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Help, I've completely destroyed my ability to run. I began a running program last fall after having been very active at cycling throughout the summer. I usually start my run training by trying to work up to 40 miles week at about an 8:00 pace. Last November, I felt so good that I just started running faster and faster. I did a couple of workouts at sub 7:00 pace. The weather got cold, and I new I was tired, so I tried to start taking it easy. But it seemed like I never "recovered" or rested. Ever since mid-December I've consistently "struggled" on runs. Even when I back off to an 8:30 pace, it seems like I'm working really hard. I've continued some successful cycle-training on a trainer. I have fairly normal workouts on my trainer. And I've also "backed off intensity" to check to see if it helps my running. But nothing seems to help. My A.M. resting HR is fine, and my HR responds well on the trainer, but I am absolutley shot, I cannot raise my HR when running anymore. Has anyone experienced or have much info on overtraining in one sport like running, while all the muscles and systems seem fine for another like cycling? I can't believe this is happening, and I can't believe no matter how "easy" I take it, my running seems hard, and is slower than ever. Help.


Here's my 2-cents. Toss the HRM. Your brain and your legs have lost the ability to 'communicate'.
What has your mileage been the last 10 weeks? How many days a week have you averaged? Are you alternating cycling and running or bricking workouts on the same day?


I was averaging around 40mpw most of December, then as I got tired, I stared taking days off. So first I slipped into the 30s and for what it's worth, I've run about 10 out of the last 15 days, for 70 miles.

I always run 7 miles, I wanted to do some long runs but, since I feel like c**p I haven't. Essentially, almost ever run workout I've done for the past month has felt like I'm already at the 15 mile mark after running two or three miles.

On the other hand, my efforts on a bike trainer, are consistent with my efforts from many other years (I'm in my 50s) The HR monitor show that I'm not stressed and not "stale" on the trainer.

What I'm looking for are comments about athletes that have become completely stale in one sport while seemingly fine in another.

Currently my maximal sustainable HR is over 20bpm greater on a trainer than it is when I run, even after a day or two off from running. I've never seen anything like this.

The guy ar the running store who knows some Pro tri guys says it's possible, and that I need some serious time off from running - completely.

I thought there was some "rock bottom" level where I would stop getting worse and running would get "easy", but so far no matter how much I slow down- I feel like c**p.


A few guys on this board might be able to shed some light in that we, myself included, do bicycle commute much of the year. And in that regard, I can see how it's possible to keep the cycling going at the expense of running.
A few observations.
You need to mix up your running to have a hard/easy routine. Always running 7-milers in itself might be the staleness of your running. In my own routine and what I recommend to others is a routine of 3/1/2/1/2/1. In that being the ratios of your weekly mileage in 6 daily runs. So if you're logging 40-mi weeks, get your dailies to be 12/4/8/4/8/4. Not only does this implement the hard/easy fundamental, but also the weekly long run to push the envelope and really make those lesser daily runs feel easier.
And in a more macro look at your year, there is a lot of literature out there about creating 'seasons' to your year. Base building, bumping your mileage for a few months, then pulling back your mileage, sharpening with speedwork for another month and then hitting a racing period for a month or two and pinpointing some peak performances. Then follow that up with a few weeks of recovery, real low miles, cross-training and just time off the grind. From there, start another cycle again which you might do twice and possibly three times a year depending on your race goals/seasons.
I'm not sure what you've done the last year, but I'm guessing you've created a good base last autumn and haven't gone through a lowering of mileage, sharpening and racing, so you've quite by accident landed yourself in a recovery necessary phase without trying. Yeah, I'd recommend taking a couple weeks off. Build your mileage slowly, alternate hard/easy days and after a couple months, pull down the mileage some, add speedwork and shoot for a peak performance.
And in all this, you need to consider how the cycling fits in. Picking the priority of where you want to perform is first. But then don't sabotage one for the other, in that during a running-race period, don't up the cycling and hit that hard or vice-versa during a cycling event phase. You can mix-n-match the seasons, but I think you've learned, triathloning aside, the two are intertwined and can't maintain high levels of training for both for extended periods.
Hope that helps :)


the muscles used in cycling are significantly different from that of running. Cycling is also non-impact meaning that your joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles do not bear the same sort of forces that are encountered while running.
You mentioned that you went back into running after a summer of predominantly, perhaps exclusively cycling. Your run-specific muscles (and also your joints, ligaments, tendons, etc.) may have been deconditioned to some degree after that layoff due to cycling. Perhaps you are building up too you take occasional down weeks where you cut back the volume abit to let your body catch up with your training load? Your body will adapt positively to a given amount of stress provided you let it do so by recovery. If you don't allow it, that results in negative adaptation...aka. injury and burnout


I've always cycled in the Summer and for the last 5 or 6 six years have run throughout the Winter. However, for the last 2 or 3 years, I've held on to a base of 20+ mpw running even in the Summer. (no speed work)

My main goal, was supposed to be a Spring marathon, for which - I already know I am officially screwed. What's different, is that I've used this same pattern of cycle/summer, run/winter for years and thought it worked really well. 20 years ago, I used to start with an "auto base" of 5miles@8:00 and work down to sub sevens, and in my prime, some sub sixes.

I thought, I'd branch out to some other forums and ask around, for what it's worth, I've learned that "muscle-centric" overtraining does indeed exist. And that you can walk around feeling fine for one sport, not be sick, have a low resting HR and still train yourself to BELOW untrained status.

I was hoping to hear of experiences from tri guys or dual sport athletes that have experienced and OVERCAME similar circumstances. I've already read about "horror" stories about athletes that got so stale that they had to take 6 months off --

I've taken 3 days off from running, I'm going to do a 1 hour cycle trainer session at 85%, which is "easy" for me, and then after a dinner break and rest - I'll go for a run.

If my last several runs have sucked because of excessive perceived exertion and slow-pace, what should I try to do with this run?

I can go to a track. Should I try some speed measurments, or should I do normal 7 mile base course at easy pace.