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For those of you who Run to cross train...(28 posts)

For those of you who Run to cross train...Fez
Feb 28, 2003 6:25 PM
Any suggestions?

I run several times a week, mainly because the snow, rain, and road conditions have prevented me from biking much.

My goal is to maintain and possibly improve aerobic fitness for cycling. I am not concerned with speed at all. I just run for 60-90 minutes per session and use the heart rate monitor.

What I find is my whole run is in Zones 4 and 5. Even an easy jog is above 160 bpm (in Zone 4). If I put the hammer down, I can easily see 185. My estimated max HR is approx 193.

Being new to running, I don't know if this narrow training range is normal. In cycling, I can train in pretty much all of the training zones, but in running it seems like just Zones 4 and 5.
re: For those of you who Run to cross train...russw19
Feb 28, 2003 8:11 PM
I don't like to run at all. I run when I play soccer and that's about it... otherwise I personally hate it. But I have a riding buddy who is a top triathlete in Florida. He tells me all the time that running will actually slow down your cycling if you are a pure cyclist. It will limit your Quad strenghth and develop other Calf muscles, that also won't help your cycling speed. Now, that all said, I am also a believer that running is the best way to shed excess fat, which will help your cycling, and pounding away on the trainer all winter long gets really boring. Weight training will also build excess muscle which will initially slow you down on the bike, but once you start to put the base miles in, it won't matter as your body will adapt. The important thing about running is to make sure to stretch properly both before and after the workout. Running will actually help you strenghten your Hamstrings and that can help prevent injuries, but it won't make you a faster cyclist. I know top sprinter type cyclists who will absolutely never run in the off season, but then I can't argue against the facts that both Lance Armstrong and Ned Overend are avid runners in the off season. Both those guys have probably won more races then the rest of this board combined, so who am I to say to not run.
Running will not slow down anyone on this boardSprint-Nick
Feb 28, 2003 9:31 PM
Its cross training. The whole topic of sport specific training is great and very true but its to the point now where your not allowed to cross train anymore. I'd like to question some of the things that were said.

For the people on this board a jog will help them more than hurt them. Think of it is it better to go for an hour run or sit on their butt? Your friend is a top triathlete... not your average joe. Also unless he has his kines degree I think his opinion may be based in an athletes tale as opposed to true fact. You said it yourself, Ned Overend and Lance Armstrong both run in the offseason! Are these guys at all slow?

As for quad and calf strength. Without running uphill it will only marginally increase quad strength, but your calf, hamstring and glute strength will increase. This is a bad thing how again?

My 2 cents,
Nick knows all, his word is gospelrussw19
Feb 28, 2003 10:39 PM
Hey Nick, I know you know everything and all that... but....
Read the freaking post you are trying to pick apart.
I specifically said that I question the advice and used Lance and Ned as my examples! Can you not read? You are picking my post apart by supporting exacly what I said.
The guy asked for advice I gave him some. I am sorry if this doesn't match up with what you were told by the trainers that watch over your Olympic development. But you really need to learn some kinesiology before you start argueing about it. If you run to cross train, it WILL slow you down as a cyclist. It will change the overall muscle structure of your legs. Your calves will develop differently and you will loose mass from your quads and gain mass in your hamstrings. However, like I originally said, once you start to put the base miles in, it won't matter as your body will readapt. But there are riders out there who have accomplished significantly more than you or I who feel that cross training is bad for their cycling. Mario Cippolini is a strong advocate against running in the off season. My advice concerning running is that it will help to keep your body fat lower so that will actually help you in the long run. But purely from a cycling standpoint, it will not help you. The actual irony of my first post is that the advice I have recieved regarding running as cross training comes from an athlete who has raced the Iron Man 4 times. And he says that from a cycling standpoint, it's not good to run. From a runner's standpoint, it's also not good to ride. But if you really want crosstraining advice for cyclists, then either cross country ski, or speed skate. You can get a pair of 5 wheel roller blades and take that up in the off season if you choose. From a cycling standpoint, you are better off doing aerobics and TaeBo all winter long than running.
I know that you have your own philosophies, Nick, but ask your kinesiologists you love to brag about if this is sound advice or not. Truth is, the best thing you can do in the off season is to ride your bike. The problem becomes burnout, but if that doesn't affect you, then keep riding. Next best thing is to try a sport that uses the same muscles as cycling, like skiing or skating. Bad advice it to use opposite muscles that cycling uses, like running, or playing basketball. That will help your riding less than doing pull-ups all winter long, as you are developing muscles that work against your cycling efficient muscles in your legs.
I never advocated sitting around on my ass all day getting fat to help my off season.... I stated that running will at least keep the body fat down, but it's not the best thing you can do.
And Nick, I know you are the latest and greatest up and coming ambitious young Cat 5 on the block, but anytime you wish to compare yours and my Palmares head to head, let me know. I have much more expierience than you, I have been doing this quite a bit longer than you, and I have the results to back my own advice on cycling.
One other thing that may help you in your future career in cycling, Nick. Stop putting so much faith in kinesiologists who think they know everything, and listen to those who have practical knowledge gained through hard work and the sacrifice of racing abroad. You will learn so much more from the ex-pros and Cat 2's on this board than some guy who went to college to learn the proper way to lift weights or the correct way the knee should track in the body of 60% of the people out there. I think you have your off season priorities all out of whack. Why don't you try to have fun in cycling instead of seeing how fast you can move up to being a Cat 3 for christ's sake. You are on track to burn out before your 20th birthday.
Are you from the weight lifting is bad club?Sprint-Nick
Mar 1, 2003 9:37 AM
I don't have time to reply to your email and I think you went on the defensive (partially for good reason) in my email.

But I am just curious do you believe weight lifting is bad for cycling?
that's too vague a questionrussw19
Mar 1, 2003 11:29 AM
Nick, I admit I was a little on the defensive.. more for your past postings then anything else. It's funny though, you tried to rip my first post by supporting everything I said. Read it, it's funny.

Anyways let's clarify... I support running from the aspect of staying lean, however, from a purely cycling standpoint, it is bad for your legs. As you put the miles in during the early season, you develop a memory to your muscles that makes them efficient at cycling. When you run, you break down this process. You are hurting your cycling because you are helping to develop muscle that is not cycling specific and in the long run, it will be excess weight to have to carry on the bike. The good thing about running is that it burns fat. Next to skiing (X-C) and swimming, there is nothing better. For cross training purposes, there are better things to choose than running, but if that is your ONLY option, sure, go for it run away. But if you are going to run, I would recommend you don't pound pavement, but run either indoors on a treadmill that is cushioned, or run dirt trails. Running takes its toll on your knees and fast. It tears up muscles really fast, and it is not good for your body, but great for your cardiovascular system. Now if that isn't true, why do you think ultra distance runners don't run a marathon every week? Most run 1 a month. If they run 1 every 3 weeks, they are pushing it. Why? Because running is very damaging to your body. But if you are like the original poster, and want to stay lean and you are not looking to destroy all the muscle you worked at building last year, fine, run away. My advice would be to do it on a treadmill so it absorbs some of the shock and doesn't hurt your knees and ankles. But that gets boring as hell, running on a treadmill (to me at least) so I would rather ride rollers and train my cycling muscles anyways...or you could do what I did and move south to Florida and ride year round to stay in shape. No more putting on winter fat for me!

Ok, so now you asked about weight training... I already covered my stance on that.... go to the gym and train cycling specific muscles. Or train muscles that get used, but people overlook. Work on shoulder and back strength to improve your sprints, do hyper-extensions to balance the strength gap between your glutes and your shoulders that is responsible for your early season lower back pain. Train your quads for explosive power if you are a sprinter, or train light all around if you want to stay fit and not bulk up. Weightlifting burns tons of calories, so you can lift light to stay lean... but I am not an idiot who is going to start trying to bench 350lbs in the winter months to help my cycling.... it won't help you accomplish anything except to make you look like a meathead.

So running is good if all you are looking for is to stay lean and maintain a heart rate....
Running is bad because it trains different muscles, is abusive and destructive to your joints and muscles, and if you really want to deliberately introduce injury into your training program, be my guest. Have fun spending your off season recovering from a stupid injury you picked up trying to stay in shape. I can't believe you of all people, Nick, the up and coming sprinter, would not see the downfall of running to your program. That's not a cheap shot either, but the truth... with as many people as you say are watching over your developement, I can not believe that they are stupid enough to allow you to run in the off season if you plan to be a sprinter or track rider.

Now for the original poster... if you are running to stay lean and keep up your heart rate, cool, but be very careful about it. Make sure you are using anti-inflamatories after you run to prevent swelling at the joints that running causes. And if you have to run and have access to a treadmill, use it. They are designed to flex as you run on them and to absorb some of the impact your body has to take otherwise
Thanks, my replySprint-Nick
Mar 1, 2003 3:02 PM
Sorry if I got you on the defensive. Basically what I was trying to accomplish in my first post was not scare people away from running. If people are just doing cycling recreationally theres no reason why they can't go running, swimming anything like that if they feel like it. They shouldn't be scared off because it isn't sport specific. Of course this said like anything they have to be very good about easing into it or else they do risk injury. so with running this means good shoes and a good program to learn to run. But ultimately if someone can run its just another skill so they are a good all around athlete and not cyclist. At the very least this is a great thing to have psychologically.

So all in all that just supported your post. My take on running is its great during the off season (in conjunction of course with cycling and properly working into it) but of course once you get into the season you have to taper off. Depending on how serious you are about racing you can either be very strict or very lax about this.

With strength training I agree with your post for the most part. Theres no use trying to bench 350 lbs. But as much as you should focus on your legs in the weight room you should work your entire body too like you said. Where I disagree with you is to lift light. If you can afford it a personal trainer/coach would be great here. It is possible to build huge ammounts of strength without putting on much (if any) musle. Of course this needs a very good program but when done properly is achievable. Look at the 130 lbs Olympic lifters who can throw double their body weight over their head with ease! Of course they have been lifting since they were very young but still the physiological adaptation is there if used properly.

So in conclusion we both agree running is good. Especially for staying lean and getting the aerobic benefit but the individual needs to be careful. Doing a 2 hour run out of the blue when you've hardly ran before is a bad bad thing, let alone the middle of the season. But I feel it is possible for someone to be pretty efficient at both running and riding. From there depending on the caliber of rider/racer they are they have to decide whether or not its good to run at a specific time. Thats the only generic answer to give. There is no once answer that encompasses everyone.

Good chatting with ya.
Nick knows all, his word is gospelrogue_CT1
Mar 1, 2003 2:28 PM
russw19, I have to absolutely agree with you on this one. First, let me state that I have that almighty degree in kinesiology from the University of Missouri (1993) and I'll be the first to say that it doesn't matter one bit. Running will only improve your cycling through increased cardiovascular fitness and weight loss. For me I do feel that running makes my quads slightly more powerful when I get on a bike but it comes at a cost. That cost is dramatically decreased leg speed and knee injury/damage. As russ states, running develops different muscles and utilizes them in a different manner than cycling. The result, at least for me, is that my legs are not able to achieve high rpm's. Russ is correct in his point that once a cycling base is developed the muscles will readapt to cycling needs after a period of running. I run just to stay in shape during this horrible winter, I try to balance the running with trainer time to keep the muscles adapted to cycling. That is purely my opinion. I can say without a doubt that the knowledge I have gained from other riders who are far better than me means a whole lot more than that piece of paper from some college.
Why don't marathoners have huge calves?Spoiler
Mar 1, 2003 7:20 AM
When you run for that long you actually lose muscle tissue!Matno
Mar 1, 2003 10:14 AM
Your body only has so much fat in reserve. Once that's gone, you start to use amino acids as fuel. Where do they come from? You have to break down the protein in muscle. That's why marathoners don't usually have huge anything...
High reps?VertAddict
Mar 1, 2003 12:18 PM
High rep workouts tend to develop high muscle definition, but not much bulk. Can't think of an exercise much more repititious than putting one foot in front of the other for 26 miles!
Sure can!sctri
Mar 1, 2003 1:20 PM
how about spinning your legs arround at a high cadence for 180km?

Its just a matter of getting efficient at runningSprint-Nick
Feb 28, 2003 9:26 PM
I use running as my easy recovery workouts. So I go for a 20 mins job then stretch for 10 mins. But where it should be about 120-140 bpm to run at any good pace I'm closer to 150. From my understanding its just a matter of getting efficient at running though... over time your heart rate will drop just like higher cadences make your heart rate higher at first until your body adapts.

My 2 cents,
Its just a matter of getting efficient at running <- BAD ADVICErussw19
Feb 28, 2003 10:52 PM
Nick, you do not want to get efficient at running if you wish to be a better cyclist. It will harm you, not help you. If you get more efficient as a runner, you will lose efficiency as a cyclist. You will lose strength in your quads and change the development of your calf muscles. It will not help you as a cyclist to be a more efficient runner. It will only help you as a runner. Efficient runners like marathon runners would rarely make good cyclists. If so, it is due to abnormal athleticism. Runners have a fairly good power to weight ratio and good endurance, something that is very important in cycling. Football linebackers, for example have a lot of pure upper body power. If you were to throw the two on a bike, most likely you would expect the runner to be the better cyclist. But throw a speed skater in the mix, as proven in the 80's by Eric Heiden, and he will be the fastest of them all. Why? Because he trains more cycling specific muscles than runners or football players. That's the key to the off season. Train your cycling specific muscles. Running does not do this. It will keep you lean, and that has it's place, but it's not the best thing you can do.

Off season training.Fez
Mar 1, 2003 7:19 AM
Speedskating in the winter would almost certainly have to be done indoors (ice or inline). Outdoor speedskating is tough because of the foul weather we are having.

So that pretty much leaves running, hiking or trail running as foul weather alternatives. As a newbie runner, I was just a little miffed at how even an easy steady jog for 70 minutes on flat land keeps me at a steady 160-165 heart rate.
When are you planning on doing it?Sprint-Nick
Mar 1, 2003 3:18 PM
My recommendation not knowing how much you race or what category and taking into account your a newbie runner is this.

This season go hiking if the weather is bad and you don't want to ride.

If your interested in learing to run I'd recommend waiting until next winter. Then take some time to go to a local running store and doing a learn to run clinic. This way you will have good footwear (huge factor in not hurting your knees) and be eased into it. Then you'll always have the skill of knowing how to run. It may take you a couple weeks to ease back into it but then your an athlete and not just a cyclist. This is good mentally and then physically is something thats nice to fall back on.

By the way holding your heart rate at 160-165 for 70 mins is great. But try to do some research on how different heart rate zones affect the body. Ideally as you become a better runner you will be aerobic as opposed to anaerobic allowing for some LSD off the bike if needed.

Not reallysctri
Mar 1, 2003 1:18 PM
Running can be of benifit, that is what this post is about.
Gains in arobic capacity translate bike to run, and run to bike. Fitness is fitness generally (extremely broad generalization) speaking.

Your arguement ignores that fact that there are various periods of training, just as you dont want to be doing hills and sprints all winter, you can specialize as your season progresses. Running is base work for cycling it isnt a cycling specific workout, which you state again and again, however I dont think that anyone is argue that it is.

heart rate statsfiltersweep
Mar 1, 2003 4:23 PM
...everything is an argument these days... I was still deciphering the HR stats- 160 doesn't sound like an "easy jog"

for those of you that missed it, Fez explicitly stated he did not care one whit about speed but was rather concerned about improving aerobic fitness.
Very good pointSprint-Nick
Mar 1, 2003 4:39 PM
Its easy to hit 160 because most people who aren't runners aren't overly efficient at it. Compound this by having to carry your entire body weight and you have a recipe for going anaerobic with little effort.

For a purely aerobic workout Fez your better off hiking with intermittent jogging to boost your heart rate up. So keep it between about 60-75% of your max heart rate. This way its essentially long slow distance.

heart rate statsrogue_CT1
Mar 1, 2003 6:11 PM
Hey filtersweep, man you are right. I don't know if it is the crap weather or what but it seems cabin fever has gotten to everybody. Nick, you are alright in my book. I agree with you that for the average person running, riding, walking or whatever sure beats sitting on your couch watching TV. I for one hope you have a better week on RBR this week than last week. You seemed to bear the brunt of our anger. Good luck in Australia, and please keep us entertained err... I mean informed!! :)
Thanks :)Sprint-Nick
Mar 1, 2003 7:05 PM
Thanks rogue. I'll for sure keep my diary up to date on my site... errr start it then I'll try to post some unflamable messages on here. Maybe once people can ride/race outside again everyday they will be more forgiving. :)
Thanks :)rogue_CT1
Mar 1, 2003 7:25 PM
Hey, for what it's worth people do sometimes make it. I had a junior teammate that raced for the Postal team and for Team Telecom. He just retired this winter. So go after your dreams and make them come true no matter how many times you get flamed.
I guess we'll see!Sprint-Nick
Mar 1, 2003 8:39 PM
I figure this year will be a huge part of making or breaking me. Who knows...
heart rate stats (more) and maybe Run-Walk?Fez
Mar 1, 2003 9:13 PM
An easy pace that I can maintain for over an hour seems to be 160-170.

A real easy jog seems to be 150-160.

A fast walk is between 130-140. There seems to be a No-Man's Land between 140 and 150. Can't walk fast enough and can't run slow enough.

Maybe mixing running with walking would allow a more varied training program? I thought "run-walk" was for old, out-of-shape people who can't run for extended periods of time. But maybe its better for us cyclists because we can hit more heart rate zones?
heart rate stats (more) and maybe Run-Walk?rogue_CT1
Mar 2, 2003 4:23 AM
Fez, you seem to be at about the same range I am. Try running at 160-168 (it will level off to around 163) for either 8 or 10 minute intervals with a walking rest period of around 3 minutes. Do anywhere from 4-8 intervals depending on your conditioning. Make sure to stretch out during the rest phase especially during the later ones as your muscles will really tighten up. I didn't do this and I think that is why I developed shin splints. These intervals really worked to improve my aerobic conditioning. I now can run at a slightly faster pace with a heart rate of about 150 bpm so it goes to show that this method really works.
re: For those of you who Run to cross train...xcandrew
Mar 2, 2003 3:52 AM
I wouldn't worry about the heart rate too much. As you run more, you will get a feel for what an easy run is and what a hard run is - you don't need a hear rate monitor to tell you. If it feels easy and you feel good, it just doesn't make any sense to slow to a walk just to keep your heart rate down.

I don't train with a heart rate monitor, and neither do most runners, but I own one that I bought about 10 years ago and played with a bit. I would guess that my heart rates are roughly similar biking vs. running, but it definitely would not be a surprise to see differences, just like people have different VO2 maxes (even max heart rates?) running vs. rollerskiing vs. biking. But I think most of the difference from your cycling HR is that you just haven't got into the groove of running yet.

I am wondering how fast are you running though (pace on level ground to make it easy to interpret), to get an idea of what you are considering an easy jog and what you consider putting the hammer down... If you are doing 6:00/mi and and considering it a jog, hey, no surprise to me your heart rate is going at least 160 as a new runner and YES that is going harder than an easy zone in cycling. The reason I ask is that it seems that many new runners who are fit from other sports seem to think that they have to train at a fast pace all the time. They are the ones who might race a 10K in 42 minutes, but do all their training at 7:00-7:30/mi or just a tiny bit slower and consider that an easy pace. Meanwhile, I do a lot of easy training at 8-11 min/mi but can pop a, say, 32 min 10k without a real training build up. Some faster runners never run slow, but others (including at least one 28 min 10k runners that I know of) do a lot of their easy training at 7-8 min/mi, or the same pace as a whole lot of 45 min 10k runners. Reminds me of riding with some of my friends in high school who were pro riders later... sometimes they just coast around. Just something to think about.
re: For those of you who Run to cross train...rogue_CT1
Mar 2, 2003 4:33 AM
WOW. A 32 minute 10K? I'm not trying to bust your balls here 'cause I believe you, but you are the kind of guy that makes guys like me look really slow! I thought I was doing good at 49 minutes. Oh coarse I was also proud when I first did it under an hour. I know I'll never see anything close to 32 minutes without inducing a heart attack. You have my respect, Sir. I'll stick to riding a bike, at least I have a fighting chance there.
re: For those of you who Run to cross train...xcandrew
Mar 2, 2003 1:55 PM
A confession: I consider myself first a runner (xc and trail mostly), then cross country skier, climber, and then biker. Cycling was my first real athletic passion in jr. high and high school - I grew up wanting to be a bike pro (really admired Lemond, Fignon, Kelly) and actually had many classmates in high school who managed to do it, but I only raced a year in college. Bike technology is still my favorite "tech" interest (I have an engineering degree), but I am really a runner. And I spend way more time outdoors training than most people, averaging maybe 2 hrs a day for most of my life - I think that I am actually pretty average for the amount of training that I do, though I consider it for fun and am not quite as hardcore as many others