How transferable is fitness?

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How transferable is fitness?

Postby malteser » 08 Jan 2010 19:07

This is aimed at those of you with more experience than me at this shindig, which is just about all of you I would imagine.

I've got a half-marathon in 7.5 weeks (never run further than 10k)

I can't go out running coz its too bloody icy out there and I can't get to the gym either because of the ice

I've already missed nearly 2 months of training due to illness/injury and have therefore lost the aerobic base I was building in end September/October (I ended my season early last year so I could start prepping early for this one)

At this stage what I'm doing is trying to spend my time on the turbo (the only thing I can do) so at least I'm doing something and trying to shed the weight I put on over my period of inactivity/xmas.

I ran a 10k on 27th December which took a lot out of me (it was my first real outing after 2 months of inactivity except for a 5k run on christmas morning - which ironically meant my legs were sore for the race on the 27th - but that's just me being a dufus).

Is the work I'm doing on the turbo going to translate into anything in run fitness? In the context of the half-marathon alone (I know it'll be worth something further down the line in the tri season but the half-marathon is my current major concern - if i DNF this one it puts a dampener on my whole season and a serious dent in my confidence for 70.3 this summer) am I doing something beneficial or just knackering my legs?
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Re: How transferable is fitness?

Postby Sir Jibbenstein » 08 Jan 2010 19:21

Bike fitness is supposdly quite transferable as base run fitness. I'm sure I have read in more than one place the triathletes could get away with just speed work for running in addition to plenty of turbo work. I did a half marathon in December having not run over 10K for 3 months till 2 weeks before it. I finished in 1hr 47, bang on my predicted time from a 5K run 3 weeks beforehand. So it is certainly doable.
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Re: How transferable is fitness?

Postby Sir Conehead » 08 Jan 2010 19:34

Transfer makes a lot of assumptions, especially when 'triathletes' are concerned. Becuase lets face it, we're not 'tri-athletes' are we? We sim, bike then run and hope it all comes together with the training we've done.

For elite this transfer is easy and can indeed get away with speed work for running relying on the cycle and swim for 'fitness'.

However - running places a much greater metabolic demand on the body than cylcing (or turboing) and we always forget one of the most important factors, the psychological effort of propelling yourself along.

My advice is up the intensity and time on the turbo as a 'damage limitation' exercise and to also burn off some weight. As a very rough rule of thumb look at doing '3 x the time' on a bike as you would a run, so a 20min HI run would mean a 60min HI turbo. This is very un-scientific, a bit rough around the edges - but should keep you going in the right direction
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Re: How transferable is fitness?

Postby Tritans » 08 Jan 2010 19:50

In my very novice experience I can't make any comparrison between turbo work and running.
However with 7 weeks left, if you were to use 10k as your starting point, a 10% increase per week on your long run would get you to a point where you could finnish, albeit a tad uncomfortably.

I know this because I was in the same position last year before the Reading HM, don't pin your season on it, you've got plenty of time to sort your 70.3.

Good luck
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Re: How transferable is fitness?

Postby jonathon.e » 08 Jan 2010 20:48

Providing you don't expect miracles and a fast time,7.5 weeks to a half marathon is plenty of time.
From experience,due to knee problems I try to avoid running and focus more on cycling.Last year,without any run training other than using a gym elliptic I finished a 70.3 with cycling as a base fitness.All was well upto the last 2 miles when my quads started to cramp,so a few sessions on the quads might not be amiss.
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Re: How transferable is fitness?

Postby malteser » 08 Jan 2010 23:42

cheers guys ... it's Lord of the Rings from the turbo for me then :) and squats a plenty
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Re: How transferable is fitness?

Postby IanM » 09 Jan 2010 17:03

An interesting thread for me - I've got a half marathon in 8 weeks (MK Half) but have done almost bugger all in the last month due to illness and injury. I've been really stressing about the build up to the half marathon because of this, but got the all clear this morning to start running. A month ago I was doing about 3.5 hours running a week so hope to build back up to that over the next month, and then push my long run to 2 hours (longest so far has been 100 minutes).

I was hoping for a sub 2hr time, but can't see that happening now due to the gap in training. I'll just finish, and then go for a better time in the Birmingham HM in October. I'm glad I got the all clear now rather than later though - otherwise by Conehead's rule of thumb I'd be doing 6+ hr sessions on the turbo!
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Re: How transferable is fitness?

Postby Jellybaby » 11 Jan 2010 12:22

Dave, you'll be fine. I did my first half marathon last year on no training whatsoever - except for a little bit of cycling and the odd 30-60 minute run and one 90 minute run about 10 days before. I wasn't supposed to be doing it, but a mate of mine dropped out and I took his place. I managed to drag myself round in 2hrs 11 or so - so I reckon you'll be able to do that or thereabouts - we're built pretty much the same. Which half is it?
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Re: How transferable is fitness?

Postby malteser » 11 Jan 2010 16:51

cheers J ... encouraging words indeed!! I'm off home (Malta) to do my first half and combining it with a trip to see family/friends etc. (not drinking during my stay is gonna be a toughy). I figured better weather (I've probably just jinxed it now) would be nice.
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Re: How transferable is fitness?

Postby Rice » 11 Jan 2010 18:40

I've also been very interested in the transferability of fitness. When I was googling around I found this thread on a random forum. It's quite long, but focus' on a very interesting experiment some guy invariably found himself doing.. ... 2055182158
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