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  1. #1
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    Running and Cycling

    I'm new to cycling, having first started riding in April. I commute 16mi round trip 3-4 days a week and have gone on some long rides between 18-20 mi. I swim like I'm drowning so I don't have much of a desire for a Tri but I do run the Chicago Half Marathon every year (this will be my 3rd CHM, 4th overall) and I do the odd 5k and 10k road race. The commuting rides have basically replaced my in week training runs of 3-4 miles, to positive results so far. I still do the long training runs (11 mi next week) though, since I do have to actually run the race.

    My question is: does anybody know of the cross-over effects of running and cycling from a training perspective? I'd like to keep up some of the running, but I seem to like cycling much more, and it is far less stressful on my knees (I'm a clyde, I know). I also would like to start doing much longer rides after 9/14 when the race is over with. Ideally I would through in some weight training, but I'm still trying to fit in 2-3 hour rides on my bike!

  2. #2
    Senior Member owenh's Avatar
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    I too am a fat bugger with shocking knees
    I find running uses more energy quicker and so I can get more out of a 1/2hr run than a ride
    but thats just me
    so for me its an effetive tool for time management in the wieght loss fight

  3. #3
    Everybody relax, I'm here haenous's Avatar
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    i too began with running albeit slower and not near as far...about 18 months ago when I was just over 300 lbs...as I have dropped the weight, the running feels way so much better and I like the full body workout I get with the run...That said I am also putting about 100-150 miles on my bike per week....and still only have issues when I do a "brick" workout..i.e. ride my bike for 30 miles or so then immediately lock up the bike, change shoes and start running...trying to do 5k and 10k runs after the bike pieces and the first 1000meters to 1/2 mile my calves always cramp up when I make the transition, I think it is just the physical change in motion I am getting used too...but i see huge improvements on the running and biking side by combining the two...just my humble 2cents....
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    Draft Producer Fastflyingasian's Avatar
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    i do considerably more cycling than i do running due to past injuries. a friend and i agree that cross training with cycling helped improve our running. more in the sense of being able to run harder longer. i ride at least 4-5 nights a week of at least 35-40 miles pushing hard. but on the flip side i think what improved my climbing abilities would be mountain biking. the constant climbing helped wonders.
    "If you never suffered from over training then you've never trained hard enough"

    Some days your the windshield and some days you are the cyclist. either way it doesn't look like its going to be a good day for you.

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    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    I try to run or play basketball at least once a week. Usually shoot for 2 or 3 times when it's hot and I just want to stay in the gym. Obviously any aerobic activity is going to help condition your cardiovascular system so that's a plus. If cycling can help you get that training in on days where your body is obviously too beat up to run then, yeah, it would help you a lot. On the other hand, you can't primarily cycle and expect your body to stay in condition for the sort of running that you're doing. Low impact sports do not develop things like bone density, tendon and ligament strength, etc.
    Last edited by v1k1ng1001; 07-20-08 at 12:19 AM.

  6. #6
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    It depends on what your goals are? Are you going to race?


    Short version: 4/8 time spent swimming Master's swim time 3/8 time biking and 1/8 time running with 1/8 time crossing training weights particular emphasis on strengthening knees 1/10 time stretching.

    Ok...I know that adds up to more than one..yet proportions are what matters.

    I give special Clydes tips below.

    Important to remember is that recovering time for running is inherently longer Clydes as impact to body is exponential.

    Long answer:

    Cycling DEFINITELY helps running ESPECIALLY for clydesdales as it takes the stress off the joints. First consideration: How many hours a week do you that to train? I always believed in proportions a this is not affected by the number of hours...one week I could have more hours...next less...yet proportions can stay the same.

    My personal experience: I was a fitness consultant who did Tris at the highest level (nationals and won every Clydesdale I entered back in early 80s) weighing 250lb(Football build) redesigning my body to 200-220lb 5% body fat. At my peak I was training 6-8 hours a day for over a year. 4 hrs/day for a few years. I say this to let you know that what I say comes from a great deal of experience of trial and error and reading everything I could on fitness(including latest medical journals)

    Even if you have a great biomechanical running form, we can't escape that the force of each foot strike is exponentially greater by a power of 3(if I remember right...so 5lb more is 5x5x5=125lb strike force). I am not sure if it translates exponentially at the same factor back up the body due to the vectors of strike...it is a glancing blow. I didn't read any articles back then on someone doing the physics of the strike force translated back up the body. Maybe current research shows something different.

    In ultra distance training you are trading off many factors: How many hours do you have to train? Recovery time for the training you do(e.g running requires more recovery time)? How strong are your muscles supporting knees and rest of the body. My goal was to increase my aerobic capacity as much as possible with reducing recovery time as this would allow more intense training. One summer I did 12 Tris in 13 weeks.

    So I joined a Master's swim team. Swimming can be one of the areas you can shave the most off your total time. Yet, once you have a clean stroke, get your open water skills and have specific training done to a certain level....the time returns on swimming diminish quickly versus time invested. Where swimming pays off long term is recovery time, increasing Max VO2 faster and with less toil on the body. Also this helped with my ability to process lactic acid when pushing redline in general YET you need to do sport specific training. Swimming also increases flexibility thus reducing injuries and allows spine to decompress from all the running.

    In Tris the time it takes to do each event in order (greatest first) is : Run, Bike, Swim.
    Yet the order of time training should be the opposite for Clydes unless you are going for an ultra personal best and will accept wear/tear on the body from that extra running training. Whatever race run distance is, you should have some runs going at least up to 1.25 times(not more than 2.0...diminishing returns) the race distance the 4-6 weeks prior. Then leading up to the race, you should be working on more speed/intensity vs long slow distance. If you have time, the max I would run(trade off ...the higher intensity workouts are harder on the knees and longer recovery time) is 2 interval workouts and one LSD each week. This allows for alternate day running with extra day after LSD.

    Back then the thought was to do your high impact workouts earlier in the day and less impactful workouts in the evening. This would allow your body to decompress. My experience bared this out. On this subject I HIGHLY recommend going to a chiropractor. (I was totally against them when I was younger yet one saved my season in a week of treatment after 2 months of treatment by an Othropedic surgeon did nothing for my swimmer's shoulder. After 4 weeks of chiro, I NEVER had swimmer's shoulder again. Find a chiro that all the top local athletes go to...they will be more in tune with their bodies ...as Chiros vary greatly in adjustment ability/knowledge)

    Back to specific training, regarding running the goal is to finish the race strong so you need LDL yet need to have speed so the intervals you use should be fairly long...even up to 1/10th race distance. Longer intervals will reduce recovery time...besides...you are not training to have a power kick at the end. Remember, your general aerobic workouts will come from the pool and bike.

    With regards to biking I would say the same proportions of LDL versus interval work. Now, I trained in Louisiana which besides Texas is a Clyde's greatest friend. The highest mountain I ever climbed was a staggering 200 feet and that was a bridge!! If you have climbs in your race, you must train for them...this is where a good portion of your interval training should be done. As a clyde on a bike, we are like elephants running stadiums. This is where you can lose the most time. I remember when I did real hills/mountains for the first time....I bonked for months. Riders I could easily keep up with on the flats just blew past me like I was slug. Their time gains on the climbs far exceeded what I could gain back with power on the flats as air drag increases exponentially.

    Recovery Tip: I iced knees after every run as this helped reduce recovery time/ reduce long term negative effects. 20 minutes on/off with towel between skin/ice. I was careful not to fall asleep with ice on(set alarm) as one can cause nerve damage which can result in one not walking properly for life. I had it where I left it on my ankle as I fell asleep. Woke up after an hour to discover I couldn't move my ankle properly for hours.

    Stretching:
    is very important...it will reduce recovery time and prevent injuries.


    Things that I didn't do that I would do now. I would try replacing some of my running with running in the pool with one of the vests made for that. I would even run with running shoe(clean, old pair) in the pool if pool director. Shoes would help protect the bones in the feet.

    Running Tip: Get your running style video taped on a tread mill and analyzed to make sure you are getting the best shoe. Each shoe maker has different fits/styles in their shapes. But for my money, there is only one company that makes their shoes that can handle a clyde and that is Nike. I would always run with their max cushion shoe and my racing shoe would be a mid cushion shoe like the Pegasus. I may go lighter if it was a big race with no other races coming up knowing I was risking injury/longer recovery time vs faster finish time..

    Weight training: Weight training should focus more on lower body and core muscles as this builds the muscles that support knees/joints and abs/lower back excercises will help support spine. Leg work outs will help with the bike. I found leg extensions/curls better than squats (less stress on the knees and more closely resembled biking/running motion. Calf raises help with running and biking. I would do mine seated as this didn't put pressure on the spine.

    With what v1k1ng1001 said regarding impact/nonimpact building tendon strength, bone density. This is very true. So in this regard, depending on the length of the tri, running should be incorporated in to training at least once a week. If the run portion of the tri is longer than 3 miles then you need to be more frequent. All of this depends on if one has a extensive running background where tendons strentghened/density increased. Tendons take much longer than muscles to strengthen(why you see sterod using body builder blow out tendons while weightlifting as the tendon strength has not developed in tandem with muscle strength) Bone density take longer.

    By rule(trial and error) The longest race distance I would run would be 3 times my longest LDL run which I could/would consistently run. This would ONLY be done with great cross training. I could still run the entire race reasonably fast yet couldn't finish with speed as I didn't train at that distance. Also, my recovery time would be 2-3 times that for distances I had trained for.(1 day versus 3-4days) Now, this was done with a long running foundation over an extended time that allowed for tendons to strengthen and bone density to increase. Before applying this rule, I would think that one would need a 3 month running foundation minimum to reduce the chance of tendon/stress fracture issues. I would recommend that someone considering an accelerated running training program or a tri training schedule that was very light with running training to do a little research on how long tendon strength /bone density takes to develop.

    hope this helps.

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