The more I ride and see how it makes my running feel the more I think this way of training is best for me – both mentally and physically. I am also convinced, the more I do this, that using riding as a tool to help ones running is probably a good idea for anyone as they age. Not saying it cannot aid a younger runner but when younger your body can take more repetitive activity, like just running, but as you age that does not seem to be the case. As we age we tend to lose muscle and while that can be slowed dramatically by exercising running does not work all of ones muscle so riding helps to deal with areas running does not – but is close enough to running to be a help - while also helping minimize overuse issues
Also, and I can equate to this way back to when I started riding many years ago due to knee issues related to running, what I noticed is I could climb great from the start, by the way I have seen this with other runners who take up riding, so there is a good correlation between running and riding. I am sure those who are more into physiology may disagree to some extent as there are obvious differences but one constant is aerobic capacity which can be built quite well riding and sometimes even more so than running due to the lack of impact. To look at it the other way around when I ran the Grand Canyon R2R2R this past October I relied heavily on riding mileage and did very few runs over 15 miles but quite a few 100 mile bike rides of varying intensities. I admit I was a little nervous heading down the canyon on probably 30 miles a week, or less, and 100-150 a week of riding but the end result was a resounding success. Probably would have been faster and less taxing with a few more running miles but was pleasantly surprised as how things worked out. In talking to this before I readily admit that I do have a very large running base that helps so would not recommend a new runner using my R2R2R plan but wanted just show how it can work.
Depending on your goals you need to adjust how much you ride and what kind of riding you do. For me since I am actually also going to race bikes on the gravel my riding has been focused on both endurance and speed. However, for most runners who just want to find a way to get more endurance without the associated soreness and risk of injuries long runs can bring slower long rides will suffice. Using a premise I have spoken of before is that aerobic capacity which is built by time at a set HR can be done riding since a 4 hour ride at say a 125 HR is the same, heart wise, as a 4 hour run at 125 but in my opinion is less stressful on the body. By the way I am not saying that riding will get your body physically prepared for running in every area since the pounding ones legs take running does need to be dealt with by time on ones feet. But if we are honest most people who run marathons or ultras do not train at the distances they race at but you can get that time in on a bike much easier.
I write all of this because at times some I know think I have given up running for riding – but the answer is more about adding riding back into my running. I will run more races once my foot gets better but even when better I will still stick with riding and racing both on foot and by bike. In many ways while I do not like my foot issues as they are a pain, both literally and figuratively, I am thankful for the issues as it got me back to riding, a sport I like equally to running, and also will be integral to helping to run longer and hopefully faster.
Best I can say is give it a try and if you have any questions let me know.
Week’s Training Overview:
Well that was a good week of training after doing my most riding miles in a week for a very long time on top adding miles to my largest number of miles in a month as well. The result is my legs are a little tired but the good side is no worsening of injuries and my foot actually feels a little better which is progress. So here is a little about the week:
Running wise I pretty much ran the same as last week mileage wise and also when and where I ran. One difference is that a couple of the runs were in very cold weather and the other two runs in cold rain so not the best conditions but hey still outside - more than I can say for this months riding which has all been indoors. As mentioned above my foot did not worsen and actually felt slightly better but was reminded again on Monday’s run that 8 miles is about my limit right now. The good side was that while it felt the same during the run it did subside more quickly with regards to soreness after the run. The other thing about running this week it was done along with doing about the same riding miles mid-week – so, again, a good week.
With regards to riding, due to Zwift’s schedule, I only did one Tour de Zwift ride and that was on Tuesday. That ride was a good one as while hard I did my best watts and w/kg for the ride. Thursday, due to no race, was a 40 miler at a comfortable pace but then did do a 5 mile run that afternoon, as I did last week. For the weekend I signed up for a 100 mile group ride on Zwift that was scheduled to be about a 4.5 hour ride. Watts were to be around 200 or so and w/kg around 2.4 so seemed doable but would just have to see. I actually tried this ride a two weeks ago but for some reason it did not work right but not so this week as it went well.
As far as the ride it is actually well done as the leader controls the ride by having a fence in front and behind the group by a certain amount to keep people together and thus stop the group blowing apart. The hard part was for me that due to the nature of my trainer the watts often lag 2-3 seconds so if people accelerate or hills start it can take a few for my watts to catch up. While I could start ramping up earlier you do not always know when the group will accelerate and on hills often I am not quite sure when to start the ramp up in watts yet. On the flats in this kind of ride it is not as big an issue as things are more steady but then again if they do pick it up I do drop back some before getting back the front part of the pack. Where it got difficult was on the steeper hills as once I ramp my watts up I usually went through the pack to the front and as people dropped back I was accelerating and then too far ahead of the “fence” and you get 60 seconds to drop back before you are taken out of the ride - fortunately that did not happen but got close a few times. Due this I would soft pedal and people would catch and pass me as had to ramp up the watts again. While a little bit of a pain it was a good work for actual racing with often the pace changing off and on. Ride ended with the average speed at 22-23 mph and under 4:30 so a good ride and glad I got it in. Also, made for my 2nd century this month along with two 75 milers.
Again, a good week of training with both endurance and some speed work riding and for the runs just working to be consistent. Started using my HRM again just to very my Perceived Effort (PR) runs were actually what I thought they were and seem they basically were. My MAF HR is supposed to be about 125 but I think if I keep below 135 I am good but do want to keep it under 130 as much as possible on easy runs.
Overview of Weeks Runs and Rides:
- Monday: Run - 8.16 Miles
- Tuesday: Ride - Warm-up 15.34 Miles & Zwift Race & Cool Down 30.39 Miles - 45.73 Total Miles
- Wednesday: Run – 7.27 Miles
- Thursday: Ride - 40.36 Miles
- Thursday: Afternoon Run – 5.19 Miles
- Friday: Run – 5.23 Miles
- Saturday: Ride – Warmup/Calibration 2.32 Miles & Long Ride Group Ride on Zwift 102.48 Miles
- Sunday: Rest Day
- Running Miles – 25.8 Miles
- Riding Miles – 190.9 Miles
- Total Miles - 216.7 Miles
- Total Time – 12:32 Hours
Weekly Diet Notes;
Again, just working to get things back in line and seem to be getting there. The one area I am working on, which I touched on last week, is fueling for bike racing with its often changing pace. The other thing I am working on is that while I can go 100 miles (4-6 hours) on not a lot of calories or carbs in doing longer rides like DK200 (200 Miles) and Steamboat Springs (140 Miles) I need more fueling to go past 100 miles. Thus I am working to find what works best and part of that I did on this weeks 100 miler as I felt pretty good when done and it was at a good pace.
- Coffee with Coconut Oil and Butter, Collagen, Heavy Cream, Chocolate Primal Fuel (1/2 Scoop) & 1 Scoop SFuels-Life
- 1/2 cup Oatmeal w/Tbsp Butter, ¼ cup walnuts, 2 Tbsp Heavy Cream, Blueberries and 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 Banana
- Total: 1104 Cals/69 gr Carbs
- 1 Altred (Beetroot Extract)
- Also use the AMPHuman PR Lotion
- 2ea - 20 OZ bottle of water with 1 Scoop each SFuels – Train formula
- 2ea - 24 OZ bottle of water with 1 packet each SFuels – Race+ formula
- 1/3 – UCAN Bar
- 1 Banana
- 2ea - S!Caps
- 2ea - Altred
- Totals: 482 Calories /66 gr Carbs
Conclusions and the Week Ahead:
After a good week of training I need to have an easy week overall mileage wise. In doing this I am going to keep my running miles the same, again at 20-25 miles but reduce riding miles. In that it looks like rain for next weekend again and having errands to do I am going to just have two rides during the week and relax on Saturday and get other things done, well that is the plan as of today. In the past I have tried to do a schedule of 3-4 weeks of good mileage then a week off but often miss doing this as get in a rhythm and do not want to change things. That said this is basically the 4th week after 3+ weeks of good mileage so want an easy week to recover and then get back at it. The one caveat is if the weather is good I may go for a gravel ride or a semi-long road ride just as not too many good weather days around here. If that is the case I will take the following week easy. I need to have an easy week soon not that I am super tired but I want to avoid that.
Last Week's Overview #31