Cycling improve my Running?

PeakRider91 Posts: 62
edited August 2012 in Road general
Hey guys I eventually want to join the army and some of the running requirements I need to aim for is 1.5 mile in 9 mins 10 miles runs 20 mile tabs carrying 15kg.

Will cycling 100miles a week be good training and beneficial for my running or is best to just stick with running?



  • t.m.h.n.e.t
    t.m.h.n.e.t Posts: 2,265
    CV gains maybe, there are no other similarities.
  • alihisgreat
    alihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    Its good to do different things as it can help to keep you balanced -> and cycling might give your knees a rest.

    Cycling is also good for doing long endurance training eg. 2-3hours in zone 2 heart rate. something that you might struggle to do running.

    Just going out and doing the odd 20 miles isn't likely to help that much though.
  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    From experience Ive noticed recently that despite not running much I can pick it up and go at a good pace. Beyond a good base fitness they are still very different. It'll certainly help, especially vs doing nothing but make sure you still get the run miles in!

    Doing 6 min/mil pace even if only for 9 minutes is still very hard. A lot depends on how fit you are now.

    As above, you can use riding to help maintain endurance, useful if injured and to rest knees etc.
  • 699321
    699321 Posts: 4
    I'm in the Army and I've pretty much stopped running now and just cycle. I'm senior enough now where I can get away with not running with the up and coming young thrusters but I still manage to pass all my mandatory tests (PFA, AFT etc) without a problem, but don't expect to be breaking any records if you are just cycling.
  • jibberjim
    jibberjim Posts: 2,810
    9minutes for 1.5miles is of course not easy to do, but it's a very attainable target even for people without a runners physique and the advantages you can get from having massive running economy. Being more aerobically fit - particularly doing lots of VO2max work on the bike will likely lead to maintaining at worst and probably improving. It really depends on what actually limits you in running - are you a fast enough runner to do 1km faster than the speed you need but struggle to do 1.5miles, if so then it's likely to help more than if your basic running speed is such that even doing 1km is a struggle - when more specific training will likely help.

    "100miles a week" is a meaningless measure of course, but a large amout of cycle training will certainly help your aerobic fitness which is fundamentally what you need.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff:
  • rodgers73
    rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    I found running up hills much easier after starting cycling. No other gains though.
  • MichaelW
    MichaelW Posts: 2,164
    You need to condition your legs to prevent injuries during training; cycling does very little for this but it is good for cardio fitness . Walking, running, core strength, yoga style balance exercises are what you need.
  • G.Green
    G.Green Posts: 10
    If you want to make sure you can pass a running test concentrate on training for the run. Eg every week: day1 - run a longer than 1.5 mile run; day3 - run a warm up then run at the required pace for 3 minute, jog slowly until you get your breath then repeat several times; day4 - warm up then try running shorter distances (200/400m) faster than the required pace, have a rest for a minute then repeat several times; day6 - warm up and then try running the full 1.5 mile at or close to the required pace. Take it slowly to start with, then as the weeks go by increase the number of faster running intervals and push the distances further out. If your legs feel fine keep getting out on your bike it won't hurt.
  • anthdci
    anthdci Posts: 543
    as above, cycling will help your cardiovascular system, but the muscles you use for running and cycling are different so your conditioning the wrong ones. The only way to prepare for that kind of test, is to get out and run, you will quickly notice how quick you improve.
  • karlth
    karlth Posts: 156
    I've got my cycling up to what I consider a reasonable standard (14.5mile commute to work with 750' climb in 56min) but still can't run more than about 400m without collapsing in a heap, so there's nothing automatic about it if you ask me.
  • andyrr
    andyrr Posts: 1,819
    I've seen a few similar threads on here and other cycling forums.
    I've not given running a go for many years but have cycled, included reasonably serious racing, for 15 or so.
    Tried running on holiday 18 months ago but rapidly gave up due to major leg pain. Tried again a few months later and I got the same results after distances varying from sub 1Km to 5 kms or so, tightness/pain around first 1 knee, then I got aachilles pain and the knee cleared up then the other knee chimed in once I'd rested for the achilles.
    I'd wanted to give competitive cycling a break so I persisted with the running despite the pain and then suddenly it cleared and I now run 2/3 times a week, from 5kms up to 15Kms.
    It's hard going - bloomin' hard, I think the initial thing is the impacts your legs suffer as cycling has none hence why runners I know of seem o be regularly dealing with muscular and joint injuries. The CV benefits will be shared across activities but there are significant enough differences that if you need to attain a good level at 1 then you need to do at least some specific training at that.
    I'd also want to give a few goes with a similar weighted pack just to be used to that.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    You're going to have to put in the hard-yards on foots in training, but one of the main reasons for drop-outs in basic training is lower limb injuries as people pile-on the miles and their feet, ankles, shins and knees simply cannot withstand the constant pounding. I would use the cycling to compliment your leg-work - running every second day and cycling inbetween to help with recovery and CV fitness. Also look at doing some short-sharp sessions in your training rather than just grinding-out the miles as these are what leads to the chronic conditions you want to avoid.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..