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  1. #1
    Lone Ranger Minerva's Avatar
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    How cycling has helped.. (insert sport here)

    I originally got into biking due to a running injury and found it to be different and challenging in it's own right. However, I would be amiss if I didn't recognize the benefits of cycling on my running fitness, now that I do both. I have noticed that my lung capacity has improved faster and better on the bike than by training harder "on my feet". My quads are much stronger now, and match more evenly with my muscular hamstrings. The biggest improvement I see from these factors is hill climbing. I used to dread running hills. Today, I was delighted to find myself flying up them - feeling lighter than air, because I'm not dragging a 35 pound bike loaded with work gear. Amazing! While I had to build up my fitness differently for both running and cycling, I am now starting to see the symbiotic fitness benefits of being both a cyclist and a runner.

    Anyone else find that cycling has boosted other fitness-related activities or sports in particular ways? Have other activities helped your cycling?

  2. #2
    Runner
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    thats great to hear, i'm a runner and I just bought a road bike to add some cross training this summer for the added aerobic benefit. i hope i have similar results to yours.
    Do you still focus more on running? If so, how much do you bike in addition to running?
    I don't think I will be able to bike a whole lot this summer, as I will be running 70-90 miles a week, but I'll try for a few good rides a week.

  3. #3
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
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    I had a stress test/rough VO2max test done at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute and the techs mentioned that cyclists, on average, do better than runners due to the increased lung capacity and leg muscles.

    Take that fwiw, but I've noticed lots of cyclists "beat" runners in VO2max tests.
    The quest for success: Collegiate Nationals:
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  4. #4
    Lone Ranger Minerva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopid03
    thats great to hear, i'm a runner and I just bought a road bike to add some cross training this summer for the added aerobic benefit. i hope i have similar results to yours.
    Do you still focus more on running? If so, how much do you bike in addition to running?
    I don't think I will be able to bike a whole lot this summer, as I will be running 70-90 miles a week, but I'll try for a few good rides a week.
    Good to see other runner/bikers out there. I still primarily consider myself a runner, because I have much more experience with this sport, but since I've begun commuting to work by bike (20 miles roundtrip) I've cut the running to less than 20 miles per week. 70-90 miles a week(!!) - that's great - you might want to consider using the bike to replace hill workouts or some speed training days, or take a nice long ride to replace your lowest mileage day. Runners typically have stronger hamstrings than quads, so using the bicycle to replace the "recovery run" allows you rest your primary running muscles while strenghtening the alternate muscles, which as we know, can help prevent injury. Although I'm not experienced enough on the bicycle to know how running helps my performance, I do know that so far, cycling has definitely enhanced my running strength and endurance. Good luck, and let us know how you make out!

    **

    JPradun - thanks for the info - based on my personal experience, I think they might be right about that VO2Max comparison between cyclists and runners. I would like to find out what it is about cycling vs. running that promotes this increase, because I certainly feel like I'm working harder when on my legs, vs. wheels. Either way - it only means good things for all of us cross-trainers!

  5. #5
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
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    Probably something to do with the endless amounts of VO2max workouts many of us do. Most runners go for the monotonous long run...every day. I hardly ever see runners working on sprints or VO2-type efforts...and only rarely doing hill repeats.

    That, and how many runners run for 2-3+hrs/day? I don't know about you guys, but I'm lucky to survive a 45min run.
    The quest for success: Collegiate Nationals:
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    (Updated daily 3/26-4/4-: North Carolina training camp)

  6. #6
    Runner
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPradun
    Probably something to do with the endless amounts of VO2max workouts many of us do. Most runners go for the monotonous long run...every day. I hardly ever see runners working on sprints or VO2-type efforts...and only rarely doing hill repeats.

    That, and how many runners run for 2-3+hrs/day? I don't know about you guys, but I'm lucky to survive a 45min run.
    That is a good point, although since I run for a college team I do plenty of V02 max workouts and sprints. It just doesn't seem like recreational runners want to make them part of their schedule. The time thing is an issue for running, as it is actually detrimental to run for more than 2 hours at a crack due to the stress it puts on the body.
    I just went for my first ride on my new bike, and I just have to say that road bikes are awesome. This is my first one, and it is so much more fun than a mountain bike, just being able to fly. Well, at least for me it felt like I was flying, I did 11 miles at 18 mph, and I'm sure I'll be sore tomorrow since it was my first bike ride in over a year.

  7. #7
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Yesterday I road a horse over some very rough terrain for hours. Total distance, about 30 kilometers. I am a bit tired today, but not sore. I do ride horses frequently, but the lack of suffering has to be due to cycling. Otherwise, my legs and rearend would be AWOL right now.

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