1234

Increasing running mileage vs adding some light biking (Read 1591 times)

    I am currently running around 60mpw and have been doing so for the past 2 months approx. I am trying to run a sub 3 hour marathon as my primary goal. However, I would also like to start doing some biking as I have some triathlon goals as well in the future. I have been doing the usual mix of long, tempo, and intervals with easy runs on my other days. To push the mileage higher I would run easy miles. Would say 10 extra easy miles benefit me any further for running as opposed to biking easy on my down days. Thanks


    Needs more cowbell!

      I think for the <3 marathon goal that you'd be best served with the extra run mileage.  But when you start training for that tri I will let you in on a little secret: the multisport athletes who seem to do the best are those who train for each discipline equally, even if they are naturally gifted or stronger at one of the disciplines.

       

      I've not done any tris, but I've done a few duathlons.  I am a mediocre (at best) runner and cyclist, but in duathlons I hold my own very well...definitely doing as well or better than those who appear to train only for their favorite discipline, neglecting the other.  I imagine this is true with tris, as well.  I have a friend who is a monster on the bike...easily 1.5-2mph faster than me (she typically logs 10k miles/year in the saddle), but runs very little.  I've gone head-to-head with her at 2 duathlons and beat her once and only lost to her by <1 minute at the other race (when nasty calf cramps made it impossible to change my shoes in transition).  At other dus I have passed some very fast runners on the bike leg like they were standing still.  Sometimes the edge I manage on that middle leg is enough to hold them off on the final run leg.

      I shoot pretty things! ~

      '14 Goals:

      • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

        You are running 60mpw for the first time and now you want to increase your mileage further? Add more stimulus? I don't get it.

         

        I would choose the biking, if I were you. But sitting on the couch and reading The Art of Fielding would probably be a better option than either of these for your marathon training.

          Accidental post.

          "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus


          Feeling the growl again

            When someone goes to a new mileage level, their body must first adjust to handling the new level of training and recovering...as long as recovery is happening, the athlete then starts deriving benefit from the higher level of training.  The benefit comes rapidly at first, and then comes more slowly over time.  If one move up to another new level, the process can start over -- as long as they can adequately recover -- and a more rapid rate of improvement can be achieved again.

             

            What this means in practical terms is that adding mileage may or may not be beneficial, depending on where you feel you are at.  Only two months into a new mileage level, it is likely that you are still deriving benefit relatively rapidly.  If this is easy for you to handle and you are having no recovery issues, you may continue to derive more benefit at a rapid pace by increasing to say 70 mpw.  The caveat, here is that you have to be able to recover.  In the short term you may do better off 60 mpw with a full workout load than you would from 70 mpw where you are missing or skipping workouts due to need for recovery.

             

            The rate at which an individual can ascend to new mileage levels and derive good benefit and recover varies to a great degree.  Personally I went from many years of 40-50mpw straight up to 80+ mpw without recovery issues.  However 90 mpw took a few months of adjustment, and I took almost 2 years to be able to run 100 mpw for a full training cycle with proper workout/recovery balance.

             

            So from the runner's perspective, more miles will help with your goal but you need to think through how much you can handle while hitting your workouts and getting recovery.  If you are having any recovery issues now I think, only 2 months into 60 mpw, it's too soon to NEED to move up in mileage to go after your goal...you can still improve on 60 mpw.

             

            Also, don't make the mistake of equating east running with recovery.  Yes recovery runs are easy runs, but if you stuff too much volume in your recovery runs -- more than an hour, typically -- they start to become easy runs that no longer allow much in the way of recovery.

             

            Now as for the biking...if you really want to do tris you have to do it even if it hurts your running somewhat.  Period.  So that decision becomes easy.  Adding a bit of biking will be easier on you recovery-wise as long as you are already used to biking....however, it will be only moderately useful in making you a better runner.

            "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

             

              thank you all for the great replies. I am going to go through each one again in a little bit to ensure I understand what each of you have to say. I feel I can add mileage at this point without hurting my overall performance or workouts. My overall question was probably not worded right. At 60mpw I am getting a little bored with running. I really want to run sub 3 hours in a marathon so will do whatever it takes to get there. I feel I am really close now with a 10k time of 37:30 and my training has been the best cycle I have ever had. My question is probably runner dependent from what I am hearing as to whether another 10 miles or plus per week running will help me get to sub 3 hours. I guess the biking question came from me wanting to start doing something else in addition to my running. My 10k time has gone from 42 min to around 38 since May and have really enjoyed running lately. But the triathlon bug is calling me and want to start working towards that goal as well. Sounds like I just need to finish my sub 3 and then focus on triathlon training and that is probably what I will do. thanks again. 

                thank you all for the great replies. I am going to go through each one again in a little bit to ensure I understand what each of you have to say. I feel I can add mileage at this point without hurting my overall performance or workouts. My overall question was probably not worded right. At 60mpw I am getting a little bored with running. I really want to run sub 3 hours in a marathon so will do whatever it takes to get there. I feel I am really close now with a 10k time of 37:30 and my training has been the best cycle I have ever had. My question is probably runner dependent from what I am hearing as to whether another 10 miles or plus per week running will help me get to sub 3 hours. I guess the biking question came from me wanting to start doing something else in addition to my running. My 10k time has gone from 42 min to around 38 since May and have really enjoyed running lately. But the triathlon bug is calling me and want to start working towards that goal as well. Sounds like I just need to finish my sub 3 and then focus on triathlon training and that is probably what I will do. thanks again. 

                 

                42 to 38 in 6-7 months? Wow.

                "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

                  Id go with the extra biking, especially if triathlon is in your future.

                   

                  Any triathlete will tell you that biking fitness translates well into run fitness, where as run fitness does not help bike fitness much if at all. That said, the bike portion of a triathlon is the longest portion of the event and if you do not have the bike fitness to match the race, you will suffer greatly on the run and run poorly. Those biking miles/minutes will also go a long way to help keep you from injury as it is nearly zero impact.

                   

                  The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                   

                  2014 Goals:

                   

                  Stay healthy

                  Enjoy life

                   


                  Feeling the growl again

                    Id go with the extra biking, especially if triathlon is in your future.

                     

                    Any triathlete will tell you that biking fitness translates well into run fitness, where as run fitness does not help bike fitness much if at all. 

                     

                    And any runner will tell you that running fitness will allow you to hold your own on the bike and bike fitness does not help run fitness much at all.  Wink

                     

                    In all sincerity, I have no doubt on your quote as applied to triathlons, but towards a dedicated running goal the biking is not nearly as useful as running.  Biking impacts a very limited set of muscles.  Good cross-training but no substitute for running if running performance is sought.

                     

                    I'd second going for the sub-3 first, then switching focus to tri.  You don't know how hard sub-3 will be for you.  You may look back later and find that it was well within reach without really pushing yourself and you end up running sub-3 consistently while tri training.  Or, you may find that the marathon is nothing like a 10K for you and you really have to work for that sub-3, and mixing it up would have prevented you from getting there.

                    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                     


                    Needs more cowbell!

                      And any runner will tell you that running fitness will allow you to hold your own on the bike and bike fitness does not help run fitness much at all.  Wink

                       

                      In all sincerity, I have no doubt on your quote as applied to triathlons, but towards a dedicated running goal the biking is not nearly as useful as running.  Biking impacts a very limited set of muscles.  Good cross-training but no substitute for running if running performance is sought.

                       

                      I don't really agree with your claim in bold...I think that's a common misconception, really.  And given how much my triceps and shoulders ache after a long ride, cycling seems to use my upper body a lot more than running ever has.  When I'm not riding a lot I can definitely feel my core strength start to weaken considerably (like right about now).  But I do agree that if one's goal is to be a better runner that running is what will achieve that end.  Same for more time on the saddle to be a better cyclist.

                       

                      As far as which discipline benefits the other, I think this has to be a YMMV thing, since I have seen opposing claims made re: cycling to running fitness and vise-versa.  It frequently seems like more of a preference thing than a physiology thing.  I've really found for myself that each discipline seems to be sort of symbiotic for me.  And in large part I think this is simply a craving for variety--I start feeling sort of mentally burned-out if I devote my training overwhelmingly to one over the other.  

                       

                      Off-Topic: I also feel like it's partly the way the 2 sports differ for me on a social level.  I can run 10 hours/week all by my lonesome and never really feel lonely.  Perhaps because I can bring music or audiobooks for company (I don't ever ride with headphones).  During the Summer I'm able to do most of my rides with friends or my hubby and kid on the tandem.  Once school starts and a lot of organized rides start winding-down I'm left to ride solo...and I find myself making excuses not to put in the miles.  Riding starts to become lonely and monotonous (and slow) and running gains some definite appeal.

                      I shoot pretty things! ~

                      '14 Goals:

                      • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                        Any triathlete will tell you that biking fitness translates well into run fitness, where as run fitness does not help bike fitness much if at all.

                         

                         

                        And any runner will tell you that running fitness will allow you to hold your own on the bike and bike fitness does not help run fitness much at all.  Wink

                         

                        I'm both a runner and a cyclist. Here are some things I've noticed.

                         

                        Cycling is good for building (and holding when injured) general aerobic capacity and endurance but doesn't do much to help me run faster--further, perhaps, but not faster.

                         

                        Cycling helps me build endurance when I'm increasing running mileage but not yet ready to run target mileage. Therefore, it allows a bigger weekly boost of fitness, at very little risk, than just running.

                         

                        When I can run target mileage, and want to run faster and further, my best bet is to just run more.

                         

                        I understand cycling just doesn't give me the same bang for my buck if I want to run faster and further. It's an acknowledged tradeoff but I enjoy both and know cycling more makes me a better cyclist.

                         

                        Good run fitness translates well and quickly to good bike fitness. I can ride fast and long relatively quickly. The opposite isn't true for me with running. My body has to adjust to the pounding and leg turnover, which takes time.

                         

                        A bike workout is what you make of it. It can be easy as walking or hard a race.

                         

                        Right now my goal is to build back my run mileage, stay uninjured, and dabble in multi-sport this summer so I'll be doing both for the next 7-8 months. I also hope to take another shot at a <3 marathon in November. Therefore, I expect my bike will be gathering dust through the fall because I know if I want to run faster I'll need to run more.

                          Id go with the extra biking, especially if triathlon is in your future.

                           

                          Any triathlete will tell you that biking fitness translates well into run fitness, where as run fitness does not help bike fitness much if at all. That said, the bike portion of a triathlon is the longest portion of the event and if you do not have the bike fitness to match the race, you will suffer greatly on the run and run poorly. Those biking miles/minutes will also go a long way to help keep you from injury as it is nearly zero impact.

                           

                          (I don't know much...)

                          I think when the triathlon guru's proclaim that "biking helps running fitness", they mean that the biking endurance and seat time are great preparation for the 11+ hour Ironman triathlon. 

                          Cycling helps maintain a consistent and managed HR (goal #1 of endurance training), and enables long workouts (5+ hours) without forcing long workouts with the strain and stress of running.

                          When running while multi-sport training, the consistent and managed HR has been established (through the bike training), and the miles of running are done at a decent effort and decent pace, and the cycling improves the running. 

                           

                          To "Go Long", the biking helps running the triathlon marathon. 

                          To "Go Fast", I'm not sure that cycling helps

                          (... And I recognize that I may have said something totally different before, and I may say something totally different in the future... because I don't know much).

                           

                          I'd guess that HuskerRunner's goals are the 3 hour marathon right now, and with that, I'd suggest doing what good marathoners do (and that's run, and listen to the advice of fast runners and their training techniques). 

                          If the goals migrate to figuring out how to have a high effort for a very long time (ie. 10+ hours), I'd suggest getting a lot of cycling time in (as Burnt Toast recommends).

                           

                          Cheers,
                          Brian

                          2014 Goals:

                          #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                          #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

                           

                            So, combining what I understand of Brian's and my response...

                             

                            if Goal =

                             

                            Run Fast then Run More

                            Further then Some Cycling is OK

                             

                            Personally, I think Zoomy gave you your answer in the first line after your question: "I think for the <3 marathon goal that you'd be best served with the extra run mileage." That said, life and goals often are complex. You can't tri w/o cycling.

                             

                            When is your goal marathon?


                            Feeling the growl again

                              I don't really agree with your claim in bold...I think that's a common misconception, really.  And given how much my triceps and shoulders ache after a long ride, cycling seems to use my upper body a lot more than running ever has.  When I'm not riding a lot I can definitely feel my core strength start to weaken considerably (like right about now). 

                               

                              When I used to mix cycling in it was still not a major part of my routine but I did it a couple times a week and raced some duathlons.  If I rode hard I could make very specific areas of my quads burn like hell and sputter out long before I was challenging my cardio system....I found that the restricted motion of cycling worked only certain muscles.  I was completely spent after only a few minutes at a HR that would be an easy run.

                               

                              For road cycling at least, isn't the upper/core stuff just positional?  You're leaned over the handlebars holding yourself up for hours on end.  I don't really consider that "working" the muscles.  At least the way I rode I was rarely out of the saddle pumping on the bike like I was climbing the Alps or anything, it was flat where I rode.

                              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                               


                              Needs more cowbell!

                                When I used to mix cycling in it was still not a major part of my routine but I did it a couple times a week and raced some duathlons.  If I rode hard I could make very specific areas of my quads burn like hell and sputter out long before I was challenging my cardio system....I found that the restricted motion of cycling worked only certain muscles.  I was completely spent after only a few minutes at a HR that would be an easy run.

                                 

                                For road cycling at least, isn't the upper/core stuff just positional?  You're leaned over the handlebars holding yourself up for hours on end.  I don't really consider that "working" the muscles.  At least the way I rode I was rarely out of the saddle pumping on the bike like I was climbing the Alps or anything, it was flat where I rode.

                                 

                                I definitely feel it in my quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves when I do a long, higher effort ride.  Again it's probably a YMMV kind of deal and probably has a lot to do with the geometry of the bike and the rider's position.

                                 

                                As far as the arm workout, people who lock their elbows are not likely to experience the triceps soreness, but they are going to transfer every bump and ripple in the road to their skeleton.  With elbows slightly bent a person is essentially doing small tricep dips during their entire ride, assuming they aren't using aerobars or sitting relatively upright.  The bent elbows also forces the core muscles to work a lot harder.  I steer with body english as much as I do with my arms...perhaps more.

                                I shoot pretty things! ~

                                '14 Goals:

                                • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                                • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                                1234