Cycling training is low-impact, time-efficient and a fun way to get fit

By Nicole Ganglani | Photo by Samantha Ong

There are three things every runner must always work on: endurance, power and speed. Which is why it’s important to cross-train every day. A good option runners can try in order to improve their skills is cycling. Regular cycling sessions not only strengthens leg muscles but also develops core stability and endurance. 

Cycling also boosts a variety of muscles used in running like the quads, glutes and core. Ironman 70.3 champion Linsey Corbin told Runner’s World that cycling is the perfect cross-training sport for runners because there are several workouts one can do in the bike that improves strength like riding uphill for example. Corbin also mentioned that short sprints are another way to increase heart rate and speed while a steady and long bike ride helps build endurance. 

Here are more reasons why runners could benefit from cycling: 

 

Post-run recovery

A medium-intensity bike ride helps runners recover from a long distance run by increasing blood flow in the calves, quads, glutes and hamstrings. Low-impact cycling also repairs and flushes out lactic acid while reducing muscle joint stiffness. 

 

Provides aerobic training

Cycling is known to improve overall cardiovascular fitness. Runners can build speed by doing short sprints out of the saddle on a regular basis. Interval cycling workouts also pushes the body to go the extra mile, forces it to adapt quickly and help build strength. Take Corbin’s cycling routine for example: 10 x 1 minute of going all-out on the bike with a two-minute recovery of slow pace riding then cool down for 15 minutes. 

 

An alternative when injured

Research has proven that staying active while injured is one way to recover faster. Injured runners can opt to cycle because it’s a non-weight bearing exercise that also strengthens the quads, outer hips and glutes, so it’s also pretty much like a run session. Also, 10- to 15-minute cycling workouts on the bike are equivalent to running one mile. 

 

Burns a lot of calories and fat

In order to burn body fat, the heart must be working at 65 to 75 percent of its maximum heart rate, which can be achieved by cycling. Interval cycling training is the perfect option for runners who want to shed off some body fat especially since it burns loads of calories in a short amount of time and promotes faster metabolism. 

 

Additional health benefits

Overall, cycling is a great workout to improve health. It’s low-impact, time-efficient, and a fun way to get fit. A few more benefits cycling training promotes is decreasing stress levels, anxiety and depression. It also improves posture and coordination and helps prevent the risk of diseases.

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