As I read about different training programs, they tend to be single sport oriented. I ride and run in approximately equal proportions. Both riding and running programs emphasize different types of training within their sport - endurance, hills, speed. My question really comes to this: Do I need to work all types of workouts in each sport or can I get essentially the same benefits if my specialized training spans the two sports? Does that long run this week keep up my cycling endurance as well as a long ride (assuming a long ride next week)? My body and schedule do not always allow two long endurance workouts each week so my approach has been to rotate the sports within the workout for a balance. Thanks for any thoughts
It depends what your goals are. If you are seriously into racing, one month or so before the start of your racing season, you should focus on one sport only.
But other than that, I think cross training is great. Your aerobic system won't tell the difference whether you are running or cycling. I use to spin indoors through the long winters here in Montreal. Now I run, ski, swim, and barely touch the trainer in the winter - much more enjoyable.
Cross training works different muscle groups, which is good to complement cycling as cycling is quite limited in the range of motion. If you are more of a runner, cross training will avoid injuries, as too much running will be hard on your articulations.