Home > Tri Posts > Fun With Numbers: Bike vs. Run

Fun With Numbers: Bike vs. Run

BikeRunimg via http://www.clarksd.com/potato/walk.htm)

Happy Friday everyone!

Ok, we all know I’m a crappy runner.  I’m slow as mud.  My heart rate skyrockets and I’m sweating like crazy after two steps.  It’s nuts!  And I’ve always thought the solution to fixing this is more running.  But maybe it’s actually more cycling?

According to this article from ironman.com, for triathletes, weekly running effort (in distance) should not be more than approximately 20% of weekly cycling effort.  Further, the difference between your open run pace, and your run pace off the bike should be no more than 12% for Ironman distances, or 6% for 70.3 distances (which, I’m going to extrapolate down to 3% for Olympic distances, though it really doesn’t matter).  If the difference is greater, the reason for the slow run could be caused by a lack of bike durability as much as a need to improve pure open run ability.

How would this apply to me?  Looking at my own race history, my last 5 open 10k runs have averaged 64.5 minutes to complete.  The 3 Olympic triathlons I’ve completed, the 10k run component has taken me, on average 76 minutes to complete.  That’s a ~10% increase, suggesting I’m spending a disproportionately low amount of training on the bike.

Have I been?  In 2014 I logged 1,590kms of cycling and 469.14kms of running.  Running = 30% of cycling distance.  So far in 2015 I’ve logged 705.89kms on the bike, and 241.04kms of running.  Running = 34% of cycling distance.  Since May 1st I’ve logged 201.73kms on the bike, and 80.06kms of running.  Running = 40% of cycling distance.   Yep, my running is well more than 20% of my cycling, and it’s going in the wrong direction.

What does it mean?  Who the hell knows.  It’s an interesting thought exercise, at least.  And assuming you take the logic of this article as fact (which, it’s Friday, so sure) I need to get my ass on the bike a lot more.  Apparently that will help with my tri run?  Seems as good as anything to try – it can’t hurt, and it sure beats the idea of more running volume as the solution.

Do you cycle to improve your run?  What other tricks to you use?

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  1. June 5, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Cool, so I must get on the bike more, too!

  2. June 5, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    I wish I was better at cycling. I’m really not confident on the road at all but my husband could go forever cycling! Plus, I have a crappy bike.

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