I’ve been running more and more over the last two years and it’s really helped my cycling fitness. At least on the shorter rides. And on climbs. I feel a lot fitter and stronger on my bike. I’m not out of breath and the hills that I used to find a struggle are not so bad.
Running is good for cycling! That’s a bit surprising to me because I always assumed that the two exercises use different muscles and are different in other ways. How can one help the other?
Why has running helped my cycling?
Clearly, my improved cardiovascular fitness and the fact that I’m not carrying 20 – 30 lbs of extra body weight have really helped.
I can think of a few other reasons why running has improved my cycling:
- Leg movements will have made my legs stronger overall.
- Trail running (bridleways) has given me better balance skills and reaction times.
- Better posture. Running is a standing exercise and I think it’s good compensation for sitting down all day. Cycling is, um, sitting down and it’s not as much of a change in posture.
- Regular exercise must be a good thing (it’s easy to take a break and go for a run).
I don’t have a planned schedule for running and how it fits into my cycling activities. I just do one or the other depending on how I feel. I’m currently running three times a week (approx. 15 miles in total) and cycling twice a week (approx. 40 miles).
I’ve felt most of the benefits of running on shorter cycle rides so I still need to go out for some longer 3 to 4-hour rides before my planned cycling trips with friends later this summer.
Get out and run!
Overall, I feel like I have benefited a lot from running and it’s improved my cycling fitness.
Why not try a parkrun every Saturday? It’s great and the regularity has kept me motivated for running. Give it a go!