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  1. #1
    Senior Member dannyq's Avatar
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    Does cycling make you a better runner?

    I have to be able run 1.5 miles in 12 mins or less soon (3-5 months). I go to get on the bike for a ride, but is this helping me for running? Or should I leave the bike and run? I know I have to actually run, but I was wondering if being on the bike help for running.

  2. #2
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    From my triathlete friends, cycling will not help you to run faster. Different muscle groups are in play.

  3. #3
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dannyq View Post
    I have to be able run 1.5 miles in 12 mins or less soon (3-5 months). I go to get on the bike for a ride, but is this helping me for running? Or should I leave the bike and run? I know I have to actually run, but I was wondering if being on the bike help for running.
    No, riding a bike does not improve your running. It will only help maintain the same level of cardiovascular fitness already gained through running.

    If you're aiming for your combat fitness test then only running and cardio work outs will help. Every second day do a 3 mile run. If it's a normal test I assume you need situps, pressups and chinups too? If so, do 3 sets of each to failure after the run. Preferably, in order, 3 sets of pressups, 3 sets of situps and finally 3 sets of chinups resting until your heart rate and breathing return to normal between each set.

    If you do that every second day for 3 months you should have no problem passing. If you can ride your bike/walk everywhere as well as the cardio benefits will help your all round fitness. Avoid using elevators and cars as much as possible (yes I know this sounds strange but it all adds up).

    Finally, remember fitness maintenance is MUCH easier than starting from scratch again.
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  4. #4
    jcm
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    It sure doesn't help mine. I run like pachyderm.

  5. #5
    Member Little_T's Avatar
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    It depends on what level your straining yourself. Cycling doesn't strengthen the same muscles as running, except for the heart. Strenious bicycle exercises should improve your bodys ability to take up O2 and strengthen the heart. However, I would suggest running if your training for a running-test and bicycling if your training for Tour de France or something like it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    If you need to do a 1.5 mile in 12 minutes, that's a 7.5 mile a minute pace. You need to train for that because that's your goal. Bike riding won't get you from a 10 minute mile pace down to a 7.5.

    YOu need to assess your conditioning and then determine how to get to 7.5 in the time allotted. Interval training (running) will do it but its best when you have a good base, good endurance through longer distance runs. If you have access to track or cross country coaches, they would be able to help you. With a coach, you get to your goals faster with less chance of injury and less down time. That is, if you try to train yourself, there is a psychological disadvantage, unless you're strong willed, tough minded, and a somewhat natural athlete.

  7. #7
    a blend of wit and charm Moochers_Dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcm View Post
    It sure doesn't help mine. I run like pachyderm.
    Riding a bike WILL help you spell words like "pachyderm" apparently.


  8. #8
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    I believe running makes you a better cyclist. Not the other way around. Running, for me, has improved my cycling performance significantly......

  9. #9
    Senior Member kjmillig's Avatar
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    Cycling will make you a better speed skater and vice-versa.
    For me, knee surgery and a new pair of lungs might make me a better runner. I too run like an elephant (I don't know how to spell pachyderm)
    "Pain is weakness leaving the body"......yea, right!

  10. #10
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I will go against the grain and say that it has made me a better runner. But the improvement has been more psychological than physical. Simply put, cycling has increased my capacity to suffer.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  11. #11
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    I wish I had the speed of an elephant...their top speed is about 25 mph...just a bit faster than mine

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    [QUOTE=Garfield Cat;4904483]If you need to do a 1.5 mile in 12 minutes, that's a 7.5 mile a minute pace. You need to train for that because that's your goal. Bike riding won't get you from a 10 minute mile pace down to a 7.5.

    I believe 1.5 miles in 12 minutes is actually a 8 minute mile pace.

    I have been told biking will strengthan the knees and help with runners knee. Runners knee is a big issue for me. I am not really sure if I have seen any real improvement in my runners knee but maybe it takes a while.

  13. #13
    Enjoying the Ride Bob Loblaw's Avatar
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    I'm surprised so many people have said that cycling won't help his running. What about the tremendous improvements that can be made to cardiovascular health from cycling? That seems like it would definitely benefit his running. It may not strengthen the right leg muscles for running, but it will greatly improve things like breathing + heartrate under stress which are important to control while running. He'll definately have to train to complete his running goal, but cycling in between should only help! disagree?

  14. #14
    Belt drive! vtjim's Avatar
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    I don't know, certainly cycling helps your cardio, which could help your stamina during a run, but it's a bunch of different muscles, and running is a really inefficient means of transport compared to cycling.

    I can ride for 20 or 30 miles and be fresh as a daisy. On foot, can sprint like a scalded cat, but I can't run more than a mile or two without feeling like I'm ready to die. I did a 3 mile "fun run" in April, and averaged 11 minute miles. Is that "good" for a non-runner? I'm not sure.

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    don't mean to be a math geek but:

    60 minutes (1 hour) / 12 minutes = 5

    1.5 miles * 5 = 7.5 miles

    sorry for the interruption, please carry on ...

  16. #16
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    If you need to do a 1.5 mile in 12 minutes, that's a 7.5 mile a minute pace. You need to train for that because that's your goal. Bike riding won't get you from a 10 minute mile pace down to a 7.5.
    Huh? 7.5 miles a minute = 450 miles/hr or about airplane speeds!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by TOturtle
    don't mean to be a math geek but:
    Uh no... you have to carry the units correctly and we're talking minutes/mile. So given...

    12 minutes
    1.5 miles

    We want:

    minutes/mile = 12 minutes / 1.5 miles = 8 minutes/mile


    And depending upon whether your running speed is limited by muscle-strength/efficiency or aerobic-capacity, cycling will help you in different ways.

    For me, my legs never get tired on runs less than 10-miles at TT speeds (I played soccer for 15-yearrs). However, getting faster running speed requires working on my aerobic system. Doing hillclimbs and tempo workouts on the bike definitely helped my running speeds.

    Also, I find that I can lose weight faster by riding my bike than by running. About 6-8lbs/month with cycling vs. 4-5 lbs/month with running. Lower weight helps in both running and cycling.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtjim View Post
    I don't know, certainly cycling helps your cardio, which could help your stamina during a run, but it's a bunch of different muscles, and running is a really inefficient means of transport compared to cycling.

    I can ride for 20 or 30 miles and be fresh as a daisy. On foot, can sprint like a scalded cat, but I can't run more than a mile or two without feeling like I'm ready to die. I did a 3 mile "fun run" in April, and averaged 11 minute miles. Is that "good" for a non-runner? I'm not sure.
    Ummm...no, that kinda sucks. 10 minutes per mile is considered a "jogging" pace.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    Uh no... you have to carry the units correctly and we're talking minutes/mile. So given...

    12 minutes
    1.5 miles

    We want:

    minutes/mile = 12 minutes / 1.5 miles = 8 minutes/mile
    You are correct sir. I had it as miles/hr instead of minutes/mile.

  19. #19
    SSP
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    I found that cycling can be a negative with respect to running, especially when one is just starting a running program.

    After years of cycling, my aerobic fitness was high. But, running is much, much harder on the body, and has a much higher potential for overuse injuries. Thus, within 4 months I'd managed to cause a stress fracture in my fibula.

    They say you need about 1 year of "base" running to really harden your body to the rigors of running. And during that time you have to be very careful with volume and intensity levels.

    So, just because you're strong on the bike, don't make the mistake of thinking you can go out and crank off a marathon with little training (just ask Lance about how hard New York was...).
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Fredmertz51's Avatar
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    Running seems to help my cycling. But after many days of cycling without running, my running mechanics are terrible. Takes a while to get my stride back.
    Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand.

  21. #21
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    I credit cycling with vastly improving my baserunning ability in softball, I went from someone who had to hit the ball well into the outfield to get on base to someone who can out run a slightly misplayed 5-3 infield hit. Made all the difference in bringing my average up to something close to respectable.

    I'm not saying that training for sprinting wouldn't have acomplished the same thing, but it sure wouldn't have been as much fun.

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