I have been following the training plans to the letter for the last 2 1/2 months. I noticed that we are doing significantly less running than swimming and cycling. Running is my biggest weakness (as anyone at the weekly runs knows). Should I be adding another run during the week? Would it be a bad idea to do so?
Tri training tends to be heavy on the bike, since you will spend more time on your bike than running during your race. But most of the training on your schedule has two runs per week. Also, you are just getting into the meatiest part of the training, and if you look at your schedule for May, you should see that your runs are getting longer and your swims are staying the same, so you should be getting in more running over the next several weeks. I would not add any running to your schedule, as running tends to be much harder on your body than swimming or biking. Hope this helps.
As someone who has a runnning background (11 marathons), I can tell you that cycling will help your running more than you will realize when it comes to triathlons. Have faith and stick to whatever program it is that you are doing. If you want to run more, run more but I wouldn't do much more than what your training program recommends.
You have to ask yourself as to what you are training for. If you are training for a road race then of course you need a lot of running time. If you are training for a triathlon then you need to take a step back and see the big picture or let someone (i.e., a training program) guide you if you don't know your way around. In my opinion, the advantage of cycling more outweighs the gain from running more.
Swimming is iffy. A good/great swimmer can swim less and still do well in triathlons. An average to poor swimmer will need more pool time. If you are a good swimmer then trading some of those swim time for run time may yield better results. Definitely don't trade anthying for bike time ... unless of course you are a great biker.
As a Recovering Marathoner, I would not recommend more running. You'll just stress yourself out and increase your risk of injury as running has the highest impact on the body. I've started reading up on Tri training (instead of my usualy approach of just winging it and hoping for the best). What I've read is to work on the biking and do shorter runs; try to figure out how to effectively bike and then make the transition to running is more important than logging the additional miles.
Still Recovering ... signed up for MCM 2009.
I usually recommend quality runs over more mileage or days running. Try to get in 1 or 2 workouts at or below your goal race pace. You may need to build up to this pace, so start with a few faster sprints as part of your normal run. Then over time, increase the distance that you run faster. Keep the faith, you'll become a stronger runner.
i have to agree with amy in a way.
you will spend more time comparatively training on the bike since the distances traveled and training for it tend to take up "more time" comparatively both in the race itself and training than running does, afterall you can bike 2 hours but try doing that running even at an easy pace and its tough.
like tuan, i have a running background, unlike him i hate marathons with a passion, and after 11 years of triathlons, i have never found that cycling has helped my running at all, or vice versa. the only thing that has helped running or cycling fitness for me is doing cycling or running for each sport.
Is one of us wrong? who knows, but take from it that everyone is different.
I suggest you do the training plan set out for you.
If it works then you know it works for you, Great. If it doesn't then you have learned that one particular training plan may not be the best for you, and then you change it to better suit your needs.
Its a learning process. Have fun with the process that is what makes triathlons fun.
I read this discussion thread with great interest. I am also a former marathoner - only two races, and was training for my third, the NYC Marathon in '06, when I had to pull out due to injury six weeks before the race. looking back on it, I wish I had just done it because I had done a 20-mile training run at the point I pulled out, and when you're that far you can go full marathon distance, but I was in such pain at the time I just didn't see how I could continue.
I loved running marathons, and even enjoyed training for them (Masochistic, I know), except in '06, and was sad when my marathon career temporarily came to an end. I got the bug to start doing tris and signed up for NPT this year (good decision so far) because I was riding the couch way too much, put on some weight, and felt a little depressed at not being able to run long distances anymore.
I would NOT add running at this point in the program. The point of the program, or any long-term training program like this one, is to safely build our endurance and get to race day without injury. Running is so enjoyable, but sadly, it is really hard on the body. swimming and cycling are not so hard on the joints and have a lot of the same benefits - improved endurance, stamina, fitness, well-being, etc. For me, I've actually been happy that there've been fewer runs - for me it means less pain and frustration! I never used to do a lot of cycling and have been pleasantly surprised to discover how much I enjoy it (now that I'm more comfortable with clipless pedals!).
I'll add my endorsement to the "cycling helps running" camp - before signing up for NTP I was never much of a cyclist, but obviously was a runner and am a strong swimmer - I have put a lot of my attention and focus on the bike and have noticed that I when I run now, I'm able to go just a little faster (nice) and with no pain (key for me) - it's made running much more enjoyable than it was when I was hard core marathon training and consequently building up an injury. I had some really painful runs back then.
It's also helpful to just keep the faith that the training program as laid out will get us all to our goal of doing the race. It's sequenced the way it is for a reason, and the folks who designed it knew what they were doing. I'd just keep following it to the letter as you have been. No worries, you WILL get there. And during the race, since you spent a lot of time cycling in training, when the run rolls around after the swim and bike, you'll feel super conditioned and ready to run, which will be a lot better for you.