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2013-11-10 10:08 AM

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Subject: Building Run Base
I am a new triathlete, did two sprints this fall and loved it! I plan to do more this upcoming year including a long course (between Oly & HIM) in August 2014.

I swim a masters program 3 days a week. I also run 3 days (9-11 mpw) but in order to build my base I need to increase that to 4-5 runs per week. My master plan is to build up to 25mpw and then begin a 1/2 marathon training. I am a new runner, only been running since the spring...plus I developed Plantar fasciitis this summer and took 8 weeks off of running. All is well now, got custom inserts and better shoes.

With swim on Mon, Wed, Fri, and my typical run days are Tues, Thurs, Sat. I will need to add in some shorter runs on my swim days but I don't think that should be a problem (physically).

So my concern is the bike, it is nonexistent I wanted to get feedback in some of my options.

-I could fit in a couple hours on the bike on Sundays but think a rest day is important, although I could stick to only swim on Monday and consider that a rest day, adding running to Wed and Fri.

-I could ride to and from swim a couple days a week, not far (only couple miles) but killer hill work, but worry that as I am building my run miles that will just destroy my legs.

-or should I just focus on building my run base for now and pick up the biking later in the spring?

Any advice would be much appreciated!


2013-11-10 10:34 AM
in reply to: #4895966

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
Just my two cents-biking will help your running but running will not help youe biking. I typically do three QUALITY runs per week. One speed workout using a local track, one tempo run, and one long run every week. This has kept my running very strong for distances up to the HIM. As I got more experienced in this sport I realized its a bike-dominated sport. Don't underestimate the value of 3 solid bike rides per week including some speed intervals, hills and longer rides. I was amazed at how much I knocked off my race times.

Good luck!

Triathlete & mom of 3 beautiful girls
Three time 5150 Nationals Qualifier
2013 HIM finisher
Five marathons
2013-11-10 11:24 AM
in reply to: midwesttrimom

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
So you think I should be doing 3 swim, 3-4 runs and 3 bikes?

I shouldn't focus in getting my MPW up before brining in the bike?
2013-11-10 12:41 PM
in reply to: dace

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
Originally posted by dace
My master plan is to build up to 25mpw and then begin a 1/2 marathon training. I am a new runner, only been running since the spring...plus I developed Plantar fasciitis this summer and took 8 weeks off of running. All is well now, got custom inserts and better shoes.


If this is your master plan, don't be distracted by the bike. Sure it's a big part of the sport, but there is no rule that you must therefore do relatively more bike training than run training. Triathlon will still be here after you've trained for your first half marathon. Focus on what you think is important to you to build yoru fitness and avoid injury. You can easily complete a sprint or olympic on 2 rides per week staring in the spring...maybe not as fast as you could otherwise, but it sounds like you want to focus on the run...so focus on the run.

Runnign is a weight bearing activity and requires much more co-ordination and strength than the bike to do it well...so it will help you in all aspects of your athleticism, especially if you do a lot of your runs on trails
2013-11-10 1:29 PM
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Subject: RE: Building Run Base

Originally posted by midwesttrimom Just my two cents-biking will help your running but running will not help youe biking. I typically do three QUALITY runs per week. One speed workout using a local track, one tempo run, and one long run every week. This has kept my running very strong for distances up to the HIM. As I got more experienced in this sport I realized its a bike-dominated sport. Don't underestimate the value of 3 solid bike rides per week including some speed intervals, hills and longer rides. I was amazed at how much I knocked off my race times. Good luck! Triathlete & mom of 3 beautiful girls Three time 5150 Nationals Qualifier 2013 HIM finisher Five marathons

If the OP doesn't have the mileage to support it (and I'm guessing no, since the post is titled "building my run base"), doing one speedwork, one tempo, and one long run is likely a recipe for injury. ("speedwork is the icing on the cake and you don't have the cake yet" etc)

to the OP: if the HM is your current goal, focus on that! Find a training plan (I highly recommend Hal Higdon's) and follow it. If you are concerned about your bike, substitute one of the runs for a ride. Like ^^^ said, tris will be there after your HM!

good luck!



Edited by trishie 2013-11-10 1:32 PM
2013-11-10 3:03 PM
in reply to: AdventureBear

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
Originally posted by AdventureBear

Originally posted by dace
My master plan is to build up to 25mpw and then begin a 1/2 marathon training. I am a new runner, only been running since the spring...plus I developed Plantar fasciitis this summer and took 8 weeks off of running. All is well now, got custom inserts and better shoes.


If this is your master plan, don't be distracted by the bike. Sure it's a big part of the sport, but there is no rule that you must therefore do relatively more bike training than run training. Triathlon will still be here after you've trained for your first half marathon. Focus on what you think is important to you to build yoru fitness and avoid injury. You can easily complete a sprint or olympic on 2 rides per week staring in the spring...maybe not as fast as you could otherwise, but it sounds like you want to focus on the run...so focus on the run.

Runnign is a weight bearing activity and requires much more co-ordination and strength than the bike to do it well...so it will help you in all aspects of your athleticism, especially if you do a lot of your runs on trails


To clarify, it is my immediate plan. My running needs work and time but my master plan is preparing for an Oly in the spring followed by a long course tri in August. I have not put in a lot of thought to the timing of it all at this point. I know that in 'Iron Fit' Don Fink uses a 30 week training for a full IM and has an Oly @ week 18 and a HIM at week 22. I was thinking of finding an Oly around May/June and then be ready for the long course in early Aug.
If I begin focused training for my tris in March that gives me 5 mos to train.

There is a lot that I am unsure of at this point but what I do know is that my body is no where near ready for the running I need to be doing for my Aug tri, which is why I thought that focusing on building my run base now would be wise. With a few running races of various distance under my belt I think I would be more prepared for the longer tri.

If I am off base, please let me know!


2013-11-10 3:09 PM
in reply to: trishie

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
Originally posted by trishie

Originally posted by midwesttrimom Just my two cents-biking will help your running but running will not help youe biking. I typically do three QUALITY runs per week. One speed workout using a local track, one tempo run, and one long run every week. This has kept my running very strong for distances up to the HIM. As I got more experienced in this sport I realized its a bike-dominated sport. Don't underestimate the value of 3 solid bike rides per week including some speed intervals, hills and longer rides. I was amazed at how much I knocked off my race times. Good luck! Triathlete & mom of 3 beautiful girls Three time 5150 Nationals Qualifier 2013 HIM finisher Five marathons

If the OP doesn't have the mileage to support it (and I'm guessing no, since the post is titled "building my run base"), doing one speedwork, one tempo, and one long run is likely a recipe for injury. ("speedwork is the icing on the cake and you don't have the cake yet" etc)

to the OP: if the HM is your current goal, focus on that! Find a training plan (I highly recommend Hal Higdon's) and follow it. If you are concerned about your bike, substitute one of the runs for a ride. Like ^^^ said, tris will be there after your HM!

good luck!




Yes, you are correct I do not have the milage that I need to support more specific run training. Thank you :-)
2013-11-10 3:35 PM
in reply to: dace

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
Originally posted by dace



To clarify, it is my immediate plan. My running needs work and time but my master plan is preparing for an Oly in the spring followed by a long course tri in August. I have not put in a lot of thought to the timing of it all at this point. I know that in 'Iron Fit' Don Fink uses a 30 week training for a full IM and has an Oly @ week 18 and a HIM at week 22. I was thinking of finding an Oly around May/June and then be ready for the long course in early Aug.
If I begin focused training for my tris in March that gives me 5 mos to train.

There is a lot that I am unsure of at this point but what I do know is that my body is no where near ready for the running I need to be doing for my Aug tri, which is why I thought that focusing on building my run base now would be wise. With a few running races of various distance under my belt I think I would be more prepared for the longer tri.

If I am off base, please let me know!


I missed the part about wanting to do an IM next year, or maybe it wasn't mentioned before.

I think early in triathlon it can be hard to sort these things out, ie "What do I want to do?". And I think it's easy to get caught up in what it seems like is "the thing to do".

What draws yo uto do an ironman? What is your sports background aside from tris? Do you have any weight to lose? Injury history? Local support? family/kids/spouse/parents that you spend time with who will be impacted by deciding to train for a full IM?

There is an old saying, "It takes 5 years to make a cyclist" in regards to bike racing, and it applies to triathlons as well. Not that you can't do thriathlons on little training/experience, but IMO your level of participation to some degree needs to be commesurate with your experience level.

I usally try to get folks to think longer term when thinking about an IM. eg if you have never done a 70.3 before, make that your A race enxt year and go into 2015 with teh idea of doing yoru first IM.

I just think it makes training all around more enjoyable, is better for your body, causes less breakdown of your body (training is hard on it) allows you time and mental energy to focus on skills and nutrition.

it's not just about "going long".

2013-11-10 3:45 PM
in reply to: AdventureBear

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
Maybe I totally misread your post...and you are planning the HIM next year and not a full?
2013-11-10 4:23 PM
in reply to: AdventureBear

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
I apologize, I had a rambling post asking about running and building a base for a half marathon on the way to an olympic and long course tri (half of a half IM).

This spring I plan to do an Oly and in August the long course. Next year (2015) I would like to train for a HIM and a full sounds incredible but really premature to say yes to, perhaps that will wait until 2016.

I am female, 45, slender and no injuries. (had a bout of PF but it is resolved) My husband does a couple marathons a year and has done many sprints and a couple of HIMs. Do we dream of doing a Full together and getting tats? of course :-)

I have been swimming off and on for years, and started running this year. My cardiovascular system is in great shape, muscular/skeletal system needs some strengthening.

I believe that to prepare for this long course in Aug I need to seriously up running miles, so my question is: is this a good approach? Focus the next 2 months on building a good running base, up to 25MPW (currently at 11) and then start a half marathon training program. Run a half mary in the late spring/early summer in preparation for the long course in August. Add bike training in March...I guess the two plans are confusing me. I know it shouldn't be one or the other (half mary training vs Tri training), but that is how my brain is viewing it all.

I am not in a rush and want to approach these upcoming two tris with strength, I am the type that prefers to over train and have a great experience and a strong finish than just finish.
2013-11-10 6:27 PM
in reply to: dace

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
Originally posted by dace

I apologize, I had a rambling post asking about running and building a base for a half marathon on the way to an olympic and long course tri (half of a half IM).

This spring I plan to do an Oly and in August the long course. Next year (2015) I would like to train for a HIM and a full sounds incredible but really premature to say yes to, perhaps that will wait until 2016.

I am female, 45, slender and no injuries. (had a bout of PF but it is resolved) My husband does a couple marathons a year and has done many sprints and a couple of HIMs. Do we dream of doing a Full together and getting tats? of course :-)

I have been swimming off and on for years, and started running this year. My cardiovascular system is in great shape, muscular/skeletal system needs some strengthening.

I believe that to prepare for this long course in Aug I need to seriously up running miles, so my question is: is this a good approach? Focus the next 2 months on building a good running base, up to 25MPW (currently at 11) and then start a half marathon training program. Run a half mary in the late spring/early summer in preparation for the long course in August. Add bike training in March...I guess the two plans are confusing me. I know it shouldn't be one or the other (half mary training vs Tri training), but that is how my brain is viewing it all.

I am not in a rush and want to approach these upcoming two tris with strength, I am the type that prefers to over train and have a great experience and a strong finish than just finish.


Trust your instincts, they are sound.


2013-11-10 7:56 PM
in reply to: dace

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
True, I guess if you haven't been running that makes sense. Sorry! I was envisioning that you were already running quite a bit sense you were doing some races but I guess you wouldn't necessarily be. I guess I would just NOT give up bike rides for more running but add some mileage to my existing runs if possible. But, with that being said, I am not a natural on the bike AT ALL so if I sacrifice rides my race times pay!!! Good luck with whatever you decide.
2013-11-11 9:19 AM
in reply to: dace

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
Originally posted by dace

I apologize, I had a rambling post asking about running and building a base for a half marathon on the way to an olympic and long course tri (half of a half IM).

This spring I plan to do an Oly and in August the long course. Next year (2015) I would like to train for a HIM and a full sounds incredible but really premature to say yes to, perhaps that will wait until 2016.

I am female, 45, slender and no injuries. (had a bout of PF but it is resolved) My husband does a couple marathons a year and has done many sprints and a couple of HIMs. Do we dream of doing a Full together and getting tats? of course :-)

I have been swimming off and on for years, and started running this year. My cardiovascular system is in great shape, muscular/skeletal system needs some strengthening.

I believe that to prepare for this long course in Aug I need to seriously up running miles, so my question is: is this a good approach? Focus the next 2 months on building a good running base, up to 25MPW (currently at 11) and then start a half marathon training program. Run a half mary in the late spring/early summer in preparation for the long course in August. Add bike training in March...I guess the two plans are confusing me. I know it shouldn't be one or the other (half mary training vs Tri training), but that is how my brain is viewing it all.

I am not in a rush and want to approach these upcoming two tris with strength, I am the type that prefers to over train and have a great experience and a strong finish than just finish.


Your plan is almost exactly what mine was a year ago, and I can report I'm very well on track for my first IM distance in 2014, having had an excellent 2013 including a HIM. I come from a stronger bike background I suspect, but I don't see that as tremendously relevant. Running was my weakness and got most of my attention in the last year. It's still my weakness, but only compared to others - the changes have been huge, and it comes from a LOT of running. Running a lot, often, over a long period of time, is absolutely essential. There's a thread active right now about the BarryP plan you should avail yourself of that has a lot of good information in it. Good luck!
2013-11-11 9:21 AM
in reply to: #4895966

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
Thank you Adventure Bear!
2013-11-11 9:59 AM
in reply to: #4896387

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
Thanks Fisherman :-)
I will check out the thread you mentioned. I did find a training plan for a mileage build up that is 19 weeks then the plan transitions to a marathon training plan, at which point I would just maintain and focus on adding in the bike. It has me running 5 days per week for 3 weeks, then a week of 4 days. Looks like a good solid build,

2013-11-11 12:05 PM
in reply to: midwesttrimom

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
Originally posted by midwesttrimom

Just my two cents-biking will help your running but running will not help youe biking. I typically do three QUALITY runs per week. One speed workout using a local track, one tempo run, and one long run every week. This has kept my running very strong for distances up to the HIM. As I got more experienced in this sport I realized its a bike-dominated sport. Don't underestimate the value of 3 solid bike rides per week including some speed intervals, hills and longer rides. I was amazed at how much I knocked off my race times.

Good luck!

Triathlete & mom of 3 beautiful girls
Three time 5150 Nationals Qualifier
2013 HIM finisher
Five marathons



Interesting. Very much a personal opininion but we think complete opposites

First the easy one :-) I disagree it's a bike domintaed sport. IMO to do well in this sport you have to be a decent runner. Most of the time, the races are won by the runners. Look at the last series of Kona winners. All runners. And the bikers that manage to win, is because they learn to run (Kienle for example)

For an amateur, all the bike fitness in the world is useless if you don't have the run fitness. Without the run, it becomes a march of death, the most unpleasant experience one can imagine. Bike fitness does not eliminate the march of death. Run fitness and proper bike pacing does.

The key to a good run is volume, through frequency. You need the volume and to get it without injury, you need the right frequency. This is the secret sauce behind Barry P. It's frequency and the proper dosing of volume across frequent runs. 3x per week is not enough to build a strong run.

I wish bike fitness carried to my run. It doesn't for me. If I back off the run and focus on the bike my run falls off. I can do a big run buildup and let is slide for 2 months or so and keep decent speed, but it slowly fades unless I rebuild it now and then

Again, very much an opinion rather than "this is the truth". I just found it interesting we saw things from completely different angles. Maybe I am an exception, maybe you are an exception. I really don't know


2013-11-11 12:16 PM
in reply to: marcag

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
Originally posted by marcag

Originally posted by midwesttrimom

Just my two cents-biking will help your running but running will not help youe biking. I typically do three QUALITY runs per week. One speed workout using a local track, one tempo run, and one long run every week. This has kept my running very strong for distances up to the HIM. As I got more experienced in this sport I realized its a bike-dominated sport. Don't underestimate the value of 3 solid bike rides per week including some speed intervals, hills and longer rides. I was amazed at how much I knocked off my race times.

Good luck!

Triathlete & mom of 3 beautiful girls
Three time 5150 Nationals Qualifier
2013 HIM finisher
Five marathons



Interesting. Very much a personal opininion but we think complete opposites

First the easy one :-) I disagree it's a bike domintaed sport. IMO to do well in this sport you have to be a decent runner. Most of the time, the races are won by the runners. Look at the last series of Kona winners. All runners. And the bikers that manage to win, is because they learn to run (Kienle for example)

For an amateur, all the bike fitness in the world is useless if you don't have the run fitness. Without the run, it becomes a march of death, the most unpleasant experience one can imagine. Bike fitness does not eliminate the march of death. Run fitness and proper bike pacing does.

The key to a good run is volume, through frequency. You need the volume and to get it without injury, you need the right frequency. This is the secret sauce behind Barry P. It's frequency and the proper dosing of volume across frequent runs. 3x per week is not enough to build a strong run.

I wish bike fitness carried to my run. It doesn't for me. If I back off the run and focus on the bike my run falls off. I can do a big run buildup and let is slide for 2 months or so and keep decent speed, but it slowly fades unless I rebuild it now and then

Again, very much an opinion rather than "this is the truth". I just found it interesting we saw things from completely different angles. Maybe I am an exception, maybe you are an exception. I really don't know


My experiences are quite in line with Marc's. I was fighting a knee injury that kept me from running for over a year. In that time, I made some really huge gains on the bike and the swim. When I was able to get back to running, it was pathetic how little of the cardiovascular endurance I have from bike/swim translated to running. I started out with five 10 minute runs a week, keeping my HR in Zone 2. My paces were pretty near the 12 minute/mile mark....

If you want to become a better runner, you have to run. Keeping them easy and frequent is a method that has been successful for many people. I'm hoping I will become one of those people who has success with it, but I'm just starting back right now.

All I can say is that my biking didn't help my run (it's quite possible that doing as much as I did on the bike make it so that I wasn't even worse when I started running, but I don't know).


Unfortunately, I also agree that triathlons are about the runner....if it was about the swimmer/biker, I'd place much better than I do
2013-11-11 12:32 PM
in reply to: marcag

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base

Originally posted by marcag
Originally posted by midwesttrimom Just my two cents-biking will help your running but running will not help youe biking. I typically do three QUALITY runs per week. One speed workout using a local track, one tempo run, and one long run every week. This has kept my running very strong for distances up to the HIM. As I got more experienced in this sport I realized its a bike-dominated sport. Don't underestimate the value of 3 solid bike rides per week including some speed intervals, hills and longer rides. I was amazed at how much I knocked off my race times. Good luck! Triathlete & mom of 3 beautiful girls Three time 5150 Nationals Qualifier 2013 HIM finisher Five marathons
Interesting. Very much a personal opininion but we think complete opposites First the easy one :-) I disagree it's a bike domintaed sport. IMO to do well in this sport you have to be a decent runner. Most of the time, the races are won by the runners. Look at the last series of Kona winners. All runners. And the bikers that manage to win, is because they learn to run (Kienle for example) For an amateur, all the bike fitness in the world is useless if you don't have the run fitness. Without the run, it becomes a march of death, the most unpleasant experience one can imagine. Bike fitness does not eliminate the march of death. Run fitness and proper bike pacing does. The key to a good run is volume, through frequency. You need the volume and to get it without injury, you need the right frequency. This is the secret sauce behind Barry P. It's frequency and the proper dosing of volume across frequent runs. 3x per week is not enough to build a strong run. I wish bike fitness carried to my run. It doesn't for me. If I back off the run and focus on the bike my run falls off. I can do a big run buildup and let is slide for 2 months or so and keep decent speed, but it slowly fades unless I rebuild it now and then Again, very much an opinion rather than "this is the truth". I just found it interesting we saw things from completely different angles. Maybe I am an exception, maybe you are an exception. I really don't know

Interesting discussion.   From my perspective, a strong bike is more important for short course, while the run becomes more important in long course races.

Of course the caveat is that you can't have a glaring weakness in either one or the other and still expect to be on the podium.

I've had a good year (for me) that I attribute to higher volume in all three disciplines and most importantly, consistency in my training.

I really tried to focus on my running over the past year and think two things were keys to my improvement:  1.) going from 3 runs/week to 4 runs/week (and being consistent as previously mentioned) and 2.) doing more free-standing 5K's early in the year as 'speed' work.  While I haven't seen the improvement I'd like to see yet, at least my run performance wasn't hurting me as much as in previously years. 

I'm going to stick to my regular off-season plan to do a HM in March, but am also going to work more on running off the bike over the winter.

Mark

2013-11-11 12:50 PM
in reply to: ligersandtions

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
It is very interesting! And, it may be that I come from a running background so I already had a strong base. I ran my marathons in my 20s and then added triathlon when I was almost thirty. I was already winning my age group in a lot of local races so my speed was there. However, with that being said I am JUST NOW going into my first full IM season so I may regret everything I said and realize how important running is. I think I always keep a pretty good base. I race with some VERY talented athletes and they just ream me on the bike but on the run my splits are often faster- even up to the HIM distance. Maybe our group is an exception because they are SO FAST on the bike. These are women I am talking about. It's always nice to hear differing opinions but in the spring and Olympic distances I still feel as if it's bike dominated. But, maybe as the distances get longer that's not how it is. I believe it. That marathon could kill you off at the end of an IM or even a HIM.

I love these types of discussions!
2013-11-11 12:51 PM
in reply to: midwesttrimom

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
And maybe running is tougher for those that just don't "like" it. I hear that from a lot of triathletes that dominate on the bike or in the water. ???
2013-11-11 1:04 PM
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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
Thank you for all the great feed back, it is nice to hear varying opinions.

I agree that one needs to be pretty strong in all three disciples to be successful (whatever that means to you...podium or just a personally awesome experience) at triathlon. I like the training and the challenge of it all.

For the record I am weak on the bike, but weaker on the run. The run I know I can improve, but I am not built as a cyclist ...I do not have (nor will I ever develop) power thighs. On both of my sprints I watched ladies blow past me...all had nice strong thighs. Not me, I have marathoner thighs. Long and lean.

I clicked on the Barry link, but can't make heads nor tails of it. Here is the plan that I am going to start with. It appears to have a nice slow start and build. I think it is very do-able for me. I am already running 3 days consistently, and add in a random 4th every other week or so? This starts at 4 and moves to 5 days. I will be not be doing the phase two, the full marathon training. After completing the build phase I will incorporate the biking to a well balanced tri training program.

http://www.marathontraining.com/marathon/m_mile.html


2013-11-11 1:26 PM
in reply to: ligersandtions

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
And, Nicole, you have boosted my ego because I am not a strong biker or swimmer. There' s hope for me in the long course races is what I am hearing. )) Yippeeeeeee
2013-11-11 9:01 PM
in reply to: dace

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
BarryP plan is pretty simple. You are going to run six days a week. Your longest run is a "3", you do two "2"s, and three "1"s. what you multiply those is up to you. Times one for miles, times thirty for minutes, etc. The pace? Slow. Very slow. Not a breathless conversation slow, a chatty conversation slow. If you run a 20 minute 5k, your page should be about 9:15mm. Yeah, that slow. Do that for a while. A long while. That's the plan. What you change over time is the number of miles, increasing. I find personally, 35-40 per week is about right. Anything less and I feel a drop off. I can say unequivocally this amount of running has made me a much better rider and swimmer. I hardly ever run fast, and even when I do, it's just a systems check. I can tell it's in there, and I don't let it out until day. I swear it makes no sense at all, but you have to run slow to run fast. And hoo boy, if you really follow the plan, can you run fast.....I'm just now starting to learn what I can do. Having had a beat up gas guzzler at first,it now feels like im driving a race car. Trust the process!
2013-11-11 9:02 PM
in reply to: midwesttrimom

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Subject: RE: Building Run Base
I can also vouch that being a strong biker and decent swimmer don't mean nada. Ride for show, run for dough! Figuratively of course, there is no actual money!
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