by Tim Huebsch

Reid Coolsaet, Canada’s second fastest  all-time marathoner, put in more than 700 km of training last week. On two wheels rather than on his feet.

The 38-year-old from Hamilton has been on the injury shelf for the better part of 2017. “I’ve been cross-training so much this year I’m getting sick of it,” says Coolsaet, who earlier this year raced the June 17 Toronto Waterfront 10 km in a time well off his personal best of 31:51. But he’s been hampered this season, on-and-off, by a foot injury. “Riding has been a nice change from elliptical, pool running and indoor spin bike.”

Over a seven-day stretch, Coolsaet put in 722 km, according to his Strava page, including multiple rides of more than 100 km totally over 22 hours of training. For most of the rides he averaged over 30 km/h in the relatively flat terrain around his home, a very respectable pace for an athlete cross training while recovering from an injury. He rides a Giant TCR A1 from the late 2000s, a bike his wife Marie formerly used for triathlons.

“It’s been fun this week getting outside and pushing myself on distance,” the 2:10:28 marathoner explains. “I think moving forward I’ll do less volume a few days a week and focus more on intervals.” This is coming from a runner who, at his peak, puts in more than 220 km per week, spending up to 15 hours running.

The two-time Olympian says that he doesn’t really care for building power on the bike as he hopes to be back running in the next few weeks. How does a high-mileage bike week compare to a high mileage week on his feet? “Cycling tires out my legs but I don’t think it’s as tough as jumping into a high volume running week,” he says. “Mind you if I was riding faster or going up big mountains then maybe I’d have a different opinion.”


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