General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Will HM training lead to Tri "detraining"? (Newb question, admittedly) Rss Feed  
Moderators: jmk-brooklyn, Ron Reply
2012-09-28 9:31 AM

User image

Veteran
1878
1000500100100100252525
Concord, MA
Subject: Will HM training lead to Tri "detraining"? (Newb question, admittedly)

Situation:

I (and my wife, thankfully!) am hooked on tri's after a 17 year layoff from the sport(s).  Season just finished for us with a sprint a couple weeks back (awesome race for us both).  Now we're looking at a half marry in early November.  Back when I just ran (3ks through marathons), if I did the occassional cross-training it was a bonus.

Problem (maybe?):

NOW, however, all I want to do is "cross train"!  I'm concerned that if I follow a HM program (even the last 6 weeks of an appropriate one for our current fitness levels, etc.), I won't have time (both overall and, more importantly, recovery time) to train the way I used to/the way single sport runners do and not lose most or all of my swimming/cycling fitness.  However, I also know from previous experience that I need to actually train for a HM to do well (at least well for a slow, old guy!).

I'd hate to have to start over in mid-November from near zero after 6 weeks or so of VERY limited swimming and biking, should that be what once a week in those sports would do.

Question:

So, is this what folks refer to as a "running focused block" of training?  Will the once a week swims and bikes coupled with a large uptick in running be sufficient (even if not ideal - you can't have it all) to keep enough fitness to not be sunk, as it were, on returning to the pool?

I recognize that something has to give a little, so really I'm asking for advice on optimizing how to slow fitness loss on the swim and bike, as I will likely follow a run specific plan for a month and a half.  Worst case, I just pick up at the end.  Best case, someone has a suggestion or two based on experience (other than simply keep the swim/bike workouts the same and layer the HM training on top - I have enough, though tri-limited, experience to know that won't be good for me physically).

Like I said in the subject line, I'm sure this is newbie question, so I appreciate your forebearance and opinions!
 
Thanks.

M



2012-09-28 9:40 AM
in reply to: #4431785

User image

Not a Coach
10986
50005000500100100100100252525
Media, PA
Subject: RE: Will HM training lead to Tri "detraining"? (Newb question, admittedly)
Yes, you will give up some swim & bike fitness if you focus on running.  Doing a little of the other sports will help you maintain a little more, but could sacrifice some of your run performance.  It's always a balance and there's no single right answer for everyone.  But, you will regain the lost fitness more quickly than it took you to create it the first time.  And, generally, swimming & biking come back more quickly than running after a break.  You'll also have the benefit of advancing your running fitness much more than you could if you tried to keep all 3 sports in balance.  So, while there are certainly trade-offs, you can certainly do what you are asking (I have done so in the past).  How much you maintain the 'cross-training' really just depends upon your goals (sometimes I cross train a lot, sometimes very little--depends how much I want to focus on the running).
2012-09-28 9:56 AM
in reply to: #4431785

User image

Champion
6286
50001000100100252525
Sarasota, FL
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Will HM training lead to Tri "detraining"? (Newb question, admittedly)

I've done a HM during the tri "off season" for the past few years because running has always been my weak discipline.  Stepping up my running has also helped my off season weight loss efforts, more so than swimming and riding.

As long as I can still do a couple of swims and a long ride every week, I've been able to maintain enough of a base to come back fairly quickly once I do my HM in February or March. 

Mark

2012-09-28 2:19 PM
in reply to: #4431785

User image

Veteran
535
50025
Long Island, NY
Subject: RE: Will HM training lead to Tri "detraining"? (Newb question, admittedly)

Swimming aside......

I'm gonna say that for me marathon training helped my biking. I had a really nice base to build from this year for my biking.

2012-09-28 2:43 PM
in reply to: #4431785

User image

Expert
861
5001001001002525
Subject: RE: Will HM training lead to Tri "detraining"? (Newb question, admittedly)

Most running plans can be done on 4-5 days of running.  If you can fit in a bike ride 1-2x/week (if you have a trainer, you can knock out the rides and then do the short run or vice versa) and a swim 2x/week (even a short 30-minute workout will do wonders), you should be able to maintain your swim/bike fitness.  Especially on the days when you're doing a shorter, easy run, it's pretty easy to double-up and just get a half-hour swim in there.

I've been training for my first marathon and have been able to keep my bike fitness and improve a bit on my swim.  It shouldn't be too tough to do a half-marathon plan and still train the other 2 disciplines.

2012-09-28 4:02 PM
in reply to: #4431785

User image

Master
2516
2000500
University Park, MD
Subject: RE: Will HM training lead to Tri "detraining"? (Newb question, admittedly)

I wouldn't worry about it too much. As others have said, once you've attained a certain level of fitness, it's easier to get it back than it was to get there in the first place. Don't worry about focusing on the HM, and if it makes you hungry to get back to the S/B afterwards, then so much the better.

Due to the technical aspects of swimming, you can get back a good deal of your swimming speed fairly quickly, it seems. If you're off the bike for a while then you will lose some bike fitness, but it's not so hard to regain, and you can ramp up the training more sharply than is safe with running. I'm doing a run focus right now in preparation for a fall marathon, so I've been doing far less S/B, but I'm not worried about getting them back when the time comes. My body's going to need a bit of a break from running after the marathon to recover from all of the miles of the past few months, so I can see a lot of trainer time to replace the runs starting a month from now.



2012-10-01 8:13 AM
in reply to: #4431785

User image

Veteran
1878
1000500100100100252525
Concord, MA
Subject: RE: Will HM training lead to Tri "detraining"? (Newb question, admittedly)

Thanks all.

It is funny that focusing on running, I find that I miss the sufferfests on the road and in the pool!  Who knew...

I think I'll just focus on the HM, as suggested, and work in S/B as able and to break up the monotony/recover.  A recovery spin won't see me bagging any KOMs on Strava, but it should at least keep me from backsliding too much, it seems.

The perspectives are much appreciated.

M

New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Will HM training lead to Tri "detraining"? (Newb question, admittedly) Rss Feed