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2019-04-28 9:20 PM


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Subject: high bike volume low run volume question
The last few years I've just done my own thing re training. Results have been OK 4.40/70.3 and 10.20 (IM), but I've often felt like I've underachieved and not made much progress. I have a swim background so can swim little and go OK, typically I'd only ride once a week 2 - 2.5 hours and that would be a group ride, but I'd run lots 7 hours a week. So not a good balance. I'd find that I'd come in to T2 (for a 70.3) and have to walk to rack my bike to get my HR down before the run. The run would be OK, but I would normally fade away the last 5 - 6 kms. 1.37/1.38 would be a typical 70.3 run. I'd guesstimate my HM time would have been around 1.30/1.31.

Now I have a coach and I'm riding 6 - 7 hours a week and only running 3 - 4. Naturally I'm much stronger on the bike, but my stand alone running has dropped off noticeably. I've raised this with her and she's said as I'm stronger on the bike, I will be starting the run at a lower HR and so will still run OK. I'm struggling to accept this as my running has been pretty dire... Just wanted to hear others thoughts. TIA


2019-04-29 5:40 AM
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Subject: RE: high bike volume low run volume question

Originally posted by zedzded The last few years I've just done my own thing re training. Results have been OK 4.40/70.3 and 10.20 (IM), but I've often felt like I've underachieved and not made much progress. I have a swim background so can swim little and go OK, typically I'd only ride once a week 2 - 2.5 hours and that would be a group ride, but I'd run lots 7 hours a week. So not a good balance. I'd find that I'd come in to T2 (for a 70.3) and have to walk to rack my bike to get my HR down before the run. The run would be OK, but I would normally fade away the last 5 - 6 kms. 1.37/1.38 would be a typical 70.3 run. I'd guesstimate my HM time would have been around 1.30/1.31. Now I have a coach and I'm riding 6 - 7 hours a week and only running 3 - 4. Naturally I'm much stronger on the bike, but my stand alone running has dropped off noticeably. I've raised this with her and she's said as I'm stronger on the bike, I will be starting the run at a lower HR and so will still run OK. I'm struggling to accept this as my running has been pretty dire... Just wanted to hear others thoughts. TIA

There's a saying - you can't have a good run without having a good bike.  Stated another way, if your run is bad it's because you paced the bike incorrectly.  Long course triathlon is about the bike.  That you have to walk in T2 to bring your HR down before you get on the bike is an indication you haven't paced the bike correctly.  I typically have the athletes I work with on a schedule that works out to a training ratio of 1:2:1 Swim:Bike:Run.  So if someone is on the bike 8 hours a week, they'd be swimming 4 hours and running 4 hours.  That isn't in concrete and the ratio varies a a little bit but it generally works out that way.  It sounds like your coach has you on a similar ratio.  She isn't ignoring the run, rather she recognizes the importance of the bike and that you can't have a good run without having a good bike leg.

2019-04-29 6:14 AM
in reply to: zedzded

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Subject: RE: high bike volume low run volume question
Originally posted by zedzded

The last few years I've just done my own thing re training. Results have been OK 4.40/70.3 and 10.20 (IM), but I've often felt like I've underachieved and not made much progress. I have a swim background so can swim little and go OK, typically I'd only ride once a week 2 - 2.5 hours and that would be a group ride, but I'd run lots 7 hours a week. So not a good balance. I'd find that I'd come in to T2 (for a 70.3) and have to walk to rack my bike to get my HR down before the run. The run would be OK, but I would normally fade away the last 5 - 6 kms. 1.37/1.38 would be a typical 70.3 run. I'd guesstimate my HM time would have been around 1.30/1.31.

Now I have a coach and I'm riding 6 - 7 hours a week and only running 3 - 4. Naturally I'm much stronger on the bike, but my stand alone running has dropped off noticeably. I've raised this with her and she's said as I'm stronger on the bike, I will be starting the run at a lower HR and so will still run OK. I'm struggling to accept this as my running has been pretty dire... Just wanted to hear others thoughts. TIA


If you were doing a HIM in 1:37 and an open HM in 1:30 you weren't that bad in terms of ability to run after the bike.

If your running has dropped off noticeably that isn't a good sign.

If you were riding 2.5 and running 7 that isn't very balanced. If you were running 1:30 off 7 hours of running I would be looking at my run makeup rather than just swinging too massively in the other direction.

That being said doing a massive bike block then coming back to your running may be good, especially if you aren't in race season (southern Hemisphere?)
2019-04-29 3:25 PM
in reply to: zedzded

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Subject: RE: high bike volume low run volume question
Think about you spend 112 miles on the bike vs 26.2 miles on the run, AND the run is after the bike.

The more efficient you are on the bike, the more energy you will have for the run and be able to maintain proper form. Stand alone running times are really not a good indicator for triathlon run times.
2019-04-29 5:15 PM
in reply to: zedzded

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Subject: RE: high bike volume low run volume question
Follow coach, do a race under coach's guidance, then see how all this plays out. For a 70.3, if you're 10 minutes faster on the bike and 5 minutes slower on the run, that's a win IMO. But with the right coach/training regimen, I think taking more than 5 minutes off is possible.
2019-04-29 9:39 PM
in reply to: reecealan


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Subject: RE: high bike volume low run volume question
Originally posted by reecealan

Follow coach, do a race under coach's guidance, then see how all this plays out. For a 70.3, if you're 10 minutes faster on the bike and 5 minutes slower on the run, that's a win IMO. But with the right coach/training regimen, I think taking more than 5 minutes off is possible.


This. You made an investment in a coach believing it would help. The coach advises you to make some changes. Had the coach made no changes. . .wouldn't that be worse? I don't know that you evaluate the change in training until after you've got a couple races under your belt.

The lack of biking in your training would certainly indicate to me that you should be riding a lot more. Will your run fitness go down . . . sure. . . but if you're wrecked getting off the bike, all the run fitness in the world means very little.


2019-04-29 11:50 PM
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Subject: RE: high bike volume low run volume question

Follow the advice of your coach.  My bet is your run will come back.  You're just starting to balance your training so there will be some lag.....but I agree wholeheartedly that you need more bike fitness to get all you can out of your run in a triathlon.  Give it time. 

Also......don't discount that some of your "poor" run, relative to where you were, is due to the fact that you don't have complete confidence in what you are doing.  There's a mental aspect to a fast run as well as the obvious physical part.  You're going to have to give in to this training in order to see if it gives you the gains you are looking for.



Edited by Left Brain 2019-04-29 11:58 PM
2019-05-07 1:27 AM
in reply to: Left Brain


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Subject: RE: high bike volume low run volume question
Hey guys thanks for the replies/advice, Race didn't go well unfortunately. Conditions were pretty crappy and the swim came close to getting cancelled. It went ahead, but over 100 people got pulled from the water. But the conditions only meant times were slower, I still under performed. Unfortunately my HRM didn't connect to my EDGE 520, so I was getting HR data which I was relying on, aiming for 145bpm. Unbeknownst to me it had connected to my Fenix 5 so I was able to get the data after the race (*not much use then). So I raced my feel, it turns out my HR averaged only 135, time was 2.32. I should have gone a lot faster... but ultimately it was the run that let me down. I obviously felt pretty good coming into T2, felt like I'd been on a coffee ride.... I think perhaps I sub-consciously eased back on the bike worried about the run. I knew deep down that I was riding too easy. I hit the run and settled into my target 4.40min/km pace, but I knew it was too quick. This was a pace I held for 5km in December during my Ironman and I only eased back in that race because I was worried it was too quick, it felt fine at 4.40 pace and that was after 3.8km and 180km.... I didn't feel fine in the race at the weekend. Well I felt really good, just not capable of running my target pace. I ran a 1.42. Which is what I suspected I would run. Pretty disappointed after 4 months of training hard, but looking back at some of my Garmin data the weekly averages (IMO) were just too low:

feb 33km week
mar 39km/week
apr 36km/week

I did miss a few runs, but still it seems like low run mileage does not suit me. At the end of the day, putting aside triathlon, to be competitive with the top guys in my AG I need to be running sub 1.30 HM, that was the shape I was in last year (but not riding much), for this race, I reckon I would have struggled to run a 1.36, 1.37 half marathon... so no way I can expect to run that time in a 70.3. I'm confused and my coach is confused. She is subtly saying it's because I missed a few runs and shuffled my program around a bit. Valid points I suppose, but I still do 90% of the runs. So I don't know..
2019-05-07 7:00 AM
in reply to: zedzded

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Subject: RE: high bike volume low run volume question
Don't discount the entire mental aspect to racing. Our minds are incredible at being able to facilitate physical responses. So, you went into the race questioning your run and physically struggled with your run. A great coach needs to help manage when us athletes get in our own way too. I tend to over analyze myself sometimes and can focus on little things like missing a swim interval or having too much cardiac drift at the end of a long run. I need to surrender a little of that control and trust my coach to follow that info. I frequently get the "trust the process" response and it has always been correct to this point. I don't think I've seen a legitimate plan that doesn't significantly push bike volume over run volume. You have had good success with high run volume but maybe balancing that with the bike can lead to greater things. Talk with your coach. You need a plan that both of you can trust going into a race. In my experience if I don't trust that I can get good results I'm not going to. You need to be fully mentally and physically ready with a race plan to hit those marks that you want to.
2019-05-07 8:22 AM
in reply to: zedzded

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Subject: RE: high bike volume low run volume question
I also caution athletes to step back and look at the overall race.

How did you place vs past races? Did EVERYONE have slower times? Did the conditions affect everyone?
I have had HORRIBLE races and felt so defeated only to look back at the results and realized everyone had a hard time and I actually did better than some races where I felt great.

All about perspective.

Also consider with your coach, did you put any caps on time? That's a big factor as well.
If you only have X amount of hours per week, you have to split them up as best as possible.
Now, if you said time is no object, I want to podium, and your coach cut your run hours back, I'd be scratching my head.
2019-05-08 12:33 AM
in reply to: TriJayhawkRyan


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Subject: RE: high bike volume low run volume question
Originally posted by TriJayhawkRyan

I also caution athletes to step back and look at the overall race.

How did you place vs past races? Did EVERYONE have slower times? Did the conditions affect everyone?
I have had HORRIBLE races and felt so defeated only to look back at the results and realized everyone had a hard time and I actually did better than some races where I felt great.

All about perspective.

Also consider with your coach, did you put any caps on time? That's a big factor as well.
If you only have X amount of hours per week, you have to split them up as best as possible.
Now, if you said time is no object, I want to podium, and your coach cut your run hours back, I'd be scratching my head.


Everyone had slower times, but I got beaten by people that have beaten me and I finished 15th in my AG, my lowest finish in quite a few years. I should have been lingering around top 5. I was training 14 - 16 hours a week. My swim and bike are good enough, my run training was never there. I knew deep down.


2019-05-08 10:48 AM
in reply to: zedzded

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Subject: RE: high bike volume low run volume question
Originally posted by zedzded

  • ...

  • I'm confused and my coach is confused. She is subtly saying it's because I missed a few runs and shuffled my program around a bit. Valid points I suppose, but I still do 90% of the runs. So I don't know..



    I suggest you either find a way to trust your coach or find a new coach.

    I only worked once with a coach. I knew he understood my strengths and weakness and understood my previous training.
    He explained what he was going to do based on that info and I bought into his vision. I never had to second guess.

    But it took me several interviews with potential coaches to find one that actually got it.

    If you do not trust your coaches vision it won't work out.

    And it's hard to find a coach that will bring you from top 5 -10 to consistent podium (at large events).




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