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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jashue's Avatar
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    Ran a road race yesterday...

    With the weather turning cold this time of year, I have decided to integrate some running into my training regimen. Yesterday, there was a road race in my neighborhood (a hilly 4 miler), and I figured that it might be interesting to see what an individual with an aerobic base achieved entirely by cycling could do. I did run 5 maybe 6 times in the two weeks leading up to yesterday’s event, but it would be laughable to consider those occasions as “preparation” for my race.

    To make a long story short, it didn’t go very well. I finished 18/150 in a very non-competitive field with a time of around 28 minutes. What’s worse: I did the unthinkable—I stopped twice during the race due to the unbelievable strain. After all had been said and done, I looked to my heart monitor to see that my average HR for the race was 181 bpm. I’m 39 years old.

    Running has never been so hard. Just 9 years ago I ran a 15 K in under 59 minutes (Utica Boilermaker if anyone is familiar), and now (after two seasons averaging 30 miles/day on the bike) I can hardly muster 7-minute miles without fear of heart attack.

    I know that you need to squeeze oranges to make orange juice and that to run fast I need to train accordingly. But shouldn’t this past season of cycling have prepared me better for this foot race? I went into this race with an arrogant swagger, thinking, “You pathetic runners putting in 45 minutes/day don’t know what real training is!” I have since been humbled. My question: why didn’t my cycling fitness translate better? I wasn’t expecting to run six-minute miles—but what actually happened shocked the heck out of me.

  2. #2
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    Running and cycling use different muscles in different ways. And Running is more intense cardiopvascularlly. Running a lot doesn't do much to help cycling either,except: In my expereince cyling fittness goes in phases, were first I have to get my cardiovascular level up, then cyling strenght, then additonal cardio, and so on. Running helps to limit that first phase to a shorter duration.
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    Senior Member slim_77's Avatar
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    I saw a great shirt the other day: "my sport is your sports punishment"

    While in high school (16 years ago) the guys on the track team decided to play basketball instead of doing a light workout--I was amazed at how quickly I felt the pain. I could run a 5min mile, but needed a sub pretty quick off the court.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Jashue's Avatar
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    howsteepisit,

    Which do you suppose benefits the other more, cycling-running or running-cycling? I've heard others weigh in on the subject, but since I thought I'd never run again, I didn't bother committing the viewpoints to memory.

    After yesterday, I'm thinking that a good hard run might be very useful every now and again-- particularly for those interested in improving their time trialing performance.

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    Specificity matters a lot.

    This is why some people think that weight lifting can never help cyclists. You've got to run/bike/play basketball to be good at that given activity.

    That being said, your general fitness should allows you to aapt very quickly. If you and a sedentary person had two months to train before you saw who could run a the faster 5k, you would see a huge advantage over 95% of people.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    I think that you need to do whatever activity you want to do. That being, cycling is good for cycling, running is good for running. Or for both, triathlon training where-in you would train for both. Bottom line is you have to work both the muscles involved as well as just your cardiovascular system. You also need to train the nerves involved to make everything work together efficiently.
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  7. #7
    SSP
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    LOL - been there, done that. I just hope you've got sufficient Ibuprofen on hand, because you're going to be sore (like, "can't get out of bed" sore ).

    As others have noted, cycling does not prepare you for running (except for the cardiovascular part). The only way to get good at running is to...run.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Jashue's Avatar
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    I guess I've been looking at the subject quite narrowly; operating under the assumption that cardiovascular health was the be all to end all in my former and current sports.

    As for the ibuprofen.... LOL... yeah, I'm sore as hell today. It was unseasonably warm today (and as gorgeous a day as one could conceive), and I still couldn't get enough motivation to get out on the bike. It hurts to move.

  9. #9
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jashue
    I guess I've been looking at the subject quite narrowly; operating under the assumption that cardiovascular health was the be all to end all in my former and current sports.

    As for the ibuprofen.... LOL... yeah, I'm sore as hell today. It was unseasonably warm today (and as gorgeous a day as one could conceive), and I still couldn't get enough motivation to get out on the bike. It hurts to move.
    There are plenty of dedicated cyclists who can crank out a hilly century any weekend of the year, but who would find it agonizing, if not impossible, to run 5 miles or even hike 10 miles.

    I used to be one of those "one sport wonders", but my new GF has gotten me into running and hiking. It's a nice change of pace, and does much more than cycling to help preserve bone density (because it's a weight-bearing exercise). You'll definitely feel all-around stronger, but you may find your on-the-bike performance somewhat compromised.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Jashue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    ... You'll definitely feel all-around stronger, but you may find your on-the-bike performance somewhat compromised.
    That is precisely the wisdom that I was hoping to tap into by starting this thread. All summer I've been under performing in my club's weekly time trials, and I thought that by training all winter long for a spring-time ten mile road race (foot) I would enter the bike racing season better off than if I went the indoor trainer route alone.

    I could accept the notion that running might not help that much. But I don't want to do anything to hinder my cycling either. I'm a good climber, and I can hang with most in just about any club ride. But all I really care about is TTing better. It's turning into an obsession. I figured running might be the way to go. Very sorry to think I was wrong

  11. #11
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jashue
    That is precisely the wisdom that I was hoping to tap into by starting this thread. All summer I've been under performing in my club's weekly time trials, and I thought that by training all winter long for a spring-time ten mile road race (foot) I would enter the bike racing season better off than if I went the indoor trainer route alone.

    I could accept the notion that running might not help that much. But I don't want to do anything to hinder my cycling either. I'm a good climber, and I can hang with most in just about any club ride. But all I really care about is TTing better. It's turning into an obsession. I figured running might be the way to go. Very sorry to think I was wrong
    Well, don't take my word as gospel re: training.

    My point about running was that the time available for run training normally detracts from bike training. If you've got time for both, I'm not sure if running would impact cycling or not. I feel like my sprints are stronger since I've taken up running, but not sure about endurance and/or sustained power.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Jashue's Avatar
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    Oh, okay.... I misunderstood.

    Given it's just a matter of time spent training (or lack there of), I see your point perfectly.

    Keep in mind though: I live in Upstate New York, where winter ridding is a practical impossibility. I do have a fluid trainer, but I find that any session of over an hour to be excruciating. Because it's so unpleasant, I find that it's difficult to muster better than 4 days per week. Perhaps things will be different this coming winter. We'll see!

  13. #13
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    lol, I'm a runner and just got into cyling. I though, "hey, I'm in great shape from running, cycling should be a piece of cake". Boy was I wrong...totally different muscles. I may be able to run 13 miles no problem, but the first 10 mile bike ride had my legs feelings like noodles
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  14. #14
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Yup. Hertz Donut?

    Would you think that you could compete in a mile swim if just ran on a treadmill?

    My story: After my "A" race triathlon the first week of September, I probably only ran a couple of times. And then last week I did a half marathon. Aerobic fitness was still there, but the pounding is a different thing entirely. I actually posted a PR, but I could barely walk for the next three days.

    So the lesson for the day is you have to run to run. And you have to ride to ride. For that matter, you have to swim to swim too (well, that one especially).
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