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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
here's a philosophical thought/question. (and I've not been drinking).<br><br>
which of the three sports "helps" performance in the others the most?<br><br>
My gut is that cycling can help running and swimming more than either of the others can help. Leg strength and fitness follow from effective cycling training and that has to help both swimming and running.<br>
Swimming is probably second?? Again, low stress fitness and strength can be achieved that will benefit the other two.<br>
Running the least useful for the others? Important Upperbody strength for the swimming could be lost through too many miles giving a loss of muscle-mass, and even leg strength for cycling could be compromised.<br><br>
On the basis that what I've proposed is correct: should a truly balanced week (or training period however you measure) see the following: Most time spent on the bike, followed by swim, followed by running?<br>
And on the (much more likely) basis that what I've proposed is unbelievably naive and ill-thought out (with no "I was drunk" get-out clause): What do you think???? <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Or in other words: Discuss the concept of balance in a training prog. Do you think about it? Monitor it? Worry about it?
 

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I don't have to worry or monitor it.....<br>
That's someone else's job.<br>
Except, when things start to get hairy....then I have to be smart enough to say something.
 

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I think cycling is the one sport that is the easiest to gain fitness in if you are a relatively fit person (not necessarily from swimming or running).
 

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I've read, and heard from a few coaches that cycling benefits running the most (Look at Lance!). Running provides little benefit to cycling however. I've found that true being a runner. In the Going Long (IM training) book, by Friel, he or Gordo the other author, make several references to the bike as being the key in triathlon and you can't really excel in the sport without a love for the bike. In a sense it is all about the bike, according to them, but I tend to agree.<br><br>
Swimming helps all. Its non-impact aerobic activity. If I do any sport well into my 60s and 70s it will be swimming. I probably won't be able to do the others then, the way I'm beating myself up <img alt="sad2.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/sad2.gif">
 

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On the flip side, if we're looking at Lance, his enormous aerobic base got him through NYC the first time but his lack of joint conditioning left him with stress fractures.<br><br>
I tend to agree that it's mostly about the bike. Assuming you're doing enough running to keep your joints/bones conditioned, any time on the saddle is good for running & cycling.<br><br>
Since swimming is non-impact, it's a wonderful active recovery/Rest day sport.
 

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I honestly do not think there is one answer. The list of variables is too great and the means to measure them when taken as a whole is too imperfect.<br><br>
My experience shows very clearly that quality bike training will make me a much stronger runner when it comes to hills especially but also when it comes to holding decent form in the later miles of a marathon. There is no question that I can *feel* my bike training during those times. On hills I get the proper form of pedaling circles, only I'm running up the hills. Insert a bit of a more shuffle, and you're damn efficient. And in the later stages of a marathon, when you're holding on by a thread, there is no question that my bike training has pulled me through. Note that I said quality bike training helps; I do not just mean spinning along to get in a recovery day from the run. I've done that, and that never helped. But quality work on the Trainer specifically has helped me immensely. Note that cycling will not replace those run workouts, but it can make you into the runner you can become.
 

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I think swimming is great for running and biking<br>
Runner's tend to neglect any sort of upper body training; when in fact a strong core and upper body can go a long way towards how you'll handle the endurance on the run or the bike<br>
Then again I'm also a big proponent for strength training and stretching as well. I think to be totally fit you need to be as well rounded as you can.
 

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Pete,<br>
Yeah, your division makes sense, but for a different reason. The balance of the disciplines in triathlon is such that if you don't spend more time on the bike than on the other two sports, you're going to be shattered going into the run. I'm a fast runner - but I have to be within reach of the guys I need to catch coming off the bike. I'm not a great swimmer, but the guys who beat me on the swim I might be able to catch during the second two legs. The bike is the longest leg, and takes the most time. Training for it the most makes the most sense! (How's that for two sentences using one word far too many times?!)<br><br>
That being said, cycling does seem to provide a benefit for both other sports, with less repetitive-use injury risk than running. Plus, it's fun, and I get to see lots of stuff. Now, if only there was a way to get my DW to stop worrying about me the whole time I'm gone!
 

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I don't think anyone would argue that the bike is the number one sport in terms of hours required for a good race.<br><br>
Interesting thought about run and swim. If it wasn't for the requirement of toughening up the legs by pounding, I bet you could make a decent case for swimming more than running from the standpoint of most bang for the training hour. Maybe I should say training calorie burned.<br><br>
I did another quick skim of all theposts, has nobody yet posted an idea of a benefit of running to the other two sports? There has to be something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
okay - follow up Q:<br><br>
if Cycling is most important for a race (and that seems to be the consensus, given the straightline logic following from it being the longest leg) as well as its likely benefits for the other sports. Let's talk ratios.<br><br>
50/30/20 (Bike/Sw/Run) ?? (where weights/circuits don't count).<br><br>
40/30/30 ??<br><br>
60/20/20 ??<br><br>
or are we now strictly into "it depends" territory, based on individual strengths and weaknesses and goals??<br><br>
I just have a feeling that individual strenghts/weaknesses should be less evident the longer you've trained. After a long time, don't you "become" your training? you have the strengths <i>because of</i> how you train, and you shouldn't train based on what you are (or think you are). In otherwords - the idea of there being close to an ideal ratio for Triathlon should be quite close for most athletes, and possibly varies by event. Presume an Oly specialist needs more swim emphasis than a HIM/IM specialist??<br><br>
Lot's of Qs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
<i>nobody yet posted an idea of a benefit of running to the other two sports? There has to be something.</i><br><br>
I suppose some specific run stuff (like hills) has transferable leg/core strength benefits
 

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We are firmly in "It depends" territory now, I think. Yes, after a certain time, you should balance everything out. But, that point is a long way off for most of us. I could swim 5 times a week for the next couple of years, and still not be as good a swimmer as I am a runner.<br><br>
Right now, I run twice a week, one track workout, and one long run (up to 1.5 hrs). Granted, I'm training for sprints, but I doubt that that ratio will change much once I move up in distance. My legs/joints are used to the pounding after years of just running, and with those two workouts I can maintain my fitness and speed. Running must give some mental toughness, which I like. Plus, you have to able to run if you want to be competitive - nothing is cooler than blowing past everyone you see on the run course, and not being passed for the whole leg!<br><br>
As Jim said, with swimming I get a lot more bang for my training buck. I burn calories like an animal, and can utterly destroy myself, and then do it again the next day.
 

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I think 50b, 30r, 20s is a common starting point, then tailored to both specific individuals and then to training cycle. Most of the time plans have weeks focused on a single sport. Which of course means you shift 10-15% more time to that sport. You still end up fully smashed.....<br><br><i>I suppose some specific run stuff (like hills) has transferable leg/core strength benefits</i><br><br>
Yeah, that is a benefit, but if you just swam instead you would get the core benefit, and if you just cycled you would get the strength part. But I would say this is close to some tangential benefits of running.<br><br>
Besides good old fashioned stress fractures and PF, what else can you only get by running?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Fewer toenails so you require less calcium in the diet. Seems an extreme approach, but it <i>is</i> a benefit of big run miles that bike/swim don't offer <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey; IF bike/run were the other way round within an event, would run endurance be more important and 'correct' training ratios more slanted to running?<br><br>
[I know it's irrelevant (because they are the way round they are) but just a talking point.]
 

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No, probably not. You can't hurt yourself riding as easily as you can while running. Bike mileage can be ramped up fairly quickly, while increasing run mileage takes fair bit longer. As most others have pointed out, your running benefits from cycling, while also keeping the risk of injury relatively low. It does not quite work the other way around!
 

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I'm not sure. You need the ability to withstand the pounding - as Hobey pointed out. I imagine that you can also develop some high-end speed through track-work, which also provides a very measureable training space. It's also easier to get into your higher HR-zones while running, I find.
 
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