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  1. #1
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    Working running into your training

    Last year I trained for and completed the Shenandoah Mountain 100 using one of Chris Eatough's training plans. Sometimes I would skip the recovery days and instead do a 2-3mi run. Seemed to work for me, but what I think really got me into shape were fast Mtb rides followed by fast road rides the following night. The fast Mtb rides were typically 2.5 hrs with a beak, and the fast road rides were 90 minutes of pain.

    Now I'm trying to come up with a plan that will keep me prepared for the occasional metric road ride but not really striving for an off-road hundred, simce i just dont have the time for it. Just keeping in good solid shape I have a hard time finding plans that blend running and Mtb and road.

    What I was thinking was this:
    M - rest
    T - 3mi run and stretch
    W - Mtb 2:30-3hr on SS
    R - Mtb or road, more casual
    F - rest
    Sat - long Mtb (4-5hr), SS or gears but endurance pace
    Sun - not as long road ride (3hr max)

    What do you think of the plan? Should I work build and rest phases into it or just cruise along?

    Also what is the minimum number of rides and/or runs per week to keep cardio fitness up? 3?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    If you're not crunched for time then a 45min-1 hour easy ride on Friday would probably be more helpful than an additional rest day. I would do a ride on instead of run on Tuesday also, and just have short runs on two of the evenings, like before dinner, if you want to keep runs in the plan.
    Fall in Fruita/GJ. F' yeah! Lunch Loops are riding sweet and so is everything else.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLd View Post
    If you're not crunched for time then a 45min-1 hour easy ride on Friday would probably be more helpful than an additional rest day. I would do a ride on instead of run on Tuesday also, and just have short runs on two of the evenings, like before dinner, if you want to keep runs in the plan.
    That would be too much, I'm afraid. I think 5 days of workouts is the best I can pull off, so I'm trying to optimize, and riding (or running) in the morning with a run (or ride) in the evening would definitely be too much. I hear what you're saying about a recovery ride, but often I just don't have the time.

    I wish my commute were better suited for riding. It's not long, just some crappy roads that don't make for a good bike commute.

    Thanks for your input.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, it's tough to get the time in. I end up doing all my weekday rides in the morning before work, so it's always the same trails. I'd like to have a shower at my work so I could commute by bike and get in an extra 30 minutes a day, but alas, no luck.
    Fall in Fruita/GJ. F' yeah! Lunch Loops are riding sweet and so is everything else.

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    I was just reading in Time Crunched Cyclist' how too much variation can be not enough of any one thing to really lead to any improvements, if I'm understanding it right, have you read that book? Which would explain why your hard mtb followed by hard road rides paid off; consistent similar stressors with adequate rest. I'm re-reading it after reading Mountain Bikers Training Bible, and it's better the 2nd time. Based on what I know (not all that much) my guess is one day a week of running isn't going to do much for your legs. How about shortening a couple of your bike rides then quick changing into your running stuff and finishing your workouts by running? I'd run minimum 3 times a week, even if it's short. I practice 'runups' at the trails I train on. Cx season is coming, I've been running up one of my steep short hills everytime I ride (a couple of short laps) so I do that short run 3 or 4 days a week, usually twice every time I ride, and I feel so much stronger after 9months of that. And 5 hard workouts a week is plenty, rest is good.

  6. #6
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    I have been thinking about giving running a try. I took this season and off from racing and now I find myself needing to take 15lb off. I have a really limited amount of time after work most days. I feel like running would be better on the days I only have an hour or two to get out. I have to get a really good pair of shoes I have a history of knee and ankle problems.

  7. #7
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    Working running into your training

    Quote Originally Posted by pulser View Post
    I have been thinking about giving running a try. I took this season and off from racing and now I find myself needing to take 15lb off. I have a really limited amount of time after work most days. I feel like running would be better on the days I only have an hour or two to get out. I have to get a really good pair of shoes I have a history of knee and ankle problems.
    If you're new to running start out with short distances and give time for your ligaments to get used to it, otherwise you might run into injuries. Maybe consider barefoot running or five toes or whatever it's called. Google it.

    Interesting point about the time crunched cyclist. I found the mountain bikers training bible to be way too complicated. The training plans I've been reviewing lately typically say to do 2 hard rides intrrpersed with several easier rides. Lately I've been doing 4 hard rides, ie every ride would be harder than was necessary for my body to recover, and I ended up injuring my back. So I'm all about balancing it out better now. More core work, and cross training by adding running to the regiment I think can only lead to good things. Very good cardio workout in short time, helps with recovery after climbing steep hill.


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    Quote Originally Posted by BmoreKen View Post
    If you're new to running start out with short distances and give time for your ligaments to get used to it, otherwise you might run into injuries. Maybe consider barefoot running or five toes or whatever it's called. Google it.

    [/URL]
    I have been doing some looking around on the net to get an idea about what kind of shoes I need to get. I have a high arch and I Supinate so it looks like I need a shoe with good cushioning. I kind of think barefoot running would have a high chance of injury for me.

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    Oh, and stay off the pavement and concrete as much as you can, softer surfaces are much easier on your joints.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    Oh, and stay off the pavement and concrete as much as you can, softer surfaces are much easier on your joints.
    Yea I figured that out yesterday. I got a pair of shoes and took a little test run down the street. Dam that is some hard stuff. I will be sicking to the trail for now.

  11. #11
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    When I think about trying to get back into running (went to state in hs xc long long ago), my plan is to go to the local park with trails where I ride, walk all the level areas and downhills, and run up all the climbs, it seems to me that would be a good way to ease into it.

  12. #12
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    I think your running and cycling needs to change over the weeks and days. It's not very optimal to do the same thing over and over Running is quite more complex than it seems. You can do easy runs, intervals, recovery runs, long runs, fartlek runs, tempo runs... You need goals as well to keep you motivated in running as well.

    Unfortunately I don't have it easy with my work and family schedule constraints, so I started running more or less seriously about 3 months ago, to do more cardio and gain optimal weight, to power my riding. Riding demands alot more time than running (if you don't include strenght, pilates, swim, crosstrain and even cycling that many elite runners do). An elite cyclist might ride 4-6 hours per day. An elite marathon runner will make about two runs per day, with a total time of a litle over two hours.

    I hated the idea of running, but since I started, I love it now and it changed the way I see training in MTB.
    when you run regulary on a few circuits close to your home, and you do intervals, long runs, easy runs, 5k races, 10k races, tempo races etc. you are always testing yourself in a comfort zone of repetition with increased intensities. It's like a laboratory experiment in wich you can control the main variables: your input, your suffering, scheduled workout etc.. And you see performance results. No constraint can really put you off training besides injury. And running is very injury
    prone. As soon as I became too excited with my progress and and switched to a more intense training regime, I got a bad knee injury and couldn't run for 2 weeks (i could still ride). I take ice baths on more intense workouts and apply ice packs to my knees for precautions, something I never did on mountain biking.

    Running allows for a very controled and visible progress. It also puts you in contact with suffering related to very high HR and managing lactacte tresholds on certain peak workouts. I get epic suffer scores on running that I've yet failed to get on mtb, even trying hard (because I dont train MTB right yet).

    And even as a pure mental chalenge, running is good. Running for 60-90 minutes straight is still a chalenge for me, but so was running for 30 minutes in the first weeks... You learn to suffer and to enjoy suffering. You focus on surpassing yourself, perfecting your stride, breading, pace, posture... My MTB progress was usually measured in terms of lenght and total climb vs time. But this is very vague, specially if you, like I did, never ride the same exact course twice and never was consistent with some training. Now I understand the power of repetition and measure progress in other performance variables. I started to enjoy a weekly repetion of the same MTB course just for the sake of pushing my limits there, beating my on PR and getting more intensity of workouts like power intervals. After my training plan ends in a race in mid september, I plan on shifting to a MTB focused training plan I'm working on. Some of you, if not most, are already competitive so you push hard on your riding and training and I don't think running would help much in these areas I've talked about.

    I think cycling helps running because you can get extra cardio without risk of injury, but I'm not really sure if running helps cycling compared to... even more cycling, if you can
    Last edited by aguia77; 08-20-2013 at 11:24 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser View Post
    Yea I figured that out yesterday. I got a pair of shoes and took a little test run down the street. Dam that is some hard stuff. I will be sicking to the trail for now.
    Most beginners make the mistake of running medium-hard all the time. I started using a Heart Rate Monitor and Heart Rate Zone workouts. I was surprised to see how slow I needed to run to keep my heart zone in aerobic levels. I mean, REALLY slow. The first workouts can be things like running 5 minutes in HZ2, then walking 5 minutes, 2 repeats. As simple as that. Then it starts building, like 20 minutes straight on HZ2 etc. and you get faster even on aerobic heart rates.

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    I have found that running has helped w/ my riding, more so the climbs then anything else so far. I have noticed a big difference in my "recovery times" after longer climbs. I seem to feel better faster after longer climbs. I do think it is a physical improvement more so then a mental one.

    The whole reason that I started to get ready for my annual record APFT. The benefits that I seen in my climbs were completely unplanned for. I have been told by other riders that the running would not help. I did not expect to see improvements. Needless to say, I was really surprised with the results.

    Now, on to trying to figure out a training plan for my first race of the year.
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    This past summer my daughter did cross country with practice 4 evenings a week. Instead of sitting around during practice I joined her and the team. Feel the hour or so practice improved my riding endurance more then just adding more running. I enjoyed tackling the trails so much that I am training for a 50k on a local trail. After that I will be looking into a long x/c race (metric century or longer) for fall 2014 and will use running for part of that also.

  16. #16
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    If you're a CAT 1 MTB or CAT 2/3 road racer or higher, running isn't going to do much for you.

    If you're a CAT 2 or CAT 4/5 road racer, generally speaking, anything else you have the time to do is going to help. Why? Because, like it or not, you probably aren't blowing people's doors off; running, rowing, crossfit, or...god help you, more riding, are all going to help.

    It's not a miracle, and the higher up/faster you get, the more specific you need to be in your training. If 7hrs a week is a lot of riding for you, yes, running a couple of times a week will pay off. If you're riding 20hrs a week, you're probably not going to see much, if any, benefits from running. It's just going to hurt your recovery for riding.
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  17. #17
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    Working running into your training

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    If 7hrs a week is a lot of riding for you, yes, running a couple of times a week will pay off. If you're riding 20hrs a week, you're probably not going to see much, if any, benefits from running. It's just going to hurt your recovery for riding.
    Agreed. I experienced this over the summer when I'd squeeze in a short run on days I couldn't ride and discovered that I would have been better off just resting. I also noticed that running the day before a rest day is better than running the day before a ride. In the latter case I would feel spent from the start.

    That said I also agree with the comment that it helps with endurance because you are moving continuously for an hour rather than shorter bursts.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    It's not a miracle, and the higher up/faster you get, the more specific you need to be in your training. If 7hrs a week is a lot of riding for you, yes, running a couple of times a week will pay off. If you're riding 20hrs a week, you're probably not going to see much, if any, benefits from running. It's just going to hurt your recovery for riding.
    I too agree. Same with lifting. Yes, like running, lifting too has benefits (addresses muscle imbalances, helps promotes hormone production for older folks, etc.) but if getting fast is your goal, 1 hr. riding is better than 1 hr. running or lifting IMO and the running or lifting just cuts into recovery. That's my experience anyway.

  19. #19
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    winters can be miserable here. Making your base miles a challenge. Therefore I combine riding and running: first 2 hours running outside followed by watching a movie on my indoor bike. Depending on movie length up to 4 hours solid base training.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by quax View Post
    winters can be miserable here. Making your base miles a challenge. Therefore I combine riding and running: first 2 hours running outside followed by watching a movie on my indoor bike. Depending on movie length up to 4 hours solid base training.
    That's amazing you can run that long. I get too beat up from that much running. Maybe I'm just too heavy (165 pounds).

    But I find that I can link up other activities with biking to get extra benefit. XC ski, hiking, high rep weightlifting, etc. As long as the perceived exertion is about the same I believe that the body somewhat cannot tell the difference (some scientific studies have shown that).

    Of course integrating biking into your activities is the key. But as the season approaches, then biking has to start approaching 100% of your training time.

    BTW, I'm Colombian American, I couldn't help notice that even though Colombia has produced some incredible world-class bike riders (Quintana, Henao, Uran, Botero, Soler, Herrera, Hincapie, etc., etc.), they have failed to produce one single world class runner.
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    I'm about the same weight. I think it just needs time to get to longer distances. I guess the problelm with bikers starting to run is that they have the aerobic fitness but not tendons and muscles are not used to it. Too much too early too hard.

    In winter I run 2-3 times per week 2-3.5 hours. Most of it mountain running in the snow which is not as demanding on your tendons as pounding concrete.

    The first runs in autumn always leave some sore legs but I get used to it quickly.

  22. #22
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    As mentioned by others, starting slllllooowww with running is the way to go. Last winter, I started off too quickly (my competitiveness + ego). I was lucky enough not to get injured, but I burned out within three months.

    This winter, I am giving myself permission to start and run slow until I've built up my body to be ready for frequent/longer/harder runs. I am enjoying it much more and plan my first 10K on New Year's with a possible marathon later in the spring :-)

    Many of us have cycling fitness and strength, which is great, but only so much of it translates to running. So start with modest expectations and give yourself plenty of time to ramp up. You might find it more enjoyable, as I did.

    Also, I dislike running on concrete or streets. As with mountain biking, the trails and forests are where the running is best, at least for me.

  23. #23
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    I am starting to think that while cross training certainly has its benefits (breaking up a routine, working different muscles, etc.), the workout that benefits an activity most is that same activity. In other words, cycling is what works best for making you a faster cyclist.

    I've been running more that mountain biking lately, as it requires less time away from my family. While it has helped my fitness for sure, I perceive that my abilities as a runner have increased dramatically, while my strength on a bike has increased, but not as much.

    I'm not complaining, as I am happy to be exercising at all given the other demands in my life. And the psychological benefits of breaking up routines should not be minimized.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmoreKen View Post
    Last year I trained for and completed the Shenandoah Mountain 100 using one of Chris Eatough's training plans. Sometimes I would skip the recovery days and instead do a 2-3mi run. Seemed to work for me, but what I think really got me into shape were fast Mtb rides followed by fast road rides the following night. The fast Mtb rides were typically 2.5 hrs with a beak, and the fast road rides were 90 minutes of pain.

    Now I'm trying to come up with a plan that will keep me prepared for the occasional metric road ride but not really striving for an off-road hundred, simce i just dont have the time for it. Just keeping in good solid shape I have a hard time finding plans that blend running and Mtb and road.

    What I was thinking was this:
    M - rest
    T - 3mi run and stretch
    W - Mtb 2:30-3hr on SS
    R - Mtb or road, more casual
    F - rest
    Sat - long Mtb (4-5hr), SS or gears but endurance pace
    Sun - not as long road ride (3hr max)

    What do you think of the plan? Should I work build and rest phases into it or just cruise along?

    Also what is the minimum number of rides and/or runs per week to keep cardio fitness up? 3?

    Thanks
    If your goal is "overall fitness" cycling alone is not a great choice. Bike racing shape and "overall fitness" are two very different things.

    Cycling is a great part of a plan to overall fitness as it gets you your cardio training in a very fun way, as compared to mile and miles of boring jogging. On the other hand, if you are already a relative fit male, cycling is going to add only a little strength, explosive power, and prevent injury.

    Adding running to cycling won't add much to your cardio but will help strengthen your core, legs, ankles, and feet (things we often take for granted). Way more than you think goes into keeping tendons and neuromuscular junctions in top form and cycling alone neglects a lot of that. For example, cycle for 6 months, then go play a hour of basketball and see how your legs, ankles, and feet feel the next day (if you were lucky enough to not sprain an ankle right off the bat). If you are in your twenties you probably can forget this as at 20 you close to indestructible.

    Good overall fitness, I'm convinced, requires some intense weight training, long aerobic training (like biking), and running (which does a lot more than cardio).

  25. #25
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    Another thing to bear in mind is that running and cycling are entirely different experiences, at least to me. I don't go into a run expecting it to be "fun" in the way that mountain biking is. But if my body is ready for it, running is very satisfying and relaxing to me - it is sort of like meditation.

    Mountain biking is much more about thrill/fun, which is also great, but very different.

  26. #26
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    Running no thrill/fun? Maybe you should run somwhere different to get a different perspective. I hear this so often about running. Why don't you run where you bike?

    This is my home trail, I live next to the lake. The part of the trail on the ridge is most thrilling in winter when there is a lot of snow. Can't complain about adrenaline. And standing on the top of a mountain is always fun. Especially in winter in the dark with your headlamp only.

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by quax View Post
    This is my home trail, I live next to the lake.
    Beautiful. Where is this?

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    Having a run day is also pretty good rest...if you're running to just run and get your muscles and joints a bit loose rather than running for speed/time then you are allowing your body to rest without tightening up. I would also suggest replacing one of you rest days (probably friday) with a light ride or another run. Biking/running a few miles just to keep your body moving should help! The more comfortable you get with running, you can also choose a day to go a little harder and do some hill running, but you don't necessarily have to do that every week.

  30. #30
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    Pretty cool that you're into all 3.

    running | MTB | Road

    I think that you could definitely incorporate all 3 into your training week. And, since you don't have a focused goal for any of the 3, there's no reason you couldn't get pretty strong at all of them, and as a result, build some pretty awesome fitness across the board. I've used this training split for 8-12 weeks. Keep the training days the same, but play around with other variables such as duration, intensity and format. Volume could be anywhere from 5 - 14hrs per week. Recovery = total rest, stretching, mobilization, sleep or an easier than easy ride.

    M - Focused running(start by building endurance and slowly incorporate speed work)
    T - recovery
    W - Focused riding(road or mtb). 1-3hrs. Endurance pace. add volume/intensity wkly
    R - Sprint intervals(run/road or mtb). (1hr tops)add volume wkly. change format @3weeks
    F - recovery
    S - Focused long ride(road or mtb) 2-7hrs. Add time/intensity wkly
    S - recovery

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    I'll add too that of course, weather intervenes when it comes to our best laid training plans. Running is an option for me here in California when the winter rains arrive as they just did yesterday (yesss!) and I don't want to ride/damage trails.

    For example, this week I've put in three rides, as I knew the rains were coming later in the week, when I'll run.
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    Dupe, sorry.
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