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Running / Crosstraining(10 posts)

Running / Crosstrainingkeebs64
Jun 14, 2002 7:02 AM
I am wondering about the benefits of a little running mixed in with my cycling training.

First, a little background: Last year I started to run again after 12 years of inactivity and proceeded to overstress my knee. So, on the doctors advise, I gave up on my running comeback and started cycling. I have had good success cycling, and no more knee problems.

Training is going well except for the fact that there are no hills in my general area, and most of the races (1hr drive away) are loaded with them. So that is my weak area. One night a week I drive out to the closest hill (250' climb over 1.0 mile) and do repeats. After climbing my lower quads and backside are a little tight letting me know that I had a good workout.

Last night I ran a race (3.5 miles), and didn't do as well as I was anticipating. Afterwards my lower quads and backside were burning. They felt as though I had worked them like I had never done before, on any bike climb.

So, I am thinking of adding a day of light running to my cycling training to help strengthen my climbing muscles. My weekly workout would be as follows:

Monday: off
Tuesday: 20 miles - hill repeats
Wednesday: 1/2 hour of running
Thursday: off
Friday: 20 miles - intervals
Saturday: 30 miles
Sunday: 40 miles

So how does this sound? Any thoughts, comments, suggestions?
re: Running / CrosstrainingGutterball
Jun 14, 2002 8:18 AM
I don't think that crosstraining would be the best thing to improve your season at this point. Getting off of your bike to try and improve a specific aspect of your riding is an off-season goal. If you don't have it now, it's unlikely that you'll find any noticable gains by the time the season is over by running. It sounds like you just really want to run should go for it. Their are plenty of other on-the-bike drills that you can do to improve your climbing...Look at the Belgians. There's not a hill to be found other than the ocassional highway overpass. Historically, the Belgians haven't had many problems getting over big hills faster than anyone else.
Thats pretty close to my schedule......STEELYeyed
Jun 14, 2002 8:20 AM
except I do a 10mi. time trial on Tues. with some of the local racers,and do hill intervals on Thurs.,usually try to get a combined 100 miles on the weekends. I have noticed that the running does help with climbing and sprinting out of the saddle as it builds the front of your leg muscles.
I race for fitness and recreation so my training has no science to it,but it works for me.
re: Running / CrosstrainingJuanmoretime
Jun 14, 2002 8:31 AM
There are two places to improve on the bike. The first is the bike and the second is the weight room. Running will give you good balance as far as muscle usage goes. I think running once a week your asking for trouble. Either commit to it or don't. You could possibly get away with 3 runs a week but running only once won't allow your running muscles and connective tissue to develop resistance and I think you will be flirting with injury. Thats my 2cents.
re: Running / CrosstrainingDave Hickey
Jun 14, 2002 9:07 AM
Here is what I've been doing:

Monday: run 6 miles
Tuesday: cycle 20 miles
Wed: Go out drinking with my wife
Thursday: cycle 20
Friday: run 6
Sat: cycle 30-100miles
Sun: cycle 30-40 miles
Great plan...PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jun 14, 2002 3:24 PM
That a great plan to balance out the muscles in your legs. Cycling is great for your cardio and your legs... but strength imbalances can occur so cross training combats this. It also takes out the monotony of training.

I'm a part time coach and offer my services through email for a very reasonable fee which is basically what you feel I'm worth from nothing to whatever you want to pay me. You can contact me at

Nick Corcoran Inc.
The purpose of crosstrainingKerry
Jun 14, 2002 5:47 PM
is twofold. One is to train different muscles, and the other is to relieve stress on the body. Running is what causes stress, not generally cycling. Running / swimming / cycling etc. all work your cardiovascular system, so we're only talking stress relief as a reason to cross train. The whole cross training thing came from runners, because they were stressing their bodies so much when they got into big miles. You can do six hours on a bike day after day, but you could never run that much. As a cyclist who "only runs in airports" I really can't see any benefit to cycling from running.
I completely disagreePODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jun 14, 2002 7:42 PM
Cross training has 2 purposes:
1) to relieve stress on the body
2) to stress the body in new ways
3) to cut the monotony of training 6 hours a day on the bike
Take for example Fred, a very fit near-pro caliber cyclist.

However, his lower back has started to hurt from cycling to much. So he turns to swimming or running to relieve the pain since these positions don't hurt.

This in turn strengthens areas cycling does not, especially the core. And it stresses the cardiovascular system due to the SAID principle. Specific adaptation to imposed demands. So on the bike he sometimes has a hard time keeping his heart rate super high while under a heavy training load. So he turns to running or swimming which stresses the body in a completely new way. This in turn raises his heart rate to the levels he would like for extended periods of time while relieving the stress on his injury and fixing the problem by strengthening the core.

Finally, riding 6 hours a day day after day gets monotonous. So doing something else a number of days a week helps a lot.

If anyone would be interested in discussing a coaching plan with me its my way of supporting myself so you can contact me at I promise to undercut any other coach without sacrificing another coaches knowledge.

Nick Corcoran Inc.
6 hours a day?Kerry
Jun 15, 2002 4:43 PM
That suggests 800+ miles per week. Do you know anyone doing this kind of distance, outside of a stage race or a ultra distance (RAAM) rider? If you're bored with cycling, no problem, but an hour of running is not better for your cycling than an hour of cycling. Unless, of course, you're overtrained and can't bring yourself to actually ride productively for an hour.
I disagree...PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jun 15, 2002 6:17 PM
K my post was exagerating the ammount of training. But cardiovascularly running can be more effect than cycling for a trained cyclist in the offseason. However, once you get into the racing season you need to spend all your time on the bike.

My 2 cents,
Nick Corcoran Inc.