Cross-training is essentially about combining exercise other than running in your weekly routine. By adding alternatives workouts to your run, you can actually improve your running form, strengthen your body to ward off common injuries and add greater flexibility, speed and endurance. Cycling, in particular, is a favorite cross-training option among professional runners as it leads to powerful quads, hamstrings, and glutes — muscles that runners need, particularly for uphill climbs.

It also strengthens connective tissues in the knees, hips and ankles and reduces chances of injury. Spin classes or stationary bikes work too as they allow you to concentrate and take control over your workout—in fact, you can even design an interval suited to your running needs, with combinations of hard and light resistance. Here are 4 moderate-to-hard cycling routines to try out on your next cross-training day.

High-intensity Interval Training

Try out this tough, highly effective cycling training session designed for home workouts, and packed in to just 20 minutes. It features a short warm up session followed by some real intense cycling spells for different time intervals.

Hill training workout

Increase your fitness and climbing ability with this 35-minute indoor training session with a static bike. Designed to replicate a good session of climbing big hills, it is a great workout for the legs, core and of course, to improve cardiovascular fitness.

Moderate interval training

This 30-minute indoor cycling interval routine is a great cardio workout that even a beginner can try out. It includes 10 sets of 1 minute hard efforts followed by 1 minute of spinning easy.

The fat burner

Cycling is also a great way to burn fat faster and tone up. This quick 20-minute workout comes with fast changes in speed, and also compels you to use your own body for resistance and power building.

Elite tip

Do ultra-runners and athletes also throw in a bit of cycling in their training? Here’s Sage Canaday telling us about preparing for marathons and runs with cycling as opposed to running!

Main image: Gymfit-Affoltern

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