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Triathlon and half marathon training mix?

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  • 04-06-2018 10:12am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭


    Hi,
    I had to stop running late last year due to shin splints. After physio and cross training and strengthening I got back on track but as I was enjoying other sports so much I started training for triathlone sprint which is just a 5lm run.
    I will also do Dublin City Tri in September.
    My question is - now that I am back fit and able to run - would it be feasible to do the half marathon in Galway on 6th oct
    So I’m wondering will one long run a week - increasing in guidance with a half marathon training plan (will google one) along with my triathlon training runs which include two 30 min interval sessions a week get me over the line in a reasonable manner?
    My only previous half marathon was 2 hrs 4 mins.
    My 5km time now is prob back to 26.30 and hopefully will continue to improve with the tri training.

    Any advise on training for two different activities? Basically I can’t increase the runs to more than 2 to 3 a week as will also be fitting in two swims and two bike sessions.

    Many thanks for any experience, advice or info!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,340 ✭✭✭TFBubendorfer


    What is more important to you, the Dublin City Tri in September or the half marathon in Galway in October?

    You can't be in your best shape for both, so pick the one that means more to you and train for that, and do the other one off that training, accepting that it will be a sub-optimal race.

    If you want to concentrate on the triathlon, training for a tri is reasonably good training for a run - not optimal but still good. There is the run training, obviously, but there is also some amount of carry over from the bike training that will help with running.

    Doing a triathlon on run training is a bit less obvious but I've done exactly that a few years ago, with some (limited) swim sessions and using my bike commute to get me used to cycling.


  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭Rururun


    What is more important to you, the Dublin City Tri in September or the half marathon in Galway in October?

    You can't be in your best shape for both, so pick the one that means more to you and train for that, and do the other one off that training, accepting that it will be a sub-optimal race.

    If you want to concentrate on the triathlon, training for a tri is reasonably good training for a run - not optimal but still good. There is the run training, obviously, but there is also some amount of carry over from the bike training that will help with running.

    Doing a triathlon on run training is a bit less obvious but I've done exactly that a few years ago, with some (limited) swim sessions and using my bike commute to get me used to cycling.


    Thank you - I think that’s what I’m struggling with but my gut would be that I’d like to get a Pb st half marathon whereas triathlon at the moment is so unknown (Dublin will only be my second) that I don’t have the same drive to compete. I prefer my fitness and health from triathlon training tho as I feel much stronger.
    I was hoping to continue tri training and initially thought would replace one run with a long one and see where that gets me but I see what your saying - I’ll prob struggle to also include intervals etc.
    this would mean I should focus more on the half marathon - maybe I need to try strike a balance somehow because to be honest I won’t be getting amazing results in any case - what’s great for me is very average for others!!!
    Nice to know it can be done tho - out of curiosity do u train for both events now or do u stick to one?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,208 ✭✭✭shotgunmcos


    Hey I've been in this boat. Targeted a half marathon and bagged a pb 2 months before bagging my A goal at Kilkee Hell of the West. My stock 3 runs a week for tri training was consistent and had speedy stuff in it. I had a coach at the time and we set the plan. In a nutshell tri training continued (I'd have taken the tri result over the half marathon) but we built the long run to 1:45 to 2 hours with quality work in them like 3x20 mins at target HM pace or 4x10 mins at 10k-HM pace or progression runs like 30min easy, 30 steady and 30 at HM pace. Basically a set of 10 long runs over 10 weeks leading up to the HM, short taper and set the pb. Swimming continued as is (x3 per week) but the bike became a little less volume and more intensity. I was run fit then in April and could focus on ramping the bike up for Kilkee in June. Staggering them worked a charm!

    If DCT is only your second tri, improving your run endurance will help but wouldn't be expecting to execute 2 goal events so close together. A caveat, I was in year 3 of tri


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,340 ✭✭✭TFBubendorfer


    Rururun wrote: »
    Nice to know it can be done tho - out of curiosity do u train for both events now or do u stick to one?

    The main lesson I learned from doing those tris was that I'm a runner, not a triathlete. :D

    To be honest it was a self-fulfilling prophecy as I was very much concentrating on my run training. The swim training was once or twice a week, mostly to ensure that I would survive the swim portion, and the cycling was just my commute, so I was always going to be better on the run.

    I struggled with the fact that the swimming pool was a 45 minutes drive from home, which was 90 minutes I really didn't have at the time wasted on driving to and from the pool. I still want to give them another go at some stage, though.


  • Site Banned Posts: 1,463 ✭✭✭RIGOLO


    I think you can adapt your training where both events will complement each other. 
    Your looking at a 2hr HM, but also Id estimate your close to a 2 hour Tri (if you doing the sprint) , so in effect both are 2 hour endurance events. 
    Keep up at least one long run a week , run at an easy pace, conversation pace. 
    Maximise the bike training where you can, I go along with the old adage, cycling will help your running, more than running will help your cycling.  All the tri trainign will help running, you just need to make sure you dont lose the mechanics of running. 
    For the tri you should be practicing a BRIC session, incorporate a small run after a cycle, even if its just 2-3 k , its the mechanics of getting off the bike, putting on the runners and going for a jog. And also work on the diet, plenty of us (myself included) spend hours training and then ruin it with poor meal decisions (damn my wifes cooking). 
    There are 4 weeks between the events, thats plenty time to recover and focus on the HM. 
    But dont overdo it, Im assuming you have a decent level of fitness built up since you were off injured, DO NOT expect to PB in any of these, especially coming off a fairly recent injury. These are fun events you should enjoy. Your rediscovring a love for sport, so think long term into next year is when you will hve more events as long as you dont aggravate your injury. 
    If you get around the TRI okay, you can feel confident you have the endurance for the HM, you can work some more on the running in the weeks prior to that.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭Rururun


    Really interesting points!
    Didn’t actually know cycling carries to running so that’s a plus. To be honest I had such a lovely 22km cycle today it made me realize I do love tri! So I’m gonna continue tri training as normal but adjusting one run to a long slow one each week from July! Will be interesting to see!
    Totally agree I need to be careful about not over doing it - I was off running from well November to end March but in Jan started using cross trainer and did weights and boot camp style classes to strengthen and spent some time on the bike. Then since end March been engrossed in the tri training and loving it with no significant niggles thankfully!

    About times - my previous half marathon was a few years ago but doubt I’d be much faster over the distance now really (2.04) but was hoping for a shorter tri?
    I’ve no concept of the swim time but hopefully steady enough - will work on estimating this better but training with drills which make times hard to work out! Bike - 22km done today hilly in 51 mins. There was effort but I’m sure I could dig deeper on race day - had a little left in the engine! And run I’m hoping for sub 30.
    Am I mad to aim for a 1.45 tri? Is it further than my reach?

    Thanks for the tips as it’s clesred my mind about approach a lot and knowing I can spend time on the bike and still be benefitting the run makes thing quite frankly more convenient!!! I only do one pool swim session (grueling drills from my v bossy amazing swimmer hubby !!) and one open water swim now which I’ve only done one of and need a lot more to gain confidence - brrrrr


  • Site Banned Posts: 1,463 ✭✭✭RIGOLO


    Good to hear that your not feeling any niggles , thats a huge plus. 
    I think a 30m 5k in the Tri is optimistic , based on a 26.30 5k. 
    Why bother putting yourself under pressure to hit a 1.45 in only your second tri , set it as a 'soft' target. 
    Remember you have transition to deal with, possible mechanicals on the bike , the swim can be a free for all and people get bashed about. If you have gone into the the 'red' zone too early , come the run you could lose alot of time. 
    Get thru the swim and the bike , see where your at with the time and then if you feel the 1.45 is within striking distance and the legs feel good then go for it. 
    People lose alot of energy mentally by overthinking the race, over thinking goals , adding too much pressure for a target time etc , you should be relaxed prepared for any eventuality in the tri, and given your background if you get thru the tri and no aggravation or injury then you should consider that your 'A' goal . 

    I think your better to get around this one, and then decide after if you felt you had a bit in the the tank. Find out where you think you could have made up time, swim, bike or run, transitions and then target the 1.45 in the next one with your extra experience. 
    Id highly recommend the bric session, only 1 long run a week is not enough, and I mean not enough for the tri training.  
    Even if its 10k on the bike and then a 2k run, and back on the bike for 5k or something like that , you have to train the  muscles, mind and heart for that transition from bike mechanics to running mechanics. Thats a tri specific bike-run session, targeting the tri, but again  will stand to you post-tri when you start on the HM training. 

    Just under 3 months to the tri, is plenty time to get your self in shape. Id also target you do 3 week blocks, some people do 4 week blocks but for a modern lifestyle for an amateur or newbie, Id recommend a 3 week block, as in 2 weeks of training full on, then dial it back for a week (a similar length of sessions, just not as intense in the sessions), then another 2 weeks full training and then dial it back for a week. Theres some evidence a 3 week block runs less risk of injury also. (4 week block is 3 weeks hard trainingg and 1 week easy) . 
    Also please stay safe on the bike,  keep the head up , and dont be daydreaming about the finsih line instead of watching whats about. 
    Theres loads of advice on boards on all aspects of what your attempting, best of luck.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,425 ✭✭✭joey100


    Sub 30 min run well achievable off a 26.30 5km time, once you keep up the training on the run and the bike. In my experience people tend to underestimate the bike and then expect to be able to run well off it. Your giving yourself an extra 3.5 mins over your PB, so around 210 seconds, around 40 seconds extra a km, a well paced 5km in a tri and you should be able to go under that 30 min barrier.


  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭Rururun


    joey100 wrote: »
    Sub 30 min run well achievable off a 26.30 5km time, once you keep up the training on the run and the bike. In my experience people tend to underestimate the bike and then expect to be able to run well off it. Your giving yourself an extra 3.5 mins over your PB, so around 210 seconds, around 40 seconds extra a km, a well paced 5km in a tri and you should be able to go under that 30 min barrier.


    Thanks for the optimism - I’m feeling ok about it as feel I’ve given the training best shot so far so will keep it up and hopefully meet my very loose targets!
    I’m hoping the buzz of adrenaline will allow me to give it my best on the day! I’ll enjoy finding out my standard in any case in athlone as it’ll give me a challenge for Dublin in September!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 270 ✭✭WicklowTiger


    I personally wouldn't get too hung up on times for the triathlon. Unlike road running, it's very difficult to compare one with another, distances can and do differ between events and even comparing the same event year on year for example is impossible. You might get a current in the swim that makes everyone's times faster/slower. A windy bike could aid/hamper - these effects are much more pronounced in triathlon than in running, but bear in mind it is the same for everyone in the race. I've had a difference of over half an hour between 2 sprints! Maybe a better focus would be to try and improve finishing position over time.

    Training for triathlon over the past couple of years (admittedly longer distances than you're at) has seen me cut 3 minutes, then 2, then another 1:30 off my half marathon PB - that's with max. one long and one short run weekly, and a long cycle most weeks.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭Rururun


    I personally wouldn't get too hung up on times for the triathlon. Unlike road running, it's very difficult to compare one with another, distances can and do differ between events and even comparing the same event year on year for example is impossible. You might get a current in the swim that makes everyone's times faster/slower. A windy bike could aid/hamper - these effects are much more pronounced in triathlon than in running, but bear in mind it is the same for everyone in the race. I've had a difference of over half an hour between 2 sprints! Maybe a better focus would be to try and improve finishing position over time.

    Training for triathlon over the past couple of years (admittedly longer distances than you're at) has seen me cut 3 minutes, then 2, then another 1:30 off my half marathon PB - that's with max. one long and one short run weekly, and a long cycle most weeks.

    Thank you! Great info!
    Had a funny open water swim tonight which gave me much doubt but I agree with you completely it’s the day that will tell!
    I learnt a lot by experiencing another open water tho so I reckon I need one more at least to know what’s going on. Then of course it will be diff to race day. I don’t know I find it hard as individually I think I’m getting there on my individual disciplines and then I hit a bad day and wonder! Makes me wonder is the day a lottery - obvs training helps - but sometimes I’m not sure how much I can do to change the result in a couple of weeks 😬


  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭Rururun


    RIGOLO wrote: »
    I think you can adapt your training where both events will complement each other. 
    Your looking at a 2hr HM, but also Id estimate your close to a 2 hour Tri (if you doing the sprint) , so in effect both are 2 hour endurance events. 
    Keep up at least one long run a week , run at an easy pace, conversation pace. 
    Maximise the bike training where you can, I go along with the old adage, cycling will help your running, more than running will help your cycling.  All the tri trainign will help running, you just need to make sure you dont lose the mechanics of running. 
    For the tri you should be practicing a BRIC session, incorporate a small run after a cycle, even if its just 2-3 k , its the mechanics of getting off the bike, putting on the runners and going for a jog. And also work on the diet, plenty of us (myself included) spend hours training and then ruin it with poor meal decisions (damn my wifes cooking). 
    There are 4 weeks between the events, thats plenty time to recover and focus on the HM. 
    But dont overdo it, Im assuming you have a decent level of fitness built up since you were off injured, DO NOT expect to PB in any of these, especially coming off a fairly recent injury. These are fun events you should enjoy. Your rediscovring a love for sport, so think long term into next year is when you will hve more events as long as you dont aggravate your injury. 
    If you get around the TRI okay, you can feel confident you have the endurance for the HM, you can work some more on the running in the weeks prior to that.

    So interesting about the time comparisons - I was hoping for a quicker tri but prob wouldn’t manage a half marathon in less than 1.55 at the mo so if it’s an equivalent comparison it’ll be so interesting!


  • Site Banned Posts: 1,463 ✭✭✭RIGOLO


    Yes its all interesting, and also athlete specific, who knows putting the three events together in the tri will be something your body responds positively too. Some people get stronger as an event goes on. 
    Either way just do what you can for the next few weeks, sensible training, sensible diet, etc 
    Good luck with the tri and the HM, Im sure everyone on boards is rooting for you. 
    Im sure you will be grand, you will be enjoying both so much that they will be over before you know it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,442 ✭✭✭Macy0161


    My n=1 input is that I've found that my bike fitness has carried over to the run. I pb'd 5km and 10km in tri's when those were essentially my only runs for weeks due to ITB (which didn't effect me on the bike). The only potential issue I've heard discussed regarding bike aerobic fitness carrying over to running is when people go to far to quick when moving over from the bike and get injuryed from that, which wouldn't be an issue here.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,551 ✭✭✭panda100


    Rururun wrote:
    So interesting about the time comparisons - I was hoping for a quicker tri but prob wouldn’t manage a half marathon in less than 1.55 at the mo so if it’s an equivalent comparison it’ll be so interesting!

    Just by way of comparison, my hm time is 1.55 and my sprint triathlon time is 1.20. The two are not comparable imo. The distance running will really stand to you on the run segment though. Definitely try and go out for at least one open water swim a week and one long bike ride. I usually do a long run and two short runs three times a week too. I commute to work by bike so that helps with cycle. Try and incorporate cycling or running into your every day routine as much as possible. I usually cycle to get to my open water swims.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,442 ✭✭✭Macy0161


    And don't forget a few brick sessions. The initial running off the bike can be a strange sensation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,182 ✭✭✭demfad


    Interesting thread. Cycling specifically helps uphill running (quad strenght) . And uphill running specifically helps flat running (all relevant muscles).
    Scheduling in a few hill reps during or even after the tri training might help convert the leg strenght for use in the HM.

    Perhaps after the tri: doing the early shorter reps/intervals uphill would achive this. The specific work around HM pace (=-5%) should be done on the flat.


  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭Rururun


    demfad wrote: »
    Interesting thread. Cycling specifically helps uphill running (quad strenght) . And uphill running specifically helps flat running (all relevant muscles).
    Scheduling in a few hill reps during or even after the tri training might help convert the leg strenght for use in the HM.

    Perhaps after the tri: doing the early shorter reps/intervals uphill would achive this. The specific work around HM pace (=-5%) should be done on the flat.


    Thanks - I’ll keep that in mind and include hill work which I’ve been neglecting a little!

    The cycling is def helping the running as my training 5k time has dropped by about 30-40 seconds per km without any effort or real focus on the running - I’m delighted!!! Right now I’m all about triathlone so can’t think about HM yet, but once July comes I’ll adapt training for Dublin tri to include hill interval work for short runs and one long flat slower run per week increasing over 12 weeks by 1km per week - so starting at 8km just to keep it easy to start.


  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭Rururun


    Macy0161 wrote: »
    And don't forget a few brick sessions. The initial running off the bike can be a strange sensation.

    Yes have been doing one of these a week if not more due to lack of time to fit in sessions also!! Doubling up makes it more time efficient!

    The jelly legs are mad for the first few hundred meters and I on occasion have the odd cramp but now that seems to pass ok - think I’m getting used to it - does it ever feel normal??!

    Only good thing I find is that the legs are almost going automatically when ur off the bike so ur really just going with them trying to make sure the breathing is steady 😂


  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭Rururun


    panda100 wrote: »
    Just by way of comparison, my hm time is 1.55 and my sprint triathlon time is 1.20. The two are not comparable imo. The distance running will really stand to you on the run segment though. Definitely try and go out for at least one open water swim a week and one long bike ride. I usually do a long run and two short runs three times a week too. I commute to work by bike so that helps with cycle. Try and incorporate cycling or running into your every day routine as much as possible. I usually cycle to get to my open water swims.

    Thanks - yes I think at the mo I’m struggling with time as my kids are preschool and we work long shifts so some days are ruled out altogether - by doing more brick sessions I’m trying to give both the bike and run sessions a bit of focus - but def will need an extra long run from July - don’t know where I will magic the time from but will be easier in September as the youngest will be in preschool!!
    Swim wise I’m only fitting in one a week - have only managed two open water so far - others in pool. Swim isn’t great for me I’m realizing - will be interesting to see my time in athlone - if it’s a complete disaster I’ll get one lesson to sort technique and then try get into the open water more before Dublin!
    But I really think I’ve more opportunity to make better times by improving bike and run - and transitions actually! So the swim is sort of just in the way for me mentally 😂 i like the strengthening benefits of it tho in training so I need to cop on and give it more focus!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,551 ✭✭✭panda100


    Rururun wrote:
    Swim wise I’m only fitting in one a week - have only managed two open water so far - others in pool. Swim isn’t great for me I’m realizing - will be interesting to see my time in athlone - if it’s a complete disaster I’ll get one lesson to sort technique and then try get into the open water more before Dublin! But I really think I’ve more opportunity to make better times by improving bike and run - and transitions actually!

    So long as you can swim and can cover the distance comfortably than 1 swim session a week is absolutely enough.As long as you've done a couple of open water swimming sessions too you'll be fine. It can be a big transition for people to go from pool to open water and as well as that the group swim starts in the water can be overwhelming for people.

    When you start triathlon or join a club you will see people doing crazy amounts of training and convincing you that you need to be doing the same. If you incorporate cycling or running into your routine and swimming once a week, you'll be grand.


  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭Rururun


    panda100 wrote: »
    So long as you can swim and can cover the distance comfortably than 1 swim session a week is absolutely enough.As long as you've done a couple of open water swimming sessions too you'll be fine. It can be a big transition for people to go from pool to open water and as well as that the group swim starts in the water can be overwhelming for people.

    When you start triathlon or join a club you will see people doing crazy amounts of training and convincing you that you need to be doing the same. If you incorporate cycling or running into your routine and swimming once a week, you'll be grand.

    Wish could incorporate it into daily but work is a 42km commute each way and after 12 hrs on feet I may never get home 😂😂
    But can def fit in good bike/run sessions so it’s good to hear that one swim is enough!! Open water does indeed feel very different to pool but ok comfortable in the water - just disappointed with my technique. It will however get me over the swim line so that’ll have to do for now!!
    Will keep the focus on the bike and run - see how athlone goes and then work toward Dublin tri and the half marathon.

    Thanks for that cos yes - the standard of many of the athletes is intimidating and we almost feel like we are intruding because we are really basic standard 😂 hugely enjoyable sport tho - triathlon def for me - just not sure I’ll ever be true to the word “sprint” 😂


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,425 ✭✭✭joey100


    Keep an eye on the pace you start running in a brick session, you will be going 30kmph~ish on the bike and then off and running probably around 12kmph (based on 25 min 5km time) so it will feel like your crawling along, it's just your perception of speed is off due to the time on the bike. Take it handy for the first little bit off the bike and then build into the run.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,442 ✭✭✭Macy0161


    Rururun wrote: »
    The jelly legs are mad for the first few hundred meters and I on occasion have the odd cramp but now that seems to pass ok - think I’m getting used to it - does it ever feel normal??!
    Joey would be much more experienced than me, but I found I was cramping going too hard too early as he described. That, and keeping my run cadence up especially initially helped.

    I think the swimming depends on whether you're happy to stay at a similar level or push on as to whether one swim a week is enough. I found much slower progress swimming than with running or cycling, even at 3 plus sessions a week. There's only so much time you can make up with a strong bike and run, especially over sprint distance.


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