4 REASONS WHY I THINK CYCLING HELPS MY RUNNING
I am definitely not the first person to write about cycling complementing running. But the more I cycle the more I think it is a real benefit to my training. Therefore…I want to talk about it.
- X TRAINING FOR INJURY PREVENTION – weight training is the optimum method of injury prevention, but cycling is not without merit. Running puts lots of stress through the body. Every time you strike the ground you apply significant forces that the body must be able to cope with. The more miles you run, the higher the intensity of training, the greater the stress and therefore the elevated risk of injury. Cycling affords me a complementary form of training, but the key point is that you remove the continuous impact of running. What a great way to get additional endurance benefits whilst also allowing your muscles and joints some impact free time.
- ENDURANCE BOOSTING – if your main focus is the marathon (I haven’t been further than that yet) then you need table topping endurance levels. Cycling is a brilliant way to develop endurance by getting yourself out of the door for a few hours and getting the heart rate up, the aerobic system will continue to develop. And due to the lack of impact, you can cycle for longer and more often than most people can run longer distances.
- VARIETY – adding a different activity to training keeps things fresh and interesting. If, like me, the majority of your runs start from the same place, you go out the door and either turn left or right, then it is not long until you have exhausted many of your easily available routes. That is not to say I do not love running where I live, I am lucky enough to have a wonderful place to run, but I have noticed that if I am running under 10 miles that I am treading the same track over and over again. With the bike, increased speed and distance allows you to explore, experiencing new and wonderful places. Below is a photo I took while out this morning, taken at the very limit of my running distance.
- ITS TOUGH – although I intend to be running long after my speed has left me, at the minute, I am chasing times. I want to know just how quick I can be in the 10k, the half marathon and the marathon. Cycling helps with the challenge. As long as you are willing to work hard, find some hills, cycle into the wind or put the hammer down for long periods, then you can expect your legs to burn. There is no reason that you can’t do some interval to ramp things up!