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One of Canada’s fastest marathoners just one sport away from becoming a triathlete

Reid Coolsaet, a 2:10-marathoner, is using cycling to cross-train while injured from running. Will he turn to swimming next?

This story originally appeared on runningmagazine.ca

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

The 38-year-old elite marathon runner from Hamilton has been on the injury shelf for the better part of 2017, but is proving that cycling improves running fitness (and vice versa). “I’ve been cross-training so much this year I’m getting sick of it,” says Coolsaet, who raced the June 17 Toronto Waterfront 10K in 31:51. But he’s been hampered, 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 722K, according to his Strava page, including multiple rides of more than 100K. He averaged more than 30 km/h for most of it. 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 200K per week.

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.”

When asked on Strava by a follower whether “this could be a transition to triathlon,”, Coolsaet responded “(There is) no swimming in my program. Just pool running.”

We think Coolaet definitely has a future as a triathlete if he ever decides to try one out!