Continue running or add brick.

Apologies in advance for my naivity I guess borne out of, well...naivity.

Background (bear with meimage)

I'm 49 years of age (told everyone that alreadyimage).  I ran the London Marathon 6 or 7 years ago and hadn't done too much running until March this year.  I subsequently joined a running club and have since run several HMs and quite a few shorter races.  My aim is to run sub 4 hrs at the Dublin City Marathon and I'm confident I should be thereabouts.

I have long been interested in triathlon, distance especially, but never had the time or committment to step up to the mark.  Now I have some spare time and made that personal committment, I hope I am in for the long term. 

I have earmarked Outlaw 2012 as my debut event, competing under the pirate flag, although I'd like to work through a couple of tri's including a 70.3 as warm ups/testers.

Question (Hope you are still here)

My local tri club begins its winter training on Oct 8 with MTB and trail running brick sessions.  Should I throw myself at it in order to get as much bikework in as I can (I have never really owned a bike as an adult until recently).  My fear is that it might adversely affect my shorter term goal of a sub 4 marathon that same month.

It seems quite a fearful question, but I need to take good advice from the experienced if I am to get through the early stages free of self imposed injury.



  • Get out and about on the bike as much as you can during the winter and trail running is a good way to boost core stability and strength

    When is Dublin? 

    Which is your main goal?  Dublin time or Outlaw finish?
  • You need to ask yourself which is the main goal? Which will be your 'A' race?

    But for an IM a good bike is key plus the extra fitness will also help with overall fitness for your Marathon and will help reduce the risk of running related injuries due to less stress on your body ...

    IMHO .. i'd say go with the the Bricks (but I'm a big brick fan image )
  • Thanks for the replies Meldy and WW, not remotely what I was envisaging, but bang on the money.

    I think you are both probably right in that my focus has to shift.  I never thought of it in those terms and I guess I was thinking get the sub 4 out of the way then tune into Outlaw.

    It would have to be Outlaw as my 'A' mid term goal and the Dublin Marathon (31 Oct) as another stepping stone.

  • That said, if Dublin is 31st October this year then you have time to dedicate the training to that and use the brick sessions to get some leg work in without knackering yourself

    If its October next year then you may find as others have done that you pick up a free marathon pb post IM but your training focus needs to be IM
  • I've never found that cycling affects marathon running, with the obvious proviso of not doing 112 miles immediately beforehand.  Your marathon training will all be done by then anyway, and some MTBing would at least stop you doing anything non-productive like a 20 mile run 2 weeks before your race.  OTOH not doing these particular MTB sessions won't affect your Outlaw at all.

    They shouldn't be all-out sessions anyway, you're building a base on the bike at this stage.  Use them as starter sessions, then you can then use the weeks following your marathon to start increasing the mileage as you won't be running much then anyway.

  • All sterling advice.

    I'm sure my trepidation stems from the fact that, as Meldy and Dave point out, by the time I'll be almost there with regard to my marathon training, I'd be introducing a different platform of training.  I don't want to be picking up silly avoidable injuries, and even though Outlaw might be my new prime target, I am already in a decent frame of mind and shape for the DCM.

    I also don't want to miss those early brick sessions as it's a good opportunity to meet my new club, shake things down and ask some questions of myself.  

    Thanks again folks.

  • What a coincidence. I too am doing Dublin next month (if I don't get sub-4 - I will quite literally throw a hissy fit) and have just entered Outlaw as my first long distance tri. I am not going to worry too much about tri-training (beyond what I aleady do) till after Dublin.

    I train with a tri club at the minute and do a small brick once a week usually. Although it does tend to be of the 'in the gym' variety - i.e. hard spin session followed by intervals or tempo run.

    I am not doing all that much till Dublin it out of the way. It's only a few weeks now. Why not just go along to the first session, shake hands and say hello to everyone - tell them what you are up to and then see them again after the race.

    I seriously doubt a couple of weeks of sessions at the tri-club will make any difference whatsoever to your Outlaw experience but you could affect your performance at Dublin - which I am assuming you have been training for, for a while now.

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