Combining plans - Duathlon

In my infinite wisdom I thought it would be a great idea to smash together the fitness kick starter plan and a stryd running plan (half marathon low volume). If I’m lucky I get one rest day a week. It’s been going reasonably well so far, a lot of the runs are actually easy which helps but the suf workouts are getting really tough now. My load according to my Garmin and looks to be normal - just sitting in optimal range, which makes me think I’m not overtraining, but nine hammers was rediculous, cracked on the 7th hammer. Just over halfway through and thinking about where to go after this plan is finished. Has anyone followed a plan for cycling and running for duathlons before?

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For a little while now I am using the triathlon plans for duathlon purposes - and I think it works quite well. In fact, I invite you to try it out.

A bit of backstory: Pre corona-crisis I was pretty set on competing in my first triathlon but never really warmed up to swimming. The logistics of driving to a pool and wasting time in my car compared to just heading out of the house and starting a run or bike ride always seemed like a hassle. Plus, I am apparently not the most social person and always had to deal with other people, crowds and whatnot.
Since the end of february all pools in my area were closed and I decided to just skip the sessions but keep the training plan.

I now prioritize additional strength training by doing it on all the scheduled swim workouts - and absolutely love it this way. I am just careful not to overdo the leg work before a tough session.

My two cents: Try a triathlon plan and screw swimming, or do it every once in a while as a complimentary session. Maybe you have another complimentary sport you would like to squeeze into the calendar instead. This way your bike and run workouts are all made in the same place and work very well together.

I use garmins firstbeat technology to log all my exercise and according to the data my training load is spot on all the time.

My hope is the Sufferfest will keep broadening their overall offerings and throw in a bit more variation for the running workouts. Right now they are good, but, of course, you can feel that they are not the prime interest of the program.

@SUF Team: My absolute dream would be a scalable duathlon plan - with strenght training sessions and yoga. But for the strenght training I like to consider individual days and not just additional slotted in workouts. While I like the offered strenght training in the app, I much prefer my own bodyweight and barbell routine. (Sorry to hijack the thread a little bit).


Weikamp, fully with you. I also desire to have a scalable duathlon plan as you described. Guilty as hell in starting looking abroad of Sufferlandia for a plan like that.


As an alternative, might want to look at getting a customized plan from us.

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I was toying with the idea, for sure. At the moment I am holding off because it will be another running cost every 12 weeks and I really don‘t like the delivery via trainingpeaks.

As soon as you can deliver it in your own app and pimped out the feature set a little bit more, we‘ll talk. :slight_smile:

I asked about duathlon plans many months ago and SUF indicated that they were coming. I was scheduled to do USAT Du Nats in May and trained for that using a SUF triathlon plan. Of course, Du Nats in May was a no go. I actually just deferred my Du Nats registration to 2021 (although 2020 is still on the books for October). So, the bottom line is that I’m hoping for SUF duathlon plans by early 2021 in preparation for Du Nats in May 2021…


I cannot recommend Sir Spencer enough! I would not recommend selecting a training plan based on software.


Thanks for the replies, lots to consider. Just finished Fitness Kickstarter Plan yesterday with Full Frontal. Urgh, was brutal, and unfortunately I didn’t really improve very much. MAP +10, AC +25, FTP -4, and NM -59 (although I’ve been having bike trouble and the chain came off the chainrings in the first NM sprint, so that put a spanner in the works).

I’m guessing I didn’t have enough recovery with the additional running plan stress. I’d like to try a custom plan but it’s not great timing right now and I don’t use trainingpeaks, so I’ll migrate to a triathlon plan minus the swimming and see how that goes.


That’s not a bad plan. I’m thinking of doing the same thing, only replacing the swim workouts with sleep, and replacing some of the endurance rides with longer runs.

With all the races cancelled or postponed, I have no goal, other than not to become a fat lump.


What really bugs me is that you can’t use a triathlon program and delete the swim sessions. They are cluttering up my calendar and it is annoying.

I haven’t seen an off the shelf duathlon program in any of the major cycling software apps. You can find them on the internet and program them into your own Zwift workouts or Training Peaks, which will then link with your Zwift workouts, but you can’t do that with Sufferfest so it’s really got limited value for me and I probably won’t renew my subscription when it’s up. Paying extra on top is a non-starter for me. I’d rather hire a local coach.

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If you want to “delete” a session you can change its date to some time in the future and then it’s gone. I add 100 years on the basis I’m unlikely to be doing SUF then.

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I like this. On the other hand, I don’t want my actions of today to come back and bite me in the butt, in case I will be doing SUF in 100 years. I just want to keep my options open…


This workflow annoys me because it feels like a hack to cover lazy coding. Good UI practices suggest a Delete button, shouldn’t be hard to implement


It feels like a hack because it is a hack…

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Hey Gordon, I did something similar last winter. I somehow won entry to a half marathon that was cancelled. So that I could continue to suffer in style, I kept on with the SUF plans + yoga + strength + mental toughness and layered on the adaptive half marathon plan in the NRC app - limiting my runs to 3 days a week. I did SUF in the morning, ran in the evenings - so typical week was recovery run on Monday, intervals on Wednesday, long run on Friday. The adaptive coach would change the plan for the week if I blew past the targets. It somehow worked and I gradually built up running endurance and improved my FTP + MAP without getting completely destroyed.

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I’ve been doing the standard SUF road bike plans and then integrating my own run plan into it.

It wasn’t that hard to do with the All-Around plan. I was generally riding 4-5 days a week and could easily fit 3 run days in. I could run easy on a recovery day and run longer on an off-day, and when I ran on the day of a HIT ride I could just make my run a short brick. However, when I tried to do that with the Metric Century plan I had a much harder time because of all the high volume rides. So, I ended up running 2 or 3 times on my recovery weeks and 1 or 2 times during the intense weeks.

Trying to run 2 or 3 times every week during the MC plan was not the best idea. This definitely lead to some accumulated fatigue in the last 3 weeks of the plan that I am now working to recover from. But, if you’re only looking at Olympic or Sprint distance events, then you certainly could fit them together.

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