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I am a 30 something male in moderate shape. Part of my running routine consists of letting my 3 year old loose on his bike and I run after him. He can currently reach top speeds of 17 km/h to 18 km/h and averages between 4 1/2 min/km to 6 min/km.

I can keep up with that at the moment, however, the distances he can maintain these levels are increasing. We started at doing about 6 km trips, but within 2 months he is now requesting for longer trips of currently about 10km at higher overall speeds. I can barely keep up with it now.

Is there a way I can increase both my pace and endurance? I realize that he will eventually outpace me, but I want to hold of using a bike for this as long as possible.

  • “I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. And, humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing, about a third of the way down the list. It was not too proud a showing for the crown of creation. So, that didn’t look so good. But, then somebody at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle...” (1/2) – JustSnilloc May 27 at 18:14
  • (2/2) “... And, a man on a bicycle, a human on a bicycle, blew the condor away, completely off the top of the charts. And that’s what a computer is to me. What a computer is to me is it’s the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with, and it’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.” - Steve Jobs – JustSnilloc May 27 at 18:14
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Typically the energy cycle your body uses looks like this if you're not resting while chasing the bike...

ATP for first 10-20 seconds(this is the fastest you'll go, but it only goes for 10 to 20 seconds).

Lactic-20 seconds to 70 seconds, sometimes more(moderately fast)

Aerobic 90 seconds onward(very slow, think jogging speed).

So over a couple minutes you can see how your speed will naturally decrease into a steady pace. You could train each energy system. You can train the capacity(how long you can go in each energy system), or the intensity(how fast you can go).

Given that this is more about endurance and keeping a high pace, you'll want to focus on the aerobic system. Time yourself jogging 5km or 6km.. then every other day try to beat your time record. Eventually you'll be running the entire time. This will improve your intensity. To improve your endurance, you could either just jog for as long as you can, measure how far you go, and try to go farther and farther each time while keeping the same pace. This will improve your capacity. You could also do metabolic conditioning workouts, HIIT, or tabata which can teach you how to use more energy without resting.

If your legs are getting tired you can also do endurance training(15+ reps) for your lower body to keep up with the endurance. You can look up workouts but either increase reps each week or increase weight.

If the bike keeps the same pace then you have no worries even if the distsnce increases. Unfortunately the best way to train is to do exactly what you're already doing but without the bike, and by the time you increase your stamina, the bike might have outpaced you

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  • Thank you, I'll give it a shot and see if that helps – Karlokick May 29 at 9:46
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Increasing your fitness is of course an option but it takes time. He is improving at a much higher rate than you can keep up with.

To buy some time, can you hack the process a bit? Eg. can you trick him into taking a slightly longer, less efficient route eg. you going straight and him going in a zig-zag or around a corner (provided the area is safe for him to do that)? Is there a slope nearby, that you can take, assuming the slope would be more challenging for him than for you?

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  • Thank you for the suggestion. Well, I encouraged him to take the gravel road and also make him go up little slopes. This works of course, because both his top speeds and the distances he can cover decreases. The downside is that it also decreases his motivation on longer trips, especially if he can see a paved cycle road nearby. I am really looking for a way to improve my performance. – Karlokick May 29 at 9:44

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