I am runner and although I do not do Tri's I find that my cycling is great but my running is getting so slow. Normally I would train at 8:40 to 9:10 pace for a usual 7 mile daily run. Now after 6 years of cycling I find running to be "off balance." I have can ride great up to 200-250 miles a week at 18-19 mph but trying to go back to running I find 9:30 miles a struggle. I just cannot coordinate my legs to run smooth. Can cycling cause your muscles to fire in a way that confuses the body? I have maintained about 30-35 miles of running a week but I do not want to give up running. If if I drop to 20 mpw running and do 200 plus riding then I wonder if I should quit worrying about how fast I run. I can say on the bike I just get on an haul my little butt as fast as possible it feels like the only thing holding me back is if I am tired. Trying to run hard seems to just make things worse.
Ok, I am 53 years old have I lost my running for good?
Have you changed up your schedule at all? I find that I pace a solid 30 seconds/mile slower (running) the day after a solid bike ride, for the same amount of perceived effort. I figure I'm getting just as good a workout and settle for the increased time. I have taken significant time off my half marathon PR this summer following this strategy, so I assume it's decent enough.
Another thing I can think of would be to try switching around your run workout for some variety. Do you always run a steady state, or do you try hills, tempos, etc to change things up?
And you seem to be doing a lot; it is always good to take a recovery week once a month or so. (I try to do 70-80% of the previous week's mileage.) Maybe you just need a break to get your legs feeling good again?
If you have been maintaining 30-35 miles a week while doing 200+ miles on the bike you are doing pretty good. I am surprised that your running has tapered off even though you are running likely five times a week.
(Stereotyping here) I will say the good runners tend to have small, lean calves while cyclist tend to develop larger calves. I remember a huge discussion on a running forum where the debate centered around the performance loss in runners with larger calves.
You may need to balance your training better. It could be that your overall time / position will improve by moving some training away from cycling and into running. Not sure what distance you are training for but giving up 30 seconds a mile on the run is a lot of time.
I normally would say overtraining is the issue but I do think some firing of the muscles have changed. I do deal with some lower back arthritis/disc issues but I do not have any back pain. I do get pain sitting at times in my left butt numerous things I had checked with MRI and PT last year. It comes and goes but does not hurt to run or ride as such, and mostly only after I am done running. At 53 I just have cut back and realize I cannot keep it up. If I simply ran I am sure my training pace would improve but I love the bike. I do not train for anything anymore did marathons years ago but not need to do that. I just run and ride for stress relief but frankly I would like to every once in awhile run a few hard sub 8 minutes miles. Yesterday I ran 7 miles in 64:45 about 9:15 pace. I could have with not much more effort run another 4 miles at that pace or close to 1/2 marathon, but ask me to run 3 8 minute miles I a row I just could not, nothing to do with have the wind just slow legs.