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Cross Training - Road Bike / Running

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Cross Training - Road Bike / Running

Old 08-18-08, 06:53 PM
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Shipht
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Cross Training - Road Bike / Running

So I've been riding for a month or so pretty frequently. However to me its not quite frequently enough. I work a 9 - 5 job and often don't have time during the week to take a 3 hour ride through the hills.

Do many of you mix running and riding? My thoughts were trying to get in a ride every-other day. But when I can't ride try and push myself through an hour long run or so.

I'm doing this for mainly a fitness perspective, and was curious if by doing this I may not be giving my legs enough time to recuperate. I know when doing weights or anything like that its best to switch upper-body to lower body. However it seems when I run I'm using very different leg muscles.
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Old 08-18-08, 07:41 PM
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I started riding in my mid 30s when I noticed i was not recovering from a run as well as I used to. Most of my riding was 3 days commuting 15 miles each way, alternating between a 15 mile run and a 30-40 mile ride on the weekends. I had no trouble with my legs recovering as long as I paid attention to effort levels in all workouts.
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Old 08-18-08, 08:26 PM
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I'm 50 and run 3-5 miles nearly every day unless I ride. I've found that doing slow runs greatly increased my aerobic base which has helped my cycling in a major way. I ride longer and faster with less fatigue other than from being beat up by the s fl sun.
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Old 08-18-08, 08:29 PM
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I usually run on the weekdays, and cycle on the weekends. Keeps me from burn out.
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Old 08-18-08, 09:01 PM
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I also run when I don't have time to ride. I also run when I am on business trips. It is good balance anyway. When I started cycling too much this year, I actually lost endurance for some impact sports such as hiking. Running and cycling are good counter -balances, but cycling is a lot more fun.
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Old 08-19-08, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Shipht View Post
So I've been riding for a month or so pretty frequently. However to me its not quite frequently enough. I work a 9 - 5 job and often don't have time during the week to take a 3 hour ride through the hills.

Do many of you mix running and riding? My thoughts were trying to get in a ride every-other day. But when I can't ride try and push myself through an hour long run or so.

I'm doing this for mainly a fitness perspective, and was curious if by doing this I may not be giving my legs enough time to recuperate. I know when doing weights or anything like that its best to switch upper-body to lower body. However it seems when I run I'm using very different leg muscles.
I started running during the week too, for the same reasons. It's very easy to run from work, and I can usually find a little time during the day.

Running can only help in terms of your cardiovascular system, but to get faster on the bike you'll still need some sport-specific training. But really, if you're getting out there and exercising, none of it is bad. Besides, you'd have an excuse to race a duathlon.
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Old 08-19-08, 01:30 AM
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Earlier this year I started running to help with my biking, and ended up getting really addicted because of the simplicity and lack of gear you need and my cycling went down to like 200 miles a month lol. I'm not running as much for reasons I won't get into but I'm just starting again, trying to do really short 2 mile runs on my off days. At my best I running around 25 miles a week.
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Old 08-19-08, 05:16 AM
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if you have an hour then got on the bike and do intervals. if you have 30 minutes then run. later.
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Old 08-19-08, 06:28 AM
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Because my main focus on the bike is cyclocross, I try to incorporate a running workout at least once a week, even during the spring season when I'm often suckered into doing a road race or two. I also travel a lot and I've found that it's considerably easier to bring a pair of running shoes and shorts along in the bag than a bike, helmet, etc.

Running's also good for working the core and arms, something that cycling's awful at doing.
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Old 08-19-08, 06:42 AM
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You're right in that running and cycling use different leg muscles. But running is a good alternative to cycling and maintains overall fitness. A 30 minute run gives me all the mental benefits (fell good) that 90 minutes of cycling does. Considering I do triathlons and need to squeeze double workouts in, I often run and cycle in the same day and feel good.

However, don't let anyone tell you running benefits cycling becuase there's no carry over. You need cycling specific work to improve.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Shipht View Post
So I've been riding for a month or so pretty frequently. However to me its not quite frequently enough. I work a 9 - 5 job and often don't have time during the week to take a 3 hour ride through the hills.
As long as you don't have joint problems, running's fine for general fitness. It's not much for making you fast on the bike though.

Another alternative is shorter rides on the weekedays. You don't have to ride 3 hours to get a workout.
Often times people assume that they if they have less than a hour, they can't get a good workout on the bike, but they can running.

The only reason that can be true, is that people don't push themselves as hard on the bike, as they do running. A 30-45 ride with structured interval work can be every bit as good a work out as running for the equivalent time, without pounding your joints.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:56 AM
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Mixing it up is good for the head. You're right though - running & cycling work different muscles - so the fitness gained in one sport won't translate necessarily into the other. From a logistics perspective - running is easier to do and sustain, especially with a busy schedule.

I tried to run in the morning and bike during the day - but waking up so early in the morning was starting to piss me off...

If you sit on your bum all day at work - I wouldn't be too concerned with overloading yourself. I'd play it by ear - if your legs are starting to get wobbly, take some time off. But if you can keep it up - why not?
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Old 08-19-08, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
As long as you don't have joint problems, running's fine for general fitness. It's not much for making you fast on the bike though.

Another alternative is shorter rides on the weekedays. You don't have to ride 3 hours to get a workout.
Often times people assume that they if they have less than a hour, they can't get a good workout on the bike, but they can running.

The only reason that can be true, is that people don't push themselves as hard on the bike, as they do running. A 30-45 ride with structured interval work can be every bit as good a work out as running for the equivalent time, without pounding your joints.
That is true if you can get to the place to push yourself in that time. I live in the city and the first 10-15 mins of any ride I do from home is on streets with stop signs or lights every other block. I prefer to ride in the foothills, so that is a 20 minute drive.

I can go a block from my house and run 10k in the park if I have an hour free and I just can't get that much exercise on my bike in the same time.

You are right about the abuse on the joints, but if you have good shoes and orthotics, it can be mitigated. In fact, some stress exercise is good for bone strength.
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Old 08-19-08, 10:42 AM
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I just started running a few weeks ago. I am really enjoying it so far. I tried to run a few years ago and it was too hard on my joints. I really needed something to get me through the winter this year. I like to ride as much as I can but it never seems enough in the winter.

So I decided to give it a shot again.

I can run a 5K now and hopefully a 10K in a month or so. I am not sure I will go much above a 1/2 but we will see. I also run 3 to 4 days a week. Never usually on the same days I ride but I would imagine that it will happen.

I also seem to not have an issue riding a century on Saturday and running a 5k on Sunday...I like that part...the running thing is very social, not a bad thing, always good to meet new people.

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Old 08-19-08, 11:52 AM
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I work on a small, quiet, military base. I don't ride my "road" bike off post after work due to traffic and time constraints. I do enjoy bringing my 16 year old schwinn cross cut to work and doing a runand bike w/o. Some days I run for 3 to 6 miles, then bike 16. Some days I run 3.2, bike 16, and run 3.2. Other days I'll just run a 6 mile loop only. Some days it's just weights. On Tuesday during the summer, I play 9 holes of golf with a goup/league from work.. Then down a few cold ones afterward.

So yes, I combine running and biking.
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