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Running & cycling

Alain QuayAlain Quay Posts: 534
I'm booked on a 110 m sportive in May but seriously underdone in terms of bike miles.
However, am running a mile or three every second day. Does anyone else use running for cycle fitness and if so how well dones it translate?



  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    Basic aerobic fitness is transferable, but running won't help your cycling, especially such a small amount as a mile (or 3) every other day.
  • BiaggiBiaggi Posts: 14
    Your heart doesn't know whether you're running or cycling so running will improve your cardio fitness if done at the right tempo/duration.

    However, your primary movers in a run is the hamstrings where as for cycling it's the quads (hence jelly legs in Triathlon after the bike until your key blood flow has been re-directed to your hamstrings) to so that's your main problem.
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639
    To be honest, If you can only run 3 miles, then I think you will seriously struggle with a 110 mile ride, with your current training regime. How much riding are you actually doing? If your training only consists of running, should you not have entered a half marathon instead?
  • PepPep Posts: 501
    danowat wrote:
    Basic aerobic fitness is transferable, but running won't help your cycling, especially such a small amount as a mile (or 3) every other day.

  • darren Hdarren H Posts: 122
    You will need to do more running than that.
    Ive ran over forty miles a week for ten years and cycled a few thousand miles as well. Running will help but miles on the bike cannot be replicated.

    Good luck.
    You would be better just cycling if your doing a big ride.
    Whats your longest ride to date
  • tom34tom34 Posts: 24
    When I cycle with my friends I usually can't keep up.

    Since then i've been running 7km three times a week and this has made a massive difference.

    Running I find requires less time than riding so I find that running 45min straight is quite effective.
  • Tricky one this innit. My take is that cycling probably helps running more than vice versa - especially if you do intense aerobic threshold sessions on the bike.

    I am sure the threshold sessions I've been doing at spin classes - some of which must also improve aerobic endurance - have helped my running a great deal, as my threshold is simply higher. I'm just aerobically fitter.

    But I have most of my muscle endurance from running, as I find it difficult to get out for long rides - in fact, I am still not sure how I would cope on a long ride of say more than 40 miles, as I never do them!

    I also often run to and from my spin classes in a sort of solo duathlon style, and if I push it at all on the run there, my legs will be complaining on the bike to the point where i find it difficult to get into the red zone.

    And I know that when I first got on a bike, even as a fairly fit trail runner, I was bloody hopeless (in my own perhaps harsh estimation anyway) - it was actually dispiriting.
  • ChrisSAChrisSA Posts: 455
    As above. It will help the cardio, providing you're running slow enough and long enough....However to get better at cycling you need to cycle. Same for running. Different muscles are used, so you need to put in the bike miles unfortunately.
  • hopper1hopper1 Posts: 4,389
    Running will aid basic fitness, but doesn't translate to cycling.
    Because of work commitments, running is my only option (for training) for 28 days. I work for 28 days, have 28 days off. My riding is sh!te this year because of this!
    If you want to train to do a sportive, get on the bike, chap!
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • mrwibblemrwibble Posts: 980
    I've been doing some high intensity interval training with an instructor doing drill stuff to the point where I am going to puke! My fitness levels are getting better and better, I havent really done any cycling this season.
  • Alain - you still have time to get that cycle training in, and you need to start adding some bike miles now.

    What distances and order does your sportive involve?
  • CrackFoxCrackFox Posts: 287
    I've just come back to the bike after focusing on running for the past 2-3 months. On my proper first ride (i.e. not a commute) I felt that I was only very slightly weaker than I had been, but my usual running circuit is a very hilly one and hill-running is supposed to benefit the quads. So I reckon that hill-running can do a reasonable job of maintaining cycling strength, and it has other cardiovascular and psychological benefits that may carry over into cycling, but it is never going to be a replacement for time spent on the bike. The bottom line is - you're preparing for a cycling event, so get cycling. :)
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