Monday, September 15, 2008

Training Week -- 9/8 - 9//14

I dropped the ball on this weekly monotonous post because I stopped training after the Nationals RR. Since then I've had a lot more zeros than riding days anyway. But now I'm running semi-regularly and I most definitely want to track that progress (if any). I'm committed to doing the SB Half Marathon on November 1st, but, as of now, running 13 miles non-stop isn't even conceivable. Assuming some miraculous improvement, and I actually successfully complete the Half Marathon, then I'll seriously consider a full marathon for sometime in January or February. We'll see.

Even without those races hanging over me, I'd still be running during the off season. I'm convinced that it's beneficial to Masters-age bike racers. You've probably heard about the issues with bone density, but if not look here and here. Weight-bearing and impact exercises like running will offset the bone-density loss from too much cycling. Further, pedaling a couple million 172.5 mm circles every year is not something we humans evolved to do. It's not natural, and it puts our muscles out of balance if it's all we do. Running IS something we evolved doing, and if you are careful, doing a bit of running can really help restore proper muscle development.

Anecdotally: For years I had chondromalacia patella in my right knee and thus favored my left leg when riding. Had I used a device to isolate the power output from each leg, there's not a doubt in my mind it would have shown that my left leg was stronger. The circumference around my left quad was two cm greater. Then 4-5 years ago I started running and my knee trouble disappeared at about that same time. It's not a coincidence.

If you're a Masters' age rider, you should consider running this winter. Just be sure to start really gradually because your aerobic system will be so much fitter than your running-specific muscles. Run off pavement if possible, and get good shoes too.

Mon: Running, 4 miles w/ Ben at 7:30 pace.
Tue: Riding, 1 hr, lunchtime hammertime.
Wed: Running, 8.5 miles w/ Chester at 8:30 pace.
Thu: Riding, 1 hr, OSM, tempo mostly.
Fri: Running, 2 miles at ~9:00 pace.
Sat: Running, 4 miles w/Gina at 7:30 pace.
Sun: Riding, 3.5 hrs, Worlds, sucked wheel mostly.

Totals: 5.5 hrs riding; 18.5 miles running


Anonymous said...

I think pedaling 175.0mm circles is something we evolved to do so just change those levers and forget about running :-) I agree with the weight bearing exercise as it relates to us "old farts". Good luck with the 1/2 marathon training...

Craig Nunes

Marco Fanelli said...

Hey thanks Craig! Yeah, I tried 175s once did it feel weird at first. Amazing how easy it is to detect such a small difference. Same with tiny adjustments to saddle height. That's just more proof of what millions of revolutions does to your neuromuscular wiring!!