I have been trying to persuade myself that biking is not a cause for those disastrous running workouts. However, I had another one of those today and now I know that it is biking.
I am in such a pitiable biking shape that all bike workouts are taking too much out of me and I cannot execute those tempo/intervals running workouts. I can do simple interval workouts no problem but cannot do tempo/intervals combo.
I was trying to find a different reason why I am unable to hit my running paces but I got nothing:
I started with tempo/interval combos in fall 2010 and have done them for ~3 months. Never had a problem to hit paces. BUT I was not training for tris back then. I only biked to school with occasional epic 60-mile ride around Los Angeles.
I did not do tempo/intervals in 2011 at all. I was not able to run much last year but when I was I did simple intervals. I did not have problem to do a bike hill workout and head straight to track and do mile repeats at 5k pace. BUT I was in a pretty good biking shape last year and also in better running shape than this year.
This year, I started with those tempo/intervals in October and was able to do exactly 2 of them without falling off the paces, while I failed 3.
So yes, it is because of biking. I basically went from 0-2h/week biking in Aug-Sept, to 3-5h/week in Oct to 10+h/week of biking in November and it is just way too hard on my running.
I have not realized just how much biking takes out of me now when I am very weak on a bike.
That being said I am not going to cut down biking and I am not going to lower my running targets, I might just cry once a week for next three weeks (until my 5k race). But I am going to discuss with PPC about those tempo/intervals combos. Reasoning behind those types of workouts is to tire the legs before the intervals but since my legs are already trashed it does not make sense to trash them even more. What is happening to me now is that the tempo just sucks out all the power that is left in my legs and then it kind of beats the purpose of the whole workout since I am unable to run even close to what I should run. And I need to run fast in training if I want to run fast in races. Thus I will probably stop doing those tempos and do simple intervals twice a week because I can execute that workout no problem even on legs extremely tired from biking.
I do not know whether I will ever be able to do those tempo/intervals combo while also biking but now I am not. I will get into a better biking shape and then I can try them again. Although maybe there is no need to do workouts like that now that I train for tris. I see huge benefits from those workouts for pure runners but maybe now that much for triathletes whose legs are tired enough from biking on top of running. I am still trying to figure out this whole transition to triathlons.
I am not worried. I will figure it out. I have a 3-5year plan, I do not need to be hitting everything perfectly NOW. And eventhough I have a running race in three weeks it is ok. Although tris are definitely a priority now, I do have some running goals but those are also long-term goals and one race will not make or break it. I want to continue with what I have been doing until now and I will get there. If I realize that it is not working I will make adjustments.
Anyway, I need to get into biking shape and then things will go smoother. I have put biking on a back burner this year to become a better swimmer and now it is time to bring it back in.
So now, let me tell you about my day. I left my house at 9am and did not come back till 4pm.
I swam for 45min (easy/moderate intervals).
Then run for 60min (20min w/up, 15min tempo at 4:19 pace (I was already struggling there), 3min rest, 6x800ish (ran on trail, used Garmin to measure ~800m between two trees) in 3:11 (1st one)-3:20high (most of them were 3:25ish) w/ 90sec standing rest, I was struggling badly but it was still better than 3 weeks before when I was able to only run 2k worth of intervals before completely falling apart, and it is good mental training as well, c/d 5min).
Finished with 2.5h on a bike, aerobic ride holding HR in 135-150 range.
I LOVED it! I love epic days like today.