but was more than twice the swim time of the top people of the day.   So...for swimming. Spend more time on your swim form and less time running if you want to go faster.

 

I was flying on that bike.  I felt really pressed to make up for lost time and was really cooking it.  My average speed was round 21 MPH which was front of the pack.  Running seemed to have a lot of cross over to cycling.

 

When I came of the bike my legs felt like jello.  My legs would not move naturally.  I mental was trying to imagine how my legs should move to run and then was trying to force them to make those movements.  It felt like my legs were hobbled together with strong rubber tubing.  I had pretty much abandoned any chance or getting a respectable run time until I saw a friend (who started the swim about 30 minuted ahead of me and was already done with the race) cheer me on and tell me that I had the run.  The run was all I had trained for so I decided to give it my best.  The jello feeling never went away.  Moving my legs in a running motion never got easier but I didn't give up.  My run time was around 20 minutes flat.  So about 2 minutes over my open run time.  I was pretty disappointing until I learned it was the 2nd fastest run time of the over 300 people in the race and that I had bit three guys at the race were faster open runners than me (but not Triathletes either) and one triathlete (who was almost as fast as me as an open runner).  So even if your run and bike fitness are sub par and even if you over cook it on the bike if you have strong run fitness you can pull out a respectable run.  11-12% over my open run time isn't a really good run time. something under 8% over my open run time is what I would like to be doing in every race.  I do feel that improved fitness from running benefit you in swimming and cycling, but if you are trading out swimming and cycling training type for running type then you aren't increasing your fitness.  You are just achieving it through a different focus.  If that is what you are doing you aren't likely to so any improvements in Cycling or swimming.

2017-05-02 2:30 PM
in reply to: simpsonbo


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Subject: RE: Run fitness complimenting bike fitness?
Originally posted by simpsonbo

Dude probably over biked and was under trained for the run. 26 on a 1.9 k swim is pretty pedestrian by swimming standards. My guess is your friend was either a sprinter or breaststroker in the pool.


I would not consider 26 on a 1.9K swim pedestrian by swimming standards, except for maybe the elite swimmers, at least for a US race. I have a swimming background, but do not consider myself an elite swimmer (I cannot qualify in any event for USMS nationals), and I swam a sub 30 minute 1.9K (not wetsuit legal) a few years ago and was inside the top 20 age groupers out of almost 2400 entrants, and was faster than a few pros in the event. I would say top 1% in not "pedestrian". Unless there is a strong current, 26 minutes is pretty fast for the average triathlete, and is about a 1:23/100 meter swim over 1.9K.
2017-05-02 4:07 PM
in reply to: keithpav

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Subject: RE: Run fitness complimenting bike fitness?
OP description was an elite swimmer.


At 1:23/100 that doesn'the make top 50 in Canada for 12u boys 1500m. 50th is just under 1:21/100.

There is a fine line between elite distance swimmers and triathletes who have a good swim split.


2017-05-02 5:01 PM
in reply to: simpsonbo

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Subject: RE: Run fitness complimenting bike fitness?
Originally posted by simpsonbo

OP description was an elite swimmer.


At 1:23/100 that doesn'the make top 50 in Canada for 12u boys 1500m. 50th is just under 1:21/100.

There is a fine line between elite distance swimmers and triathletes who have a good swim split.


You've gotta think outside the lane lines there buddy. You can't even begin to compare pool swim times to open water lol.

Galveston 70.3 had a pretty decent professional field and only three of them went sub 26....things get a bit different in open water, so making blanket statements on what's fast and what's not just based on a time without any knowledge of conditions is ....well... what do they say about assumptions?

It's also a three sport race, so nobody is going all out in the swim. I'm going to take a wild guess that the 12 year old boys you're comparing them to couldn't hold the requisite 300+ watts on the bike then run a decent half after their swims...just guessing though.

2017-05-02 9:55 PM
in reply to: zedzded

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Subject: RE: Run fitness complimenting bike fitness?
Last year I did only cycling for the first few months of spring/summer, until I got busy and lost my mojo and didn't ride from basically July-onward (you may have heard that the real estate business has been a little crazy the last year or so). But I had been doing these time trials on Monday nights and trying to improve, so I have some data from back then that I can refer to.

Fast forward to this year, and I started in January trying to lose weight and train for a half marathon that's coming up in a few days. I went out the Monday before last, and even with a stout headwind (out-and-back course), I had an amazing bike split for what was literally my fifth bike ride since July, and first outdoor ride of the year. My split for late-April 2017 with almost no time spent cycling, was ahead of where my bike fitness was in late-May of 2016 where I was only cycling.

So yes, run fitness can complement your bike fitness, but I'm sure as your fitness improves (I'm basically couch-to-13.1 fitness right now) the specificity thing kicks in and you really have to work each discipline in order to improve them individually.

As for your friend's races I'll just say this--there's no such thing as a good bike split
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