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Running as a second language

Old 05-02-20, 08:34 PM
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Running as a second language

Hi,
recreational cyclist here, have a bike trainer at home and use it casually, 1-2x a week, going by feel rather than by a plan. Got tempted into giving running a try and have started the couch to 5k program (essentially running 3x a week with increasing intensity). Not wanting to injure, what are good approaches to keep cycle training up while going through the c25k program? My muscles have been pretty sore from the first runs and I have been resting them, instead of doing any trainer exercise. I'd like to keep cycle training up somewhat, but also not overload my body.

Thanks!
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Old 05-02-20, 09:58 PM
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Running is an impact sport. It takes your body a few weeks to dear with this new stress. But it'll get better. They'll compete down the line for your CV system.
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Old 05-03-20, 09:15 AM
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Am I going to wreck my recovery from running, if I keep cycle training going on non-running days while I'm starting the sport of running?
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Old 05-03-20, 09:22 AM
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I highly recommend taking-up some kind of exercise that puts some stress on your bones as it's necessary for long-term bone health. The human body wasn't designed to ride a bicycle, so years of bike riding w/o any other kind of cross-training will not bode well for your body.

Articles like the following make a case for running and cycling:
https://www.peakendurancesport.com/e...w-stay-strong/

Heck, being a triathlete is probably an even better plan as the swimming works your upper body... something running and cycling completely neglect.
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Old 05-03-20, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by alias5000 View Post
Hi,
recreational cyclist here, have a bike trainer at home and use it casually, 1-2x a week, going by feel rather than by a plan. Got tempted into giving running a try and have started the couch to 5k program (essentially running 3x a week with increasing intensity). Not wanting to injure, what are good approaches to keep cycle training up while going through the c25k program? My muscles have been pretty sore from the first runs and I have been resting them, instead of doing any trainer exercise. I'd like to keep cycle training up somewhat, but also not overload my body.

Thanks!
Yeah, your body's response is the reason that tri is so challenging. Thing is, riding a trainer casually 1-2 times/week means you weren't in cycling shape before you started running, so naturally you're sore. I'm in good cycling shape, so even though I'm old I can go out and run 2-3 miles if I want to, a few times a year, without getting particularly sore or cutting more than 1 or 2 days out of my 5-6 days/week cycling training. The way to do what you want is to work up to mare miles and frequency very slowly.

That 5k plan was not written for you personally, to achieve your goals, by a coach. Toss it. You are self-coached, so you have to figure out what works for you and your goals. We can't coach you either, other than to set out reasonable principles. You can pedal when your legs are sore, but the sorer they are, the less time and effort, all the way down to 30' of very easy spinning. If your legs are only a tiny bit sore, you can probably pedal your normal trainer workout. You'll have to experiment to see what works for you. I wouldn't advise running with sore legs. Use the trainer to work the soreness out and gain cycling fitness, use the running to get tired and gain running fitness. To start with, I suggest not increasing running distance or cycling time per day. Rather increase the frequency of both.

You'll find you can reduce your running soreness by using the shuffle technique and trying to get cadence up. Here's a good how-to video:
Form is everything.
When you can run, say 2 days and cycle 3 per week, start increasing your running distance and experimenting with the gazelle technique:

Don't take my suggestions too seriously. Just experiment. Let us know how it's going after a few weeks.
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Old 05-03-20, 07:31 PM
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Carbonfiberboy is dead on here: Form is everything.

Running is an entirely separate discipline with very different demands on the body. Cycling is fairly static, you are relatively locked into position. Running incorporates the entirety of the body dynamically, including all the little muscles, tendons, discs, flexibility, etc. Running a 5k is easy, running a 5k comfortably is a different story. Take your time. Learn your body. Study good form, see where you lack, and train to fix it. As Carbon showed, start with the "Ultra-shuffle", then slowly work your speed up. Be smart and avoid injury.

Years ago I started running by shuffling at 6mph or so. Over time, I studied, stretched, practiced foot strikes, improved hip and upper body mobility, and just put hours on my feet. I can do a half marathon on a 7 minute mile pretty comfortably now, but it took time, practice and above all patience.

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Old 05-05-20, 08:21 PM
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As usual, very good answers by Carbonfiberboy and others. Thank you!
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Old 05-07-20, 09:01 AM
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Running ahhhh. Different mentality.

Think about it almost starting from zero on the bike. You don't want to hurt yourself.

Start at maybe 15min per run every other day. Over a couple weeks add 5min per run. No intensity. Z1/Z2 level running. Maybe even Galloway run/walk.

Then, after a couple months, add some intensity. 4x400's and such. Hill sprints. Just one of those runs per week. Do a 5k test or mile test. THEN get into a real training plan once you have some bases.

I think a lot of the intro running stuff ramps the distance or time too quickly to get those "bucket list" 1/2 or full marathoners to the finish line.

Once you have a base running, keep it. Don't treat it as a once per month "filler" for not riding the bike. Otherwise you'll only be doing low Z2 or Z1 running junk miles. If you keep up with it, you can do a legit "filler" workout to substitute the bike.

It's taken me a few months, but I can now go do a 40ish minute tempo run at lunch anytime a bike that day isn't an option. If it is a bike heavy week, I just do a couple 30min runs that week to warmup before the bike or while kids watch tv before bed to keep it up.

40ish min at tempo on a well established routine is good aerobic work towards the bike. 20min of awkward junk miles once per month is nothing but inviting injury and a waste of time. I'd say do core/yoga instead if that's all it will be.

I'm not a duathlete, but I feel any self respecting cyclist should be able to run a 5k healthily any day. Meaning, not in pain and able to 'get after it'. And their 5k time should be within a minute either side of what they could do a 10mi TT in on the bicycle.

It's taken a couple years, but I'm at about 22min for both right now on an "optimal" day and route. And I'm very pleased with that. I'm not elite in either, still slow for a true runner's 5k time by far. But I feel more balanced athletically.
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Old 05-07-20, 11:42 AM
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I'm on the OP's C25K program right now, trying it out for myself, keeping the bike hard days, subbing run days in for the bike easy days. I'm curious about everything. I also do morning stretches and calisthenics, now only doing those on run days. That increases recovery time for me. So far, so good. I'll report back after a month or so. The C25K program starts much easier than the sheep burner suggests. There is a historical monument on Hwy 20 here which told the story of a great sheep slaughter. https://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/22188
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Old 05-07-20, 01:14 PM
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Good form is absolutely important and I don't disagree with anything here. But I am worried that someone starting from scratch almost will try to fix his form, perhaps even his step-rate and running style. And I think that's a big mistake that invites injury and, probably, could set you back months in getting into running shape. Unless there's something really wrong with a runner's technique he's better off, at the beginning, of not trying to change his stride, his step rate, where his foot falls, what his hips do and so on. Run naturally and work on it being smoother, less wasted motion, eliminate bad habits over the miles. Form tends to naturally improve when we put the work in, and then it's helpful if there's someone who knows what he's doing observes and tells us where we're wrong somewhere. A lot of trainers and physiologists agree with that, some don't, so take it or leave it.

I started a few years ago and I did change ... everything. I had no choice; my lower body just wouldn't take the stresses of my "normal" running style. Doing that automatically hurt my form - because hot having elite coordination it has to be trained - and changing to a high step rate, changing the foot strike, and a few other things on top of trying to get into shape at the same time it was almost too much. Nagging stingers for at least a year. I'd have much rather just built up my distance and pace running as I always had, and then experimented with form, had I been able to.

In short I just want to caution don't let perfect be the enemy of good, or even just good enough, when the immediate priority is running yourself into shape.
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Old 05-07-20, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
II'll report back after a month or so.
Good luck and a report back would be appreciated. Though a month might be a bit early with that program.
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Old 05-07-20, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
In short I just want to caution don't let perfect be the enemy of good, or even just good enough, when the immediate priority is running yourself into shape.
That's a nice way of putting it
I'm trying this partially because of extrinsic social motivation, changes in my life that in some ways are more compatible with shorter workouts (kid) and to have more reasons to be active outside. So, good enough is definitely good enough.
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Old 05-07-20, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by alias5000 View Post
... what are good approaches to keep cycle training up while going through the c25k program? My muscles have been pretty sore from the first runs and I have been resting them, instead of doing any trainer exercise. I'd like to keep cycle training up somewhat, but also not overload my body.

Thanks!
Ride the bike easy on your off days. It's called "active recovery" - you can google it. Just gets the blood flowing through the muscles.

Tip: You can help limit your pace by only breathing through your nose.
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Old 05-11-20, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post

I'm not a duathlete, but I feel any self respecting cyclist should be able to run a 5k healthily any day. Meaning, not in pain and able to 'get after it'. And their 5k time should be within a minute either side of what they could do a 10mi TT in on the bicycle.
I think I must be a better runner than a cyclist. My 5km time is ~21 minutes but I'd be pretty happy to do a 10mi TT in 26. This despite the majority of my training (particularly the hard stuff) being on a bike.
Or perhaps it just means my TT position sucks (I'm pretty sure this is true).
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Old 05-11-20, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
I think I must be a better runner than a cyclist. My 5km time is ~21 minutes but I'd be pretty happy to do a 10mi TT in 26. This despite the majority of my training (particularly the hard stuff) being on a bike.
Or perhaps it just means my TT position sucks (I'm pretty sure this is true).
I have done 24min on like 230w once. Super ideal day.

Pretty sure my CdA is 0.200 or better the power some of my rides are versus speed.
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Old 05-12-20, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
I have done 24min on like 230w once. Super ideal day.

Pretty sure my CdA is 0.200 or better the power some of my rides are versus speed.
I'm quite sure my CdA is bad. Based on my duathlon ride portion 235 watts would put me at ~28 minutes.
But, I'm not really surprised/disappointed by that. It was really just me putting some clip-on aero bars on my (endurance) road bike. If/when I get a dedicated TT bike and actually work on my position, I've got room to improve.
But I do think I'm likely a better natural runner than cyclist. At least around where I live which is mostly flat. My smallish size helps more for running.
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Old 05-12-20, 02:32 PM
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I'm interested in your experience in refining your running form. Running is already strenuous, but an added difficulty is simultaneously analyzing the minute movements of our body's complex mechanics. A theory of mine is that foot striking is of particular importance, as adjustments I've made in this area seem to result in other beneficial adaptations, so that I need only focus on a single part rather than a multitude. It was recommended that the ball rather than the heel of the foot should contact the ground first, however I've found the best point is somewhere between the middle.
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Old 05-12-20, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MeagreAger View Post
I'm interested in your experience in refining your running form. Running is already strenuous, but an added difficulty is simultaneously analyzing the minute movements of our body's complex mechanics. A theory of mine is that foot striking is of particular importance, as adjustments I've made in this area seem to result in other beneficial adaptations, so that I need only focus on a single part rather than a multitude. It was recommended that the ball rather than the heel of the foot should contact the ground first, however I've found the best point is somewhere between the middle.
If you watch slomo videos of modern elite runners, heel touches the ground first, but only to pivot the foot so that the midfoot takes the loading. I don't see anyone other than sprinters touching down first with the ball. I tried ball contact for distance running in my early 20s and got a permanent foot injury out of it. I know there's a lot of forefoot strike advice out on the interwebs, but I don't see it on the road.

Check out the split sceen YT in post 5. There's a part 2 to that, here:

I use a GPS watch containing an internal accelerometer so I can see cadence without a foot pod. I watch HR, cadence, and speed and look at the post-run graphs to see where I did better and where I need to improve..I work on straight back, upright stance, foot landing below body, some hip pivot, and keeping the cadence up.
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Old 05-19-20, 01:20 PM
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Not wanting to injure, what are good approaches to keep cycle training up while going through the c25k program?
Did anyone come up with specific advice on this part? I wind up eliminating one or two days of intensity on either running or cycling or both - if I'm not careful it all becomes easy/recovery efforts which is OK health-wise but not helpful to progress. So personally I have no answer to it.
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Old 05-20-20, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Did anyone come up with specific advice on this part? I wind up eliminating one or two days of intensity on either running or cycling or both - if I'm not careful it all becomes easy/recovery efforts which is OK health-wise but not helpful to progress. So personally I have no answer to it.
Still in the same boat, I also just ended up losing intensity training on the bike so far. That isn't quite ideal. Maybe as my starter program ends, I might be better able to rebalance between running and cycling.
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Old 05-21-20, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Did anyone come up with specific advice on this part? I wind up eliminating one or two days of intensity on either running or cycling or both - if I'm not careful it all becomes easy/recovery efforts which is OK health-wise but not helpful to progress. So personally I have no answer to it.
I don't know about advice. Everyone's different and everyone's recovery and training history is different. So no advice. My wife and I are only on week 3 of C25K. So far, we've been eliminating our 30' Z1 recovery days and putting the walk/run in their place. This week, we did:
Sunday: 52 miles, 2750' on the tandem
Monday: 3.5 hour 1000' hike
Tuesday: C25K
Wednesday: rest
and will do:
Thursday: FTP test + C25K
Friday: C25K
Saturday: rest
Sunday: tandem for 60 miles, 2600'
Monday: 4 hour hike
and etc. I'm a geezer and my recovery gets worse every year now. I'm pushing it as hard as I can and I know just where that point is. We're running a total weekly TSS in the mid-500s.

These are our first 2 hikes of the year, mostly due to lockdown, but also to late low snow levels. I realized on the first hike that my ability to go out on a 3 mile trail run without having run previously all year is due to our almost weekly 3-6 hour day hike. I'm enjoying the C25K and will continue with it. Our weak point the past couple of years has been our 10-day unsupported backpack which we've done once a year for the past 40+ years. I'm thinking that keeping a running program going should help. The one hike/week has now become insufficient for humping a 50 lb. pack in the mountains for 10 days. Well, not that bad. It only weighs 35 on the way out. It's well known that getting old sucks.

I'm a cyclist, not a runner anymore. Cycling will continue to be my focus.
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Old 05-26-20, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Good form is absolutely important and I don't disagree with anything here. But I am worried that someone starting from scratch almost will try to fix his form, perhaps even his step-rate and running style. And I think that's a big mistake that invites injury and, probably, could set you back months in getting into running shape. Unless there's something really wrong with a runner's technique he's better off, at the beginning, of not trying to change his stride, his step rate, where his foot falls, what his hips do and so on. Run naturally and work on it being smoother, less wasted motion, eliminate bad habits over the miles. Form tends to naturally improve when we put the work in, and then it's helpful if there's someone who knows what he's doing observes and tells us where we're wrong somewhere. A lot of trainers and physiologists agree with that, some don't, so take it or leave it.

I started a few years ago and I did change ... everything. I had no choice; my lower body just wouldn't take the stresses of my "normal" running style. Doing that automatically hurt my form - because hot having elite coordination it has to be trained - and changing to a high step rate, changing the foot strike, and a few other things on top of trying to get into shape at the same time it was almost too much. Nagging stingers for at least a year. I'd have much rather just built up my distance and pace running as I always had, and then experimented with form, had I been able to.

In short I just want to caution don't let perfect be the enemy of good, or even just good enough, when the immediate priority is running yourself into shape.
Was once a moderately competitive middle-distance runner. At a time when I often put in 150+ miles per week of cycling in. Definitely, the "impact" nature of running competes with many of the body's repair-rebuilding efforts, so you do need to balance your exercising to not overwhelm it. Can take a very long time (a good year or two, or more), for many people to change into "runners" to the point where frequent runs cause aches, issues. That said ...

Assuming you're of an age and health where doing the impact sport of running isn't going to damage anything ...

Take it slow. Start with local sports track, and see if you can do a single lap or two. Do it again. Then again. Note how you're feeling. Note what aches occur, and when. Be reasonably well-stretched. Be reasonably well-hydrated, if you're going to do it for anything more than a half hour. See how it goes. When that becomes a big "nothing burger" in terms of aches and strains and challenge, bump it up to 1mi (4 laps of that track). Do a mile at one shot ... then another, if you can ... then another if you can. Starting slow. At a speed where you could easily carry on a conversation with a running buddy.

At some point, it'll all feel unchallenging, not presenting any real effort for your willpower or your muscles. At which point, you ought to be able to do multiple-mile runs, now and then. Gradually ramp up the frequency of these until you're feeling a bit "puffed" at the end, or realize you've required an additional recovery day in order to feel top-notch again. You're butting up against your body's stamina, during such times. An indication you're starting to push things.

Gradually, you ought to find the "sweet" spot where you're challenging the muscles and cardio sufficiently to matter, but not over-doing things. And, gradually, you ought to improve your cardio, improve your muscles, gain greater joint and bone strength (from the stresses and pounding), etc. Takes time. Rushing it can, with most people, lead to injuries. Caution.

Ensure you hydrate well, throughout the day. Running can take a lot out of you, at higher intensities. Trust me when I say that dehydration during running can be dangerous, even fatal. It's nothing to fool with. Electrolytes might also be an issue, if you're a "sweater" and/or if you go for runs >1hr in duration.

Be reasonably well-stretched. Many "schools" of thought on the question of stretching. Myself, I appreciate a limber, flexible, strong body and the difference it can make in performance. Being two different disciplines, it's a balance as to how much of one (with its related stretching) you might want to do as compared to the other. Wasn't going to win many races in running, and was never going to win a race in cycling, but I was okay for 15-20mi runs and 50mi+ rides, without injuries. Over the better part of two decades. It all worked out. So long as I didn't over-do it. Good sleep, good fueling, hydration, reasonable stretching, reasonable recovery, ramping-up training slow, mixing training (cross training) to activate different aspects of strength and stamina ... and taking enough time to allow such training to show its good effects.

Hard to be more specific without knowing more about your specific situation. (Which is what serious trainers are for.) But those basics ought to get you started.

I'd get a very good pair of well-padded running shoes. Wear a pair of decently-padded socks, too, such as the Thorlos extra-padded running socks. (Thorlos is having a great clearance sale on them, right now, BTW. Limits on sizes, but if they're your size ...)

If able, I'd focus on softer surfaces for much of your running, as opposed to cement or asphalt. Easier on the feet, ankles, shins, knees. If you've got some dirt trails nearby, or sandy coastline, or a softer and springier Track & Field facility you can use ... those are great alternatives that can be most valuable when your body's still learning how to deal with all the pounding involved. Pays dividends in the long run, as well, ultimately having thousands of miles under your belt on softer surfaces as compared to having done it all on concrete. Fewer injuries are likely, better recovery, feeling better during runs, etc. All good things. If you can't easily run to such a spot, bike or ride (the car) there for your running. (I used to cycle somewhere, run a couple hours, then cycle back; great training that puts different demands on the body.)

Eat a wide range of nutrient-dense foods. Your body's going to need the tools for rebuilding and recovery. Particularly as you get into the >20mi/wk range, if you go there.

Good massage on the feet and legs can help, as well. (As with most physically-demanding sports.)

If you're only going to be doing <= 5-10mi/wk, I wouldn't worry too much about all that stuff. But for greater distances, greater time out on a run, or rougher terrain, it's going to demand things of your body that many other sports simply do not.

Adjust as needed, since everyone's body, age, ability to recover, nutrients varies from person to person.

JMO
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