I was just looking over the newly posted training April training plan and I have a quick question about the running workouts. I noticed that for the most part we're still only doing 1 run a week (longer but still infrequent), and I'm getting nervous about the ever shorten amount of time between now and the race.
Running is my weakest sport by far and I have worked my way up to doing 15:30 min/miles in Z1-2 and I'm still only going about 2 miles at a time. I am making improvements, for sure, but I wonder if I'm starting so far behind the normal curve of running ability that I won't make enough improvements to run the race in June.
Does the training plan assume a certain base level of running ability? And if so, should I be doing something additional to help my running rather than just the increasingly longer one day a week scheduled runs?
First off, we're only 8 weeks into the 20 week program, so you still have plenty of time. Don't start freaking out just yet. :)
Secondly, the plan does not really assume a certain running ability to begin with. The one run a week is building up your base slowly. The cycling is also going to help cross-train you to also develop your running base.
For week 11 of the sprint training plan or week 10 of the olympic training plan, you will begin to have 2 runs per week. These will slowly begin to ramp up in time and zone as the training plan progresses. So you will definitely begin getting more runs in soon.
I believe this is done because running has the most impact on your body and can do the most damage (unless you fall on your bike or something), so the plan is designed to help build up an athletic and cardio base (swimming, cycling and minimal running) before you really begin to ramp up the running and put a lot more physical stress on your body.
However, if you really feel running is your weakest sport, the training plan is adaptable and you can trade one of the cycling days for an additional running day. But remember to obey the 10% rule for running distances and keep the zone training for the added run equivalent to the other run that occurs in that training week.
Hopefully that helps. :)
2010 NTP Co-Leader
Thanks, that's really helpful. Though 8 weeks means we're nearly halfway done! Totally far enough in for me to start worrying, I say.
Thanks for asking the question. I've experienced a similar lack of speediness in Zone 1-2 and was starting to feel frustrated, so you are not alone.