How can riding your bike enhance your ability to run? The answer to this question lies in the idea of cross-training. Whether you’ve heard the term or not, cross-training could be the key to helping you unlock your optimal running performance. Now, if you don’t know much about the idea of cross-training, it’s very simple.
Cross-training is when a person engages in two or more sports or, two types of exercises in order to improve their fitness, stamina, or performance in their main sport. In this case, you’d cross-train with riding your bike in order to improve your running. So, now that you understand what cross-training is, we can take a deeper dive into seven ways that riding your bike can boost your running performance.
That being said, by the end of this post, we might just have you convinced to hop on your bike, put on the motorcycle accessories and get pedaling!
If you’re training for a distance race, incorporating cycling into your training schedule can help build your endurance. Cycling is a low-impact sport which means that you can spend more time riding your bike which in turn improves your endurance. Also, integrating hill climbs and sprints into your cycling routine can help enhance your aerobic performance which in turn benefits your running distance and pace.
It’s no surprise when we say that running is a sport that can be very hard on your body. The impact and stress of running on a consistent basis can affect your ankles, hips, and knees. That’s why integrating biking into your workout regimen can offset your running workouts and give your body the chance to recover before you pound the pavement again.
As we mentioned before, if you’re currently dealing with an injury, biking can be a great means of keeping your endurance up and helping you stay in shape while you recover.
Cycling requires strong legs. This means that in turn, it helps build lean, powerful muscles. Why does this matter? It matters because runners rely on strong legs to help us fight fatigue and power through our runs. There’s more to this equation because runners naturally build powerful glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
But, in order to run efficiently, all of our leg muscles need to be working in unison to power our footwork. That’s why incorporating cycling into your workout schedule can help build those complementary muscles that runners need in order to succeed.
Sure, yoga and other forms of exercise are viable cross-training options, however, cycling is a great workout for active recovery because not only does it give your joints a break, it also helps increase your stamina, build lean muscle and burn calories.
Easy on The Joints
For anyone who runs regularly, you know that it’s a high-impact activity. Unfortunately, our favorite sport can lead to increased stress on our bones and joints. As we mentioned before, our ankles, hips, and knees take the brunt of the exercise as our feet continually make a strong impact on the ground which reverberates through our legs.
That’s why it’s important to add variety to our workouts. Adding cycling into your routine can reduce the amount of stress on your joints while still reaping the cardiovascular benefits. It’s important to note that competitive runners use cycling as a means to build their fitness levels while reducing the amount of stress on their joints.
If you’ve never heard the term before, leg turnover is one that you’ll want to pay attention to. Why? Because running at a faster pace requires you to efficiently and effectively turn over your steps. That’s why cycling is an exercise that can help you improve your leg turnover because riding a bike involves and requires a steady cadence.
Fluid revolutions of your legs and wheels translate well into improving your running efforts. Quick tip, when cycling, aim for a running cadence of 180 steps per minute.
Stamina isn’t just reserved for physical performance. In fact, when it comes to running, mental stamina is just as important. Can you relate? We’ve all been in that mindset where lacing up our tennis shoes and peeling ourselves off of the couch can feel like an Olympic event.
This all ties back to the idea that mental stamina and toughness are just as, if not more important than the actual physical activity. Even avid runners waiver in motivation and dedication to the sport. That’s why switching up our workouts and incorporating cycling into our training schedules can help break up the fitness monotony.
A fresh, clear mind works wonders for your running performance. From injury prevention all the way to mental stamina, cycling is a viable cross-training exercise that’ll not only improve your overall fitness levels but, more importantly, boost your running performance as well.
Do you cycle in order to improve your running pace and endurance?