ATC 311: Badass Bricks, Data Anxiety, Training For Life vs. A Race, The ‘1/5 Rule’ For Bike-Run Balance, and More!

May 8, 2020


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Lucho is LiveStreaming on Twitch. You can contact him there and ask any questions (or make fun of him 😉

Tawnee’s Quarantine Bike/Run/ST Brick

Each 20’ bike is executed as the following, increasing intensity each set as desired:

5′ warmup

10′ low cadence climbing/rolling hills

5′ high cadence 90+

(note- the actual intensity/watts/HR on each set of bike is meant to progress from moderate to hard)

Set 1

20′ bike – building to MAF to MAF + 5bpm

1 mile run – MAF/Z2 (no more than 5 over MAF)


3:00 stretch cord swim exercise variations (mix it up for 3′ continuous)

25 KB swings (sub exercise of choice e.g. split squat jumps)

10 bridges with weight on hips

10 reverse lunges or Bulgarian split squats with weight

60″ plank variations

Set 2

20′ bike – intensity now build to Z3/tempo

1 mile run at tempo/Z3 (aim for about 1min faster or 10bpm ish over MAF)

Strength – repeat

Set 3

20′ bike – intensity from tempo to threshold

1 mile run @ threshold/Z4

Strength – repeat

Set 4

AYF (as you feel)

Lucho’s Brick Workout

*Squats can be lunges or bulgarians

*Pushups can be stretch cords

*Burpees are what people do all day in hell

12 x 1:00 / 30″ easy

50 squats

40 pushups

30 burpees

1:00 plank

Bike/run- 10 x 1:00/30″ easy

45 squats

35 pushups

25 burpees

1:00 plank

Bike/run- 8 x 1:00/30″ easy

40 squats

30 pushups

20 burpees

1:00 plank

Bike/run- 6 x 1:00/30″ easy

35 squats

25 pushups

15 burpees

1:00 plank

Bike/run- 4 x 1:00/30″ easy

30 squats

20 pushups

10 burpees

1:00 plank


Bike/run = 1:00

Squats = 200

Pushups = 150

Burpees = 100

Planks = 5:00

Results from Tawnee’s HR Experiment

  • Tawnee had her athletes go one week running at perceived MAF, but with HR not visible on their watches (though it was recorded). She discovered that most of her athletes ran at a faster pace with a lower HR when they could not see their HR! Why? We often get wrapped up in sticking to MAF and that extra stress causes an increased HR.
  • Give an intuitive MAF week a try and see how it works for you!

Cody asks:

Training ‘For Life’ vs. a Race

Hi guys,  I have been a listener for about a year now and I love the show!  Thank you so much for your down to earth advice.  My question is: what are your recommendations for training (specifically running) when we are just looking for long-term health and improvement across the board vs. training for a race on the calendar?  Especially for people who are looking to do some strength training as well?  I feel like this is applicable when COVID-19 has forced a lot of those races to be cancelled.

Will I continue to see running improvement sticking to MAF runs 3x/week ~45-60 min/day with a longer run on weekends (so 4 runs/week total), or will there eventually be a plateau and no further improvement? If I do mix in “fun-runs” (tempo, fartlek, etc) will that hurt potential running improvement?
My current plan is: Monday – strength training (ST), tuesday – run, Wednesday – run, Thursday – ST, Friday – run, Saturday/Sunday – long run/rest in some order depending on schedule.
ST (3-5 reps x 5 sets @ 70-90% of 1RM) = squat, deadlift, bench, pull-ups
T/W/F Run = ~45-60 min @ MAF
Sat/Sun Run = 60+ min low end of MAF
Goal = would like to improve on everything, but improving run > ST.
MAF = 151 bpm, ~9:15 pace
I am a 29 year old Male, 180 -190 lbs during year, former high school athlete, dropped off a little bit in college, and got back into working out after college.  Last few years, I have done  a mix of strength training, CrossFit, and endurance (have done a few half marathons and competed in my first sprint triathlon last year).  I have found that I prefer the peace that comes with running above anything else.
Thank you for continuing to put on a great show!
Cody from Nebraska

What the Coaches say:

  • Lucho would worry about plateauing more in strength than running.
  • Do this for 4-6 weeks and see if your average MAF pace improves. If not, then you’ll need to reassess the program.
  • Tawnee recommends changing your Wednesday run to include some intensity and consider doing some fartleks in your long run. (Since you’re young and healthy, you can probably get away with some intensity).
  • “Allow” the fun runs, rather than “plan” them.
  • When you’re assessing your pace and performance, keep in mind the context of your training from the past days.
  • Lucho recommends doing one session of 5×5 and another complementary session (overhead press, stretch cords, etc.). Don’t lift too heavy too often.
  • When “training for life,” it’s important to try different sports and be a well rounded athlete. Try SUP, backpacking, or archery.

Brad M. asks:

Balance between bike & run volume (for LC Tri)

Yo Coaches,
What are your thoughts on the balance between bike and run volume for long course triathlon?  I read Jesse Kropelnicki’s rule of thumb being run volume no more than 1/5 of bike volume so that would be something like 40mi run/200mi bike a week.  Have you found a good range/balance for your Kona qualifiers?  Also what range for total volume have you found for your KQ athletes that are 40+. I have done 20-30 hrs/wk in past builds but have been playing with lower volume but higher intensity the last couple of years and am trying to dial in those last few % to try and qualify.  Came pretty close last fall in Florida 9:29 and 6th, 11m from last spot.  Have you ever seen the attached chart? Tri version of Jack Daniels, thoughts? Ran a recent 5K at 17:45 and last year Florida was 3:25 do these line up?

What the Coaches say:

  • Yes, as Jesse Kropelnicki says, traditionally, run volume should be no more than 1/5 of bike volume (for example, 20 mile run week, 100 bike week).
    • BUT, there’s no hard and fast rule!
  • You have to be strong enough on the bike to run well.
  • As Lucho says, the strongest runners are the strongest cyclists.
  • You need to bike 4:50 again, but run faster. To do that, you need to become a stronger cyclist so you have more juice for the run.
  • Your 5K time doesn’t exactly line up with running a 3:10 in an Ironman marathon. You need to make sure your goal pace at Ironman feels easy.
  • To get faster, you need to add intensity. Once you adapt to higher intensity, you need to bring volume back in.
  • You can “focus” more on the run without changing any volume by moving your long run to the day before your long bike, so you’re hitting the run with fresh legs and the bike on tired legs.
  • Use your old logs as a template to inform your future training.

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