help me out tri's
Background is 35 years a distance runner with 12 marathons but or course now 52 years old. I took up cycling pretty serious in 2009 and have averaged about 4000 miles riding a year in addition to my 35-40 miles of running a week. So my overall endurance is great but my running speed is just awful. Seems to my training log about 2 years ago I notice I cannot run the first mile faster than 9:30 pace. Then I am ok and fall to my usual 8:30-9:00 pace. The first mile is just a real bear for coordination and getting my running form. Before I started cycling I normally need no warm up and could bang, out of the box a fast 1 mile that was at least my overall average for the run.
Does cycling ruin you running form and legs, and more importantly does it seem to throw off your "firing of the muscles" in terms of coordination? Could just be that after 70,000 miles of running my legs are just not what they once were but just wonder who much cycling has to do with the overall picture of running.
No I am not running at tri but figured someone here knows something I don't.
Deacon, first let me confess that I'm not expert so all I have to offer is MHO, for what that's worth.
I took up cycling at 61 and do between 6 - 8k mi a year for the past 4 years. Last year 9/12 I did my first sprint tri after training for 2 months. Since then I've done 4 more sprints, 2 internationals, and a half IM, and finished on the podium in all but the 1/2. I've never ran over 8 mi, and I had to walk the last 5 mi of the 13.1 of the half IM due to a sore hip. I was in a solid 2nd place on the swim and bike in the 1/2 up to mile 3 when I got passed, and after mi 8 most of the rest of the pack started passing me as I started walking. So that's my background.
I'm not sure if you are running after a bike which in "Tri" terms is called a brick, since that's what your feet feel like. Certainly I'm sure you will agree, as I think most triathletes, that on a brick the first mile or so is required to get settled into your running pace. But I'm going to assume that you are not referring to "brick" runs, but rather to days when you don't cycle but just go for a run.
Here are my thoughts. I'm not going to speculate about your running form, equipment, etc., since you have more experience than I. Other's can add their 2 cents on that.
1. Sorry, but you are getting older. Fact. It may or may not have something to do with your situation. With age comes aches and pains, etc. You may just require more stretching, warm up, etc.
2. Do you seem to have more stiffness, aches, and pains in the morning than you used to have? In addition to aging, you may have inflammation. Get your dr to check your c reactive proteins and other inflammation markers. This can be hereditary, injury related, or due to carbohydrate overload. Too many Age Grouper/Weekend Warriors fall prey to false premise that they need to suck down carbs to perform, but all they are doing is prepping their body for heart disease, hyper tension, and type 2 diabetes. Eschew all the hammer hype and look into a low glycemic index diet. You will start burning fat for fuel, it will lower your cholesterol, BP, and help alleviate any morning stiffness, aches, and pains.
3. Check your pedal stroke. Are you pedaling in circles at high cadence and low effort, or are you a low cadence "masher," applying power only on the down stroke?
4. What kind of bike are you riding? Did you get a pro fit, or just a quick LBS seat/handle bar adjustment? There is more than one reason serious Triathletes ride "TT" bikes. Besides being faster due to the areo dynamics of the bike and body position, the fit allows you to use different muscles and a road bike, and helps preserve you legs for the run.
5. Do you have a trainer/coach? If you are really serious and can afford it, it is well worth the $. Even for running. You may have fallen into some bad habits, and again, you are not the same person as you were 5 yrs ago.
I guess that's enough food for thought. Good luck. Keep us posted.
I am similar to you. I was into distance running and then moved into triathlons. I found my running speed actually increased and that was with going from 5 - 6 days a week running to 2 days a week running. I think I may have been overtraining before. It may be that your running muscles have been somehow altered by the biking but that doesn't seem likely. How has your running training change? Are you taking rest days between hard workouts?
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