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Cross Training Benefit

SteveR_100MilersSteveR_100Milers Posts: 5,987
Will be doing some running this winter as the turbo really is uninspiring, and I have limited time in the week.
Question is what is the equivalent distance or time when comparing to cycling?
I am currently running about 30 mins at an equivalent PE of around 7-8, i.e. like a long climb such as the bwclh or rhigos mountain. I run this distance without stopping and my HR is pretty constant for the duration. I will be upping the time to about 45 mins occasionally an hour, bit no more than that, and no more than 3 times a week, so a total of initially 90 minutes a week rising to about 2 hours. I'll be doing a club run (60+ miles) everty sunday, a hilly ride of about 1.5 hours on Tuesdays, sometimes a ride on a wed max 1 hour or a SPIN class.

Posts

  • binlinusbinlinus Posts: 305
    Question is what is the equivalent distance or time when comparing to cycling?

    Hi Steve

    I don't think you can compare distance but you can compare time and intensity. If you are looking at running to replace time on the trainer then you could do 2 x 20 mins running; although you may be better off doing 2 x 15 mins with a warm up and a cool down. Likewise you could do 5 x 5 mins.

    If you are just doing the running to benefit the cycling you are better off limiting your runs to about 45 mins and concentrating on doing intervals to maintain or build your aerobic base.

    I usually do a bit of running in the winter. It's handy to run every now and again. I'm going on holiday without the bike at the end of November and it's easy to pack a pair of running shoes to go, I tend to do 10 minute warm up then 20 minutes hard and finally 10 min cool down. I may do that every morning 5 days a week if I'm not cycling. I do a recovery walk in the evening. I prefer to run on grass than pavement or road. At my current age (45) I take about three weeks to ease myself into running if I've not run for several months. Then I feel I can do the intervals properly, otherwise I'm still getting used to the battering on my body.

    I think I'm right in saying the heartrate for running is usually higher ie my max hr is five or so beats higher. But I tend not to bother with the HRM for running.

    I couldn't face using a turbo on a regular basis.

    Bin
  • Running:Cycling ratio is about 3:1.
    i.e: you can go out for 20mins running and it will be the (very rough) equivalent of an hour's ride. An hour's run is roughly like a 3hr+ ride - it will take it out of you if you run it at a decent intensity (tempo)
    Running HR is higher than cycling HR - more muscles being used.
    Running is harder on the body than cycling - correct trainers are vital for starters. I'd say pretty much that the average club cyclist could aerobically run a marathon but the mechanics of running are such that they'd fall apart after 20mins if they've never done it before. It does take time to "learn" how to run again if you've done nothing but cycling for years but it is a worthwhile skill to have.
    Once you're up to speed you can get some phenomenal sessions done in 30mins whilst running which will maintain *some* aerobic fitness but it won't be the same as going out on your bike.
  • Sorry not really a reply to your question here SteveR but i was wondering if anyone uses other methods of crosstraining in the winter (gym and running aside). I know of one guy swears by indoor soccer in the winter, and although its a different method, I play tennis indoors in the winter (relatively low intensity, but over a much longer timeframe-played doubles yesterday and the match lasted 3 hours). The reason im asking is because I detest running with the same passion most people on here detest turbos!!
  • Running:Cycling ratio is about 3:1.
    i.e: you can go out for 20mins running and it will be the (very rough) equivalent of an hour's ride. An hour's run is roughly like a 3hr+ ride - it will take it out of you if you run it at a decent intensity (tempo).....

    .....Once you're up to speed you can get some phenomenal sessions done in 30mins whilst running which will maintain *some* aerobic fitness but it won't be the same as going out on your bike.

    Sorry am a bit confused now - is it beneficial (using a 3:1 ratio or whatever it should be) or not worth bothering using running as a way to maintain / build aerobic fitness for cycling?
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    I think that if you want to get really good at cycling you need to cycle. HAving said that 'real 'life' tends to get in the way :) and for various reasons people turn to other activities during the off/down season.

    Given that anything is better than nothing I would rank 'whole body' exercise as good winter alternatives - e.g cross country skiing, swimming, running, indoor rowing etc, perhaps mixed with some 'complex' weight training (use exercises that involve multiple joints - skip over the biceps curls !)

    I think matchstickman's 3:1 sounds about right - perhaps even more - I can ride for 4 hours but running for more than an hour is too much for me. And then of course you need to consider the joint pounding issues - especially if you are in the older/heavier category of bike rider.

    My uncle (long dead aged 85 - but an amatuer champ in his time) said swimming was his best alternative - strengthened the back, 'opened' the lungs and improved breathing.

    Just get off that sofa.... :)
  • Sorry am a bit confused now - is it beneficial (using a 3:1 ratio or whatever it should be) or not worth bothering using running as a way to maintain / build aerobic fitness for cycling?

    *opens can of worms* :wink:

    Depends what your goals for 2008 are I guess?
    Depends on your personal circumstances (job/family/studying)

    I think from recent topics discussed we can surmise that if you want to be a better cyclist then keep cycling and do as much as you can fit in. If you want to be an all round athlete who can turn their hand to most things then do other sports but accept that you *may* not be as good at cycling as if you did nothing but cycling over the winter.

    My personal (note that word there) opinion is that a bit of running will do you some benefit in terms of mental break from cycling from Oct-Dec but then I do like doing 'cross so it does have some benefit for me in terms of the branch of the sport that I do at this time of year. Come Jan/Feb/March I'll hardly run at all and I just concentrate on cycling because it fits in with my personal circumstances better (job wise) but then come the summer I mix and match my cycling/running due to personal circumstances (family) and in autumn I do more running due to personal circumstances (half marathons and cross season).
  • the points everyone are making are essentially correct. that is running or any other exercise is better than doing nothing. Cycling is better than running (for improved cycling) and specific cycling is better yet.

    Personally, i've never understood how or why people get bored and have to do something different in the off-season. I *think* some of this may stem from 'boring' training or due to life stressors. On the other hand i've been training and racing since 1984 without a break (although i have had time off for the final ~6 months of my degree and a couple of times when i was very ill).

    FWIW, i've just had a short break from training (a week on family holiday) then 2 weeks of just riding about (with little structure) and i'm now started my serious training for next season (aiming to start racing in the last week of march or first weeks of april).

    Ric
    Professional cycle coaching for cyclists of all levels
    www.cyclecoach.com
  • I think it's more that some people actually enjoy the variety of different sports rather than getting bored with just one. I love both running and cycling.

    Steve - I've improved my TT performances this year over distances from 10 miles to 12hours (in fact we were just one place apart in the Welsh 100). The most notable training changes in the last year are that I've become more disciplined and structured about my running and actually reduced my cycling (and no longer do any 'quality' cycling). But what works for me may not work for others.

    I too use the 3:1 ratio.
  • I think it's more that some people actually enjoy the variety of different sports rather than getting bored with just one. I love both running and cycling.

    Steve - I've improved my TT performances this year over distances from 10 miles to 12hours (in fact we were just one place apart in the Welsh 100). The most notable training changes in the last year are that I've become more disciplined and structured about my running and actually reduced my cycling (and no longer do any 'quality' cycling). But what works for me may not work for others.

    I too use the 3:1 ratio.

    Thanks for the useful advice.

    In response to the many comments that cycling is better for cycling than any other form of exercise is already assumed, but I simply dont have the time to do any long rides other than sundays. Max I have is 1 hour on Tuesdays and wednesdays, 1.5 hours fridays. If I had a better turbo I would use that instead, but am simply not going to buy my way out of the problem. Therefore, my question is really - is my limited time better spent running for 45 minutes once or twice a week or cycling for the same time...

    I think I know the answer, but am interested to hear of others' experiences.

    Targets are all about TT's for next year from 10's to the 12 hour. (were you one place in fornt or behind.....??)
  • is my limited time better spent running for 45 minutes once or twice a week or cycling for the same time...

    I'm a little too biased towards running to answer that. But I suspect you could devise some good cycling sessions in 45 mins e.g. 5 mins warm-up, 30 mins tempo, 5 mins warm-down etc etc. But if that means cycling on dark wet roads then you may prefer running...
    Targets are all about TT's for next year from 10's to the 12 hour. (were you one place in fornt or behind.....??)

    In front :wink:
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    i've been training and racing since 1984 without a break (although i have had time off for the final ~6 months of my degree and a couple of times when i was very ill).

    FWIW, i've just had a short break from training (a week on family holiday) then 2 weeks of just riding about (with little structure)


    So - Ric has had a break of the kind some people have advocated here - appropriate to his level of performance/committment. I don't compete at all - but enjoy my own little challenges (this year was riding famous cols in the alps)
    And if one includes regular snow/freezing rain & fog, about 6 hours of twilight for three months as life stressors then yes - these will make me choose other sports for the winter. I've weighed up the percieved risks of riding out of doors in theses conditions and decided its not worth it. I do use a turbobut not before Christmas instead I run a bit and do weights at the gym because I enjoy it more than riding in freezing fog!
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    is my limited time better spent running for 45 minutes once or twice a week or cycling for the same time...

    I'm a little too biased towards running to answer that. But I suspect you could devise some good cycling sessions in 45 mins e.g. 5 mins warm-up, 30 mins tempo, 5 mins warm-down etc etc. But if that means cycling on dark wet roads then you may prefer running...
    I'm not biased towards running. :wink:

    But I completely agree with BlackHelmet - If you're as focused on cycling and improving your TT performances as I think you are Steve, then the answer seems obvious to me: Find a way to cycle in those 45min sessions - and you need to cycle quite hard. If your current turbo isn't up to the job, then could you afford a secondhand one? It really doesn't have to be an expensive turbo to provide sufficient resistance to do a good session.

    Ruth
  • I simply dont have the time to do any long rides other than sundays. Max I have is 1 hour on Tuesdays and wednesdays, 1.5 hours fridays. If I had a better turbo I would use that instead, but am simply not going to buy my way out of the problem. Therefore, my question is really - is my limited time better spent running for 45 minutes once or twice a week or cycling for the same time...

    I went and did the Flanders sportif (160miles) at Easter and in the preceding 10 weeks did 2 x long rides a week (weds afternoon / Sunday morning) and had Saturdays off. The rest of the time was spent doing an hour into work in the morning (not hanging about) and 45mins home (inc intervals). I had some decent form off the back of that and didn't touch the turbo once. It's perfectly possible to do a decent road based session in 45mins but you have to be committed to doing it properly and not just farting about. I'd say you would be better to use your time doing cycling sessions but if your 1hr sessions are in your lunch time for instance then running would be easier to do than cycling for instance. If it's early in the morning before work then I'd suggest cycling. This is where a good coach would come in and help you....
  • knedlickyknedlicky Posts: 3,097
    Strikes me what you propose in your original post is a pretty good regime to follow for an allround fitness.

    I also agree with matchstickman about the approximate 1:3 ratio, but not just in the physical sense rather also in the psychological sense. I consider running a great psychological preparation for long sportives - if you can manage a 2 hour run without problem, psychologically you’ll be okay for ride of 6 hours or more. You learn about the capabilities of your body when you suffer and that comes earlier when running..

    I run most of the year as cross-training (usually just 2 x 40 mins a week, though I’ll increase the frequency and distance if I’ve decided to enter a race) ) and I see running as part of getting a thorough body workout.
    Although it’s not publicised much, riders like Jalabert, Armstrong, Hundertmark and Bolts must also run regularly as cross-training in order to do well in the events like triathlons and marathons they enter - they couldn’t do as well as they did with just minimum preparation.

    In Winter I also play 5-a-side indoor football, do ski gymnastics and ride MTB off-road. The former help with reaction, the middle with legs, thighs and general flexibility, the third with power and strength.
    I’m sure cross-training helps with both physical and psychological regeneration.

    I think it’s better to emerge from Winter with a general overall fitness and then quickly and intensely concentrate on cycling goals rather than try and keep a moderate intensity going all Winter. Even at the professional level, you see riders who can’t compete in early Spring, because they’ve actually had no regeneration time, apart from a month off in November.
  • All roundf fitness and continued weight control is my aim for the next 2-3 months. Of course I will start to put some harder interval type sessions in December onwards, and these will all be bike based. I cant see the benefit of "trying" to do shorter highly intensive sessions at this time of year, I'll simply get tired or more likely bored and stop doing them as effectively just when I need to be doing them.
  • jpembrokejpembroke Posts: 2,569
    I got in to running because I started working from home and so wasn't commuting anymore. Trouble is I now seem to do more running than cycling and I'm getting good results in races, too. That's what happens - it becomes something else to get obsessed about.
    I'm only concerned with looking concerned
  • If I enjoyed swimming then triathlons might be more appealing.....
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