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  1. #1
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    To Run or Not to Run???

    I get the chance to ride around 3 times a week, typically 20 mile rides at a good pace. Lots of hills. I am wanting to do a little more by maybe doing two additional days of running(around 4miles per run) Is this going to help me get better on the bike or not. Thanks in advance.

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    Don't think so. People who bike fast are not necessarily fast runners or vice versa, because you're working different muscle groups. But I know that I can get my heart rate up a lot easier when I'm running, which can be good as far as building endurance goes. I would personally suggest it, just because it can make for a shorter but just as intense workout as cycling.

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    What are you goals? If it's to become a faster cyclist, concentrate on more riding. If it's to get greater overall fitness, run per your schedule. Running is a great way to maintain cadio fitness when you can't ride, like over the winter, but it doesn't replace training time on the bike
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

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    Here is the thing. I am not trying to replace running with bike riding. I am wondering if running 2 times a week plus my regular 3 times a week on the bike will improve my cycling. I have a track within a couple of hundred yards of my front door. It is easier to get a good cardio workout running fairly hard for 30-45 min than gearing up and going out on a ride. It makes sense that my lungs would benefit, therefore helping my cycling. Any other opinions?

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    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    I've tried it, didn't make me faster.

    In my case, my suspicion is that it depleted glycogen stores, and whatever muscles used in common that I was slower on ride days. And didn't stay at it long enough to see if there was a cycling performance benefit if I skipped the runs for a week. If you want to get faster on the bike, ride easy on recovery days. Planning to mix it in a lot more this year as cross training in the off season, when weather's bad and days are short, and see what it does for me next year.

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    I also supplement riding with running. I can't get out for as many long rides as I'd like during the week, but find that I can get a 30-45 minute run in 3 or 4 times per week. I find that my endurance is much improved - don't know that it does much for speed, but overall I feel in better shape.

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    DannoXYZ or any other training authorities have any other thoughts. Thanks.

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    grilled cheesus aham23's Avatar
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    well, running will most definetly increase your endurance and overall fitness level. this in turn will help make you a better rider. faster, stronger....who knows, but i speak from experience when i say it will help. later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps345 View Post
    Here is the thing. I am not trying to replace running with bike riding. I am wondering if running 2 times a week plus my regular 3 times a week on the bike will improve my cycling. I have a track within a couple of hundred yards of my front door. It is easier to get a good cardio workout running fairly hard for 30-45 min than gearing up and going out on a ride. It makes sense that my lungs would benefit, therefore helping my cycling. Any other opinions?
    If you run in addition to your cycling, that helps your cardio and endurance. The running will improve your cycling some but not as much as cycling those two extra days instead. That's why I asked about your goals.

    If you are a beginner cyclists, almost any cardio exercise will cause improvements. As you get fitter and your cardio system improves, the marginal gains will diminish. If your three regelar rides are at 85% or so of your maximum and are an hour or so in duration, running is adding only a little bit to your cardio fitness level. Also at that level, improvements to cycling speed and endurance occur mostly through cycling specific activities. Running uses mostly hamstrings while cycling relies on your quads as far as your upper legs. A similar situation applies to your lower legs. If you want maximum improvement with cycling, do cycling. If you want to just cycle three days and want variety or get a good cardio workout without spending as much time, run those two days.

    I can qoute lots of studies if you like but I'm just doing a quick summary.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

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    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    I started running on a short trip because the bike was at home. So two days in a row of running. It was short about 2.5 miles each day around 6 am. The soreness was in the quads. Hamstrings felt fine. Also lower back ached but did not last long, just a day or two.

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    Definitely run, if not for anything else do it for the personal challenge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan View Post
    Definitely run, if not for anything else do it for the personal challenge.
    Just remember to stretch. Several years of biking as my only aerobic exercise apparently left me with insanely tight hamstrings and calves. Adding running to that caused major achilles problems. 2 months of stretching and PT exercises later, I'm hoping to start running again (much slower, ~15 min every other day rather than 30, and w/ a lot more stretching) in August.

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    ^^^^ yes!! you should be stretching after running and cycling. later.

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    Senior Member slim_77's Avatar
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    training authority here...

    I have noticed a greater impact on my cardio system after running for the last several months (like StanSeven said). It is just easier to get a 30-45 min run/cardio workout in than a worthwhile session of the same length on the bike (getting set, dressed, etc.--hell it takes me 15-30 min to get warmed up!). My goals are not to increase my speed, but I feel as though I have a greater capacity to do more work and that, imo, is positive. Go ahead and run!

    Oh, btw, 4 miles on the track SUCKS! Go run "someplace" in the world and back, it feels better mentally and you can't stop 'till you are home. When I ran the 32 on the track in HS, it was tedious and boring. I couldn't imagine a 64! Try it and you'll see...

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    I ride my bike at least 25 miles 4 times a week and run at least 10 miles 4 times a week, I try to have 2 non-consequitive days off for recovery. I find that running and cycling compliment each other, both work different muscle groups. Running is great cardio, having good cardio is great for cycling. For my running I try and keep at least 2 sessions in my lower 2 HR zone, 1 session in upper 2 HR zone and one session in zone 3.
    My primary rule of gunfighting: "Someday someone may kill you with your own ***, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it was empty!"

  16. #16
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    ?!?

    Runner's World(r) Complete Book of Running by Amby Burfoot.

    I do not agree with other people's opinion on this one. If it did not work for some people then you are doing something wrong. There is a method to develop VO2 max by running or by any other sport.

    Working out other muscle groups will make the ones that are strong much stronger. I have done some bodybuilding and here is a quick example; when someone hit s plateau making the legs bigger one of the things many do is to concentrate on the upper body and viceversa.

    I mix running with riding my bike and have noticed an improvement. I did jump from running to cycling which is the other way around from what has been expressed here. As long as VO2 max is improving then it does not matter the workout. Just keep an eye on overtraining and a way to do that is by checking your recovery rate.

    For example; get your resting pulse before working out and at the end of the workout, do this daily. Then keep track how much time does it take your heart to achieve a resting pulse. If the recovery time takes longer then you are over-training etc etc.

    IMO all been said above.
    Last edited by mazpr; 07-27-07 at 10:15 AM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Is this going to help me get better on the bike or not. Thanks in advance.
    No.

    If you don't know enough about training that you have ask a question like this, it is doubtful that you would know enough about mixing two forms of exercise to favor or benefit just your bicycling skill.

    It is possible that running will help your fitness for cycling, but just as likely that it won't. Get help, go search the Net of "cross training faq, how to do it?""

  18. #18
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    For the past 15 years or so, I've been primarily a cyclist. But over the past year, I've added running (primarily so I can do duathlons and triathlons).

    Starting with a pretty well-trained aerobic fitness base, I did not notice any significant improvements on the bike from running.

    However, I did learn (the hard way) that running is much harder on your body than cycling. It's not very hard to ride the bike every day, but with running you have to be very careful with both volume and intensity...especially for the first year or so.

    I suspect that it was due to my aerobic fitness that I was able to push my body beyond where it was ready, and so I gave myself a stress fracture of the fibula last fall...which kept me off the bike for nearly a month!

    On the other hand, when done carefully, running is great. You'll definitely feel more complete as an athlete, and you can easily incorporate run training whenever you travel by packing just a pair of shorts and shoes.
    Last edited by SSP; 07-27-07 at 05:18 PM.
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    Senior Member radiofree's Avatar
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    Well, I might be the only guy here who is primarily a runner so I'll give you my thoughts. Running is the harder of the two activities by far. I don't know if there is a more cardio intensive activity than running, and even though I do most of my training as a runner, I am still a very competitive cyclist and I can keep up with the "big dogs" in my area. Cross training is never a bad idea unless you think you will hurt yourself. Also, running really improved my sprinting abilities on the bike. Incorporating running into your training will probably yield great results after a few months and if not, then you can stop.

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    I am a cross-country/track guy turned cyclist. I just got back from an eight mile run, so we will see how it works. It was an amazing cardio workout. I know that it would be better to cycle five days a week than cycle three and run two, but I was hoping cycling three and running two would be better than just riding three. Any other advice of whether this is true physiologically or not is welcome to chime in.

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    radioFree & recneps: Your not alone in the running department. I'm also primarily a runner, trail runner to be exact. I cycle also, this gives different muscles a workout. I'm in agreement with you that in my opinion there isn't anything more cardio intensive than running (provided you push yourself). I think that being a dual or tri sport athlete is better than just doing one sport, although it all depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Running must have something going for it if every sport requires running as part of training, you can't say that about any other sport.

    I've had Vo2 MAX & LT tests done on myself both for cycling and running, and judging from my results and how I felt after these tests I can say that at least for me running is more intensive.

    Another important benefit of running is it helps create bone strength and density, cycling does not.
    Last edited by qwerty37; 07-29-07 at 08:54 PM.
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    I took up running almost a year ago after having spent way too much time convincing myself it bordered on cruel and unusual punishment. After a very steep learning curve, I've grown to adore it and find it vastly more fulfilling than riding.

    Running has many benefits over cycling if you're looking at it strictly from a workout perspective. I find it is a much better use of time if that is an issue. In my experience, it has been much better for improving my endurance than cycling, it is alot more of an intense workout and since taking it up I've dropped weight I didn't even realise I had.

    I guess the downside is - especially when starting out - it can be quite hard on your body. And you will need to take it easy for a while and build up slowly - it's frustrating but necessary if you want to avoid serious injury. These problems are magnified if you're overweight.

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    One thing about running is not all running is the same. There is sprint, XC, marathon..... I think I've done all the various forms of running over the years and I can definately tell you that trail running is the most intensive form of running I've ever come across, I don't mean running down a dirt road or rail-to-trails either, I mean running single track through the woods. Not only do you have to run, but you also have to be very carefull of foot placement as you're running, plus there is no such thing as a gentle slope, one second you are running on the level, the next second you are running up a 75% uphill creek bed filled with boulders. the next second you are running down a 75% rocky path - this goes on and on forever. There is no pace that you can set and get complacent, impossible to say you are running a 7:00 mile, the most you can hope for is a decent average time.
    My primary rule of gunfighting: "Someday someone may kill you with your own ***, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it was empty!"

  24. #24
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    No one has mentioned it yet, but running will help keep your bone density up if you're not already doing leg workouts in the gym.

    don't know if it will make you faster though. . .

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by qwerty37 View Post
    Another important benefit of running is it helps create bone strength and density, cycling does not.
    Throughout, or just in the load-bearing parts? That's a dumb question, your whole body bears the load from running. Do your arms get hung out to dry or do they get a bone-density benefit from like overflow of the rest of the skeleton?

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