Balancing Cardio and Strength
Let’s say, hypothetically, that you didn’t have any races on the calendar, yet you wanted to get back into a training routine as if you did. And let’s say that you wanted this non-race-related training to involve both running and cycling for cardio, as well as a good measure of strength and stretching to keep everything balanced and healthy.
I can tell you right now: stop looking because it doesn’t exist.
I’ve searched high and low for training plans. Running plans don’t cut it, so I moved on to duathlon plans. Every duathlon plan that I found followed the same format: ride, run, ride, run and ride, run, ride, rest.
Notice what’s missing from all of these plans? Right: anything pertaining to strength or stretching.
So I’m gradually trying to build my own plan:
- One day of rest per week
- One day of ride plus strength (ride to gym)
- Two days of riding
- One brick day (riding and running)
- One running day
- One stretch day (Pilates)
Trick #1 is figuring out which order they should go in, and how far I should go on each day. Trick #2 is that I feel antsy when I don’t ride, so the stretch and running days may be harder for me than they sound.
Now, can I take a moment to brag? See that photo up there in the right hand corner? That’s the Tiny Coaching Assistant. On Saturday morning, the Assistant, the Husband and I went on a 12.2 mile bike ride. Granted, we stopped for breakfast about 5.5 miles into that journey, but still: the little guy willingly, happily rode for more than 12 miles because it was his idea. He actually wanted to do a 19.5-mile roundtrip loop, but I cut him off at a distance that I knew he could handle. I’m so impressed with his love of the bicycle. He’s already gone more than 43 miles for the month of July, although he wants me to measure it in kilometers because “the number sounds more impressive.” (70 km)
Have you ever followed a duathlon plan? Did your program have non-cardio training built into it, or did you have to customize?