Bike / Run / Bike / Run / Bike / Run / Bike / Run Workout

>> Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Note: I've mentioned this workout before, and I love it. I was given this workout at the Gear West Duathlon Clinic a few years back. I did this workout a few times 3 years ago, and twice in 2011: First on the track with Marie, then a shorter version with Matt, then I did it NEAR the track at St. Thomas. In 2011 I did it out of my garage on a 40 degree day and again out of my garage on a hot, hot day. But it's nearly been 2 years since I've done it. Time to saddle up.

The idea for the workout is to do 4 intervals of bike / run. The first is kind of a harder warm-up. Then the next 3 are meant to be as fast as possible (including transitioning as fast as possible) to simulate race-day intensity. The bike portions are 30 seconds HARD followed by 30 seconds EASY (at a decent cadence). The bike starts and ends on a HARD set so you're used to getting on the bike and going HARD, and so you're used to going HARD until you get off the bike.

I was home with Henry on Saturday, so I got a neighbor girl to come over and "hold down the fort" as I did the workout. I put Henry down for a nap, got everything ready for my workout, and then called the babysitter to come over to just be in locked in the house as Henry slept.

I had my workout set up in the garage. Being things were still a little wet, I grabbed a piece of foam meant to save your knees when gardening to stand on while changing shoes. My transition looked like this:

We just got a few inches of snow on Thursday night and during the day on Friday, so I actually had to shovel a path from the garage to the alley so I wouldn't get my shoes covered in snow when starting and ending my runs:

Dear Spring 2013: you suck balls.

I set my camera up for a quick self-timer shot during my warm-up:

(I've learned to set up a ladder next to me to act as shelves for GUs, my phone, and a sweat rag.)

WU on trainer (mostly easy with few pick-ups): 10:01.1
Transition: 0:17.8
1 mile run (85% effort): 3:04, 3:02 = 6:06

I maybe ran that run harder than 85% effort, but I was looking for a good workout. I was ready to suffer a little. Or a lot.

Transition: 0:17.7
Trainer (30 hard, 30 easy): 9:32.3
Transition: 0:18.5
1 mile run: 3:02, 3:03 = 6:05

Making the turn onto the sidewalk from the alley starting that last interval was ugly - my legs almost gave out, and I almost ended up in the muddy boulevard. LOVE this workout!!

Transition: 0:17.6
Trainer (30 hard, 30 easy): 9:32.3
Transition: 0:16.0
1 mile run: 3:00, 3:00 = 6:00

That last interval was pretty solid. I was REALLY sweating. During the first interval, I saw a lot of steam coming off my arms. I was ready to bike hard for this last one, and then do whatever I could on the run.

Transition: 0:20.0
Trainer (30 hard, 30 easy): 9:33.2
Transition: 0:16.6
1 mile run: 2:55, 2:48 = 5:43

1:04:39 total time.

There's "good news," "bad news," and "obvious news" about this:

The GOOD NEWS is that total time is the fastest I've ever completed this workout: the first time doing it out of my garage was on a similar day, and I did it in 1:05:00 (not counting a 2:00 rest while talking with a neighbor), and the last time doing it out of my garage was on a hot day with friends, and I finished in 1:04:05, but I cut the WU almost 90 seconds short that day.

The BAD NEWS is that I OBVIOUSLY saved too much for that last interval. My run times were very consistent until that last one which was MUCH faster. I have to get better about "spreading out" my speed.

The OBVIOUS NEWS is that this does not indicated bike fitness. I'm on a trainer, not biking XX many miles. I might be in horrible bike shape right now, and this workout can't tell me that. It just shows me that I can run on semi-tired legs.

I took a few photos throughout the workout, and they show my hair getting worse and worse:

Back on the bike after my 1st interval.

Back on the bike after my 2nd interval.

About to hop off to start my 3rd run.
(Note the sweatiness to the right inside of my elbow.)

Back on my bike after my 3rd interval.
(I think I just aged 15 years...)

A few minutes after finishing my final run and "walking it off" down the alley. Good workout!

Oh, I also wore my Garmin for this workout. Here's what my pace graph looked like:

I love how I started each run slower and slower. Ha! I was pooped!

And here's the map of my workout:

Yes, I roof-hopped on a few of my neighbors garages. That builds quad strength.

If you want more info on some duathlon training plans or thoughts on multisport racing from a great coach and a great athlete, check out my notes from Gear West Bike and Tri's Duathlon Clinic a few years ago. The 2nd page of that article has this workout (from speedy athlete Kevin) and one from coach Jason.


Helena Engstrand 5:21 AM, April 25, 2013  

Looks scary that... Now, perfect opportunity to ask for your expert help. Having never done a duathlon before, I've stupidly registered for one (in 2 weeks, gah!). What do I think about during transitions? Too late for major training obviously, but just in general terms of where to put stuff, which order to do things, what not to forget, etc. Thankee! :)

Steve Stenzel 7:48 AM, April 25, 2013  

Helena, I start thinking about transitions just a few minutes before arriving. As I'm on the first run or the bike, I start thinking about what I need to do 5 minutes before I get there. "OK, rack bike, helmet off, shoes off, running shoes on, sip of Gatorade, and I'm off. Oh, do I need my sunglasses?..."

As far as laying things out, there's no big secret. Just lay out what you need in a place that you can easily get to it, but don't take up too much room - some races will give you a penalty if your stuff is hanging out too far into the "lane." I make sure to lay out my bike shoes with the velcro wide open so I can slide my feet in easily. I sometimes have a bottle of Gatorade or Roctane Drink handy if I need an extra sip.

The best thing to do is to practice it at home. Set up a spot in your front yard or in your garage, and do a 3-block "race" of a 1-block run, bike, and run. Don't go fast running or biking, but try to go through the steps of transition "efficiently."

Good luck!

SteveQ 10:13 AM, April 25, 2013  

If Spring 2013 sucked balls, as you said, I'd probably have enjoyed it more.

Justin 10:28 AM, April 25, 2013  

Great workout Steve! I don't know how you guys "up north" do it. This Spring in Ohio is really getting to me, but at least we're done with snow (or we better be!)

Helena Engstrand 5:39 AM, April 26, 2013  

Thanks Steve! All great tips - will have a go at being "efficient" this w/e. I really have no idea what to expect but should be fun anyway. Never even seen a transition area up close... :)

Lish B 3:38 PM, April 26, 2013  

Love the map!! I have only done a bike-run or run-bike soI will have to try this out.

SMile4me03 8:35 PM, April 26, 2013  

love this! will bookmark and use often! :)

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