Cycling To Help Become A Better Runner
A bike can be among a runner’s most valuable tools for training the body to shift into higher gear, develop quicker turnover, create more power and reach peak racing shape.
But those of us who both run and cycle know a secret: cycling helps make you a better runner.
Many runners turn to cycling after injury- that is, they’re forced into riding a bike to stay sane while rehabilitating a stress fracture or joint pain. However, they soon discover something remarkable when they return to running — cycling actually made them better than ever before!
How cycling can make you a better runner
If you’re a runner, you might want to consider joining the ranks of Lance wannabes. Even if you’re not injured, riding a bike is an excellent cross-training activity, one which can improve your running performance significantly. Here’s why:
1. It’s a great form of active recovery.
It’s a story as old as running itself: You do your long run on Sunday, and come Monday morning, you don’t want to get off the couch, much less do any sort of active movement. For many, an easy jog the day after a long, hard run is about as much fun as a root canal.
But active recovery, such as moving your legs with an easy bike ride, can increase blood flow, flush out lactate, reduce muscle and joint stiffness, and help you get back on the trails sooner than if you were to just sit on the couch drinking beer. (Not that I’m saying sitting on the couch drinking beer is bad. Just, you know, do it after your bike ride.)
2. You’ll build strength in complementary muscles.
If your workouts are exclusive to running, you’re only building up certain sets of muscles to perform certain functions. Though your running muscles will become stronger initially, at some point you’ll plateau, because doing the same thing every day will eventually stop yielding results.
When you start cycling, you’re using muscles in your legs and core that complement the muscles used for running, making you stronger, more efficient, and yes — faster.
Cycling gives you a good workout without the impact of a run. If you’re not comfortable with replacing an entire run workout with a session on the bike, even substituting a portion of your run with a cycling workout can make your