Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What to do? Swim? Run? Bike? (or More Thoughts on My Sucky Run)

Tuesday night’s crappy run really got me thinking about my training program...am I doing too much, am I not doing enough, or am I doing the right amount, just not in the right disciplines. How much should I be swimming, running, and biking? 

I did a little comparison between February and March (to date):


So far this month, I have logged 45 miles on my bike more than last month. Note, we were on a 7-day cruise in February, so I had one week without any structured workouts. I am sure that by the end of the month my running totals will exceed February's.On top of that, this chart doesn't account for the time I spend strength training now.

I guess my biggest concern is that I maintain the proper balance between all three disciplines. This balance must also focus on my weak areas. Last year, swimming was definitely my weak point and James did an incredible job getting me up to speed (literally LOL). When given a choice, I would often pick swimming just to get more yards in. After Barb's Race though, I would say that the bike is my weak point. I also need to work on riding and running hills.

Unfortunately, in order to get miles in on my bike, I sacrifice miles running and vice versa. If I am running, am I still improving my cycling? If I'm riding, is my running suffering? I found an interesting article on Active.com by Edmund R. Burke, Ph. D. that doesn't directly answer those questions, but it does offer a formula that allowed me to convert my running miles to cycling miles and vice versa.

Based on the formula, Saturday's 47+ mile ride would be the energy equivalent of a nearly 16 mile run and Sunday's 20+ mile ride would be the equivalent of a 7 mile run. When I factor in the 10 miles I actually ran on Friday, I expended the same energy as running 33 miles. No wonder my legs were so tired last night!


Now, does this mean I am going to give up running and only ride my bike from here on out? Not a chance. What it does mean is that I am going to cut myself a little slack when I'm feeling a little tired and run down. I think because my legs don't take a pounding on the bike like they do when I'm running, I discount how much effort went into the ride.