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3plus2 Training with cycling

Old 03-22-11, 07:10 PM
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3plus2 Training with cycling

I'm not sure if anyone is familiar with 3plus2 running training program by FIRST. They have a book called Run Less Run Faster by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss. Basically, training consists of 3 quality running days, tempo run, interval run, and long run. And 2 days of cross training like cycling or swimming. This lets you focus on your hard days as well as work on your cardiovascular system during your non-running days. Also, this avoids "garbage miles" and less likely to over-train.

I'm going to start incorporating this training method with cycling. I'm going to have three hard cycling days per week, tempo ride, interval ride, and long ride. And 2 days per week, I'm going to run for about 40-60 minutes at moderate pace. I think this is going to be very beneficial as in the past, I would ride too much on my recovery days even when my quads are sore from hard interval ride from day before.

Does anybody do training that's similar to this?
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Old 03-22-11, 07:16 PM
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I made one mistake. Sometimes, I ride 4 times a week, and run either once or twice a week. The fourth ride would be some easy ride.

Also, I'm training to race in crits.
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Old 03-23-11, 05:51 AM
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Any training you can do for cardio system 5 days a week is too low an intensity to be maximally effective. The heart is a muscle like any other and needs recovery days. So the above should be ok as long - but only if - those two running days are kept at very moderate intensity.

But I think you'd do better with 3-4 cycling days a week and something like yoga on recovery days. Working on flexibility will let you get into a faster position on the bike - big advantage - and strengthen your core, and it's possible that yoga may aid recovery. Just watch out for yoga teachers who encourage overstretching or holding a stretch too long.
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Old 03-23-11, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by BummBull View Post
I'm going to start incorporating this training method with cycling. I'm going to have three hard cycling days per week, tempo ride, interval ride, and long ride. And 2 days per week, I'm going to run for about 40-60 minutes at moderate pace. I think this is going to be very beneficial as in the past, I would ride too much on my recovery days even when my quads are sore from hard interval ride from day before.

Does anybody do training that's similar to this?
If you're training to race you should read Friel's training bible or some other training book. You shouldn't have a problem riding 6 or 7 days/week. Cycling is not as hard on the body as running so there is no need to limit your time on the bike. It sounds like in the past you may have started harder intervals before having an adequate base.
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Old 03-23-11, 06:21 PM
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I've read Friel's book as well. I don't think I've started harder intervals without adequate base in the past b/c I've followed Friel's training method with about 3 months of solid base. I want to try this training out and see if it will work for me. I think in cycling, it's very easy to accumulate garbage miles and ride mediocre every day so I'm hoping this training will suit me better.
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Old 03-23-11, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by BummBull View Post
I've read Friel's book as well. I don't think I've started harder intervals without adequate base in the past b/c I've followed Friel's training method with about 3 months of solid base. I want to try this training out and see if it will work for me. I think in cycling, it's very easy to accumulate garbage miles and ride mediocre every day so I'm hoping this training will suit me better.
That's good logic. The question is, how will moderate paced running contribute to crit performance? Other giving you something to do. Yoga and core exercises will let you be more aero, slow riding (ideally with a heart monitor set to scream if you exert yourself) can help hone pedalling efficiency (maybe) or even be used for bike handling practice. But running??? Moderate paced running shouldn't tax your cardio system if you're interval training. And if it did, you wouldn't be allowing the heart the time it needs to rest, repair and supercompensate.
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Old 03-23-11, 07:55 PM
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I guess I wasn't thinking too much about resting my heart. I want to be able to add more cardio without wearing down my legs. I think it's easy to over train my legs, but I wasn't thinking that I could over train my heart. I should do more research about that.
I was more concerned with resting my legs for cycling for the hard days. Even on easy days, it's just so easy to go longer than intended or riding with little effort up a hill, or riding into the headwind making my legs little tired for my hard rides.
I do strength training following this website, simplefit.org. I do level 6 currently. It's very easy to follow, and I definitely get my core worked out doing bunch of push ups and pull ups. I'll look into adding yoga, but I just haven't been a huge fan in the past b/c I get so bored with it, and I didn't see much help.
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Old 03-24-11, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by BummBull View Post
I guess I wasn't thinking too much about resting my heart. I want to be able to add more cardio without wearing down my legs. I think it's easy to over train my legs, but I wasn't thinking that I could over train my heart. I should do more research about that.
I was more concerned with resting my legs for cycling for the hard days. Even on easy days, it's just so easy to go longer than intended or riding with little effort up a hill, or riding into the headwind making my legs little tired for my hard rides.
Perhaps you need to have a very focussed mission for these days. Go out, do cornering drill slaloming between markers in some car park or whatever, go home? With an HRM set to scream if you work too hard, following a pre-set route.

I do strength training following this website, simplefit.org. I do level 6 currently. It's very easy to follow, and I definitely get my core worked out doing bunch of push ups and pull ups. I'll look into adding yoga, but I just haven't been a huge fan in the past b/c I get so bored with it, and I didn't see much help.
I share your feelings on yoga. But other than stronger legs and better cardio, flexibility is the main way to add speed - riders who can ride more of the time in the drops with a low stem have a real advantage.

My understanding is that it is quite hard to overtrain the heart in the sense of doing damage. But it is a muscle like any other, so if you're trying to develop a crit-worthy heart it needs intense stress and then decent rest so that it can supercompensate. Training for a crit isn't like training for a triathlon - you need a much higher top for those tactical sprints. So the problem of trying to fit running in with cycling is much more difficult for you, and you're looking at a very questionable gain.

Also: I'm really not sure that running on recovery days will be good for you. Again, triathletes get away with it, but that doesn't mean it is optimal. Trying to use a muscle (at more than the equivalent of walking pace) that should be recovering seems dubious to me. There's one set of tasks it needs to perform for recovery, another for effort - is confusing it a good idea? I'd really want to see some very detailed studies. Even if Run Less, Run Faster is valid on its own terms, I'm dubious about applying it on "reverse" to crit racing - it seems to be aimed at marathon runners, who are training to meet a completely different metabolic challenge. They don't need to develop a crit racer's sprint ability, so they need less rest for supercompensation, and cross-training serves the purpose of saving their knees.
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Old 03-24-11, 07:23 AM
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I'll be a guinea pig with this experiment to see if this type of training will be optimal for me. I personally think this will work for someone like me who's a typical endurance athlete who tends to overtrain by doing too much. Atleast this will force myself to rest my cycling muscles on rest days. I will let you know if this experiment will be complete success, in-between, inconclusive, or utter failure.
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Old 03-24-11, 07:59 AM
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Does anybody do training that's similar to this?
Yes, no maybe, some of the time.

C'mon, hardly anyone can get training for one sport right. The idea of you coming out at making a case for some multi-sport training program is as silly as it gets.

For instance, what's your point? Are you claiming that dividing your training effort makes you better for both sports?

Go back to basics, state your current training status, state your goals, and then tell us why your new miracle program is so GA GA worthy.......

I've got some beach front property in Japan for sale, anyone interested? Or maybe buy one of Carmichael's books first?
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Old 03-24-11, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by BummBull View Post
I'll be a guinea pig with this experiment to see if this type of training will be optimal for me. I personally think this will work for someone like me who's a typical endurance athlete who tends to overtrain by doing too much. Atleast this will force myself to rest my cycling muscles on rest days. I will let you know if this experiment will be complete success, in-between, inconclusive, or utter failure.
I don't see how you can tell anyone anything about the effectiveness of this program from your experiences - no control group, hmm? You'd only get a meaningful answer if you had a twin cycling four days a week and resting three.

I think the bottom line is that, at best, you'll be wasting time. The book's logic of cycling or swimming for moderate cardio to avoid knee damage and planar facilitis makes perfect sense within the steady state training paradigm for that level of exertion. But none of these apply to your adaptation of it - you're training for a completely different level of maximum effort, you're not at risk of pf or knee injuries from running (instead you are adding that risk!) and you should be using intervals. And you'll lose the chance at one intense training day and at least one skills training day - and skills matter in crit much more than any other road event. This is a big "Does not compute!"

All the same, good luck! And at least your idea has made me think and do some interesting research.

Last edited by meanwhile; 03-24-11 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 03-24-11, 09:09 AM
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You're right, this isn't scientific research where I'll have a control group so I'll have no idea if this training will be truly beneficial or not. But to me, this training method makes sense, and I hope to race hard this season.
I'll make sure to do cornering drills after my intervals today.
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Old 03-24-11, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by BummBull View Post
You're right, this isn't scientific research where I'll have a control group so I'll have no idea if this training will be truly beneficial or not. But to me, this training method makes sense, and I hope to race hard this season.
I'll make sure to do cornering drills after my intervals today.
I think you're wrong. You will have a control group: other local racers whom you will get to know if you don't know them now. You'll have to learn all of the better ones, their strengths and weaknesses. As your training progresses, so will theirs. As you get faster, so will they. You'll be able to modify your training and see how those changes affect your placings. You'll want to race every week to get familiar with how all that goes down, and to get better at racing. I can assure you that your top competitors will be on a conventional training program, so you should easily be able to see how yours stacks up.

To sort of repeat those who have already posted: tris are so hard because each sport, rather than complementing the others, works against the others. If one is unfit, even aerobics classes at the gym will help, but I don't think you're talking about the process of becoming fit, rather about the process of becoming race competitive. Assuming that you are fit now, every hour spent running instead of cycling will improve your ability to run and cycle, but not your ability to cycle.

I never do recovery rides outdoors. I find it impossible to go easy enough, so I've always done them on rollers with a strict zone 1 limit.

The good crit racers I know won't even do non-team group rides. Too unfocused. Every ride has to have an exact purpose and must be ridden as configured and dictated by their program. I think that's too bad because I miss riding with them, but they have to do what they have to do.
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Old 03-24-11, 02:38 PM
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I always believed zone 1 riding was important aspect, but as I do more and more research, I just don't see much benefit to it. Zone 1 riding is like riding, but not really. You're going at a pace where you can possibly get a better workout walking. Also, this type of ride tends to backfire for riders like me who loves to train. It's too boring and feels like I'm half-assing riding in zone 1. So, to me, running on those days makes sense since you are resting your leg muscles used for cycling as well as you're getting a great cardio workout. I really think it's hard to over train your heart, but very easy to over train your legs so to me, this is a win win situation. To me, this type of training allows me to have more quality workouts throughout the week.

For instance, I did a tempo ride on Tuesday, on Wednesday, my legs felt heavy going upstairs, so instead of doing an easy ride on Wednesday, I went for a run yesterday. By Thursday(today), my legs felt good and I did intervals with bunch of turns. If I would've done an easy ride yesterday, my legs would've definitely felt heavier since even with easy rides, I tend to wear my legs since I climb hills as well as ride into the head wind, or stop and go riding until I can ride out of town. I guess a lot of people say that easy rides help to get the lactic acid out of their legs, but to me, it's just so hard to keep an easy ride, easy. And, I don't think I'm alone where it's hard to keep an easy ride, easy.
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Old 03-24-11, 02:56 PM
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Here are the reasons why I think this program will work in cycling. Before you begin this type of program, you have to have at least done cycling for a year or two. In cycling, there are lots of skills you need to acquire to be good. Then, you can start this kind of program. People think in cycling, you can train to ride 6 days a week and still be performing at your best. Well, those are only for the really gifted cyclists. If you ride 6 days a week like how the pros do it, see if your body can handle it. It's just like running that some gifted runners, their bodies can withstand running over 200 miles a week. Also, type of cycling I'm suggesting is very different from the grand tour, I'm talking about being good in criteriums. My races are around an hour long, not 4-8 hours. So, the type of training I need to do are fast rides then rest days so I can train my body to be able to go really hard one day since I know I will have a rest day coming up. I am increasing the number of hours between the use of cycling leg muscles while I am still training my heart by running since my heart can handle much more workload compared to my legs. I am training both of my main muscles at its higher level not risking over-training.

This will allow me to train at a maximum so I can be ready for my races.
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Old 03-24-11, 05:40 PM
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You know it's not necessary to have a rest day or recovery ride after every hard workout. You can gain beneficial adaptations by training in 3-4 day blocks. I don't know what level you're planning to race but it's not uncommon for guys to be training 15-20 hrs/week. How many hours are you planning to train on the bike?
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Old 03-25-11, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BummBull View Post
I always believed zone 1 riding was important aspect, but as I do more and more research, I just don't see much benefit to it. Zone 1 riding is like riding, but not really. You're going at a pace where you can possibly get a better workout walking.
There was a thread on recovery rides recently. They're certainly the first mileage you should dispose of if short of time, but you're mistaken to assume that they are necessarily valueless. There is evidence that they train the local nervous system that fires muscle cells in a particularly effective way.
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Old 03-25-11, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
You know it's not necessary to have a rest day or recovery ride after every hard workout. You can gain beneficial adaptations by training in 3-4 day blocks.
I'd say train 2, rest 1, but that's with hard sprint intervals.
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Old 03-25-11, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
The heart is a muscle like any other ...
Actually, it's not.
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Old 03-25-11, 06:14 PM
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It would seem that the OP addressed systemic adaptations but again, that is not the limiting nor "success" factor of any given sport.

Most of the cyclists that win races don't run. And that other thing -backwards as well.
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Old 03-25-11, 08:26 PM
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I'm just very glad to be back in racing again this season. I used to do racing in college for few years, then I haven't had time the last four years and I'm able to get back into it again this year. It's just so exciting to be back into racing. I'm a very strong believer that running will help me become a better cyclist. Running teaches you new kind of pain into the game. The last four years, I've been running on and off and it's a very challenging sport to do well. It'll help me become a better athlete in which will help with cycling. I'm just excited for my first race next weekend. I've been riding 3's, but since this is my first race in four years, I'm going to start in the 4's.
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Old 03-26-11, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Originally Posted by meanwhile
The heart is a muscle like any other ...

Actually, it's not.
Bad English on my part. Yes, it's a different kind of muscle. But it still needs ATP as fuel and proteins for repairs.
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