Here’s a little secret. Cycling can make you a better runner. I bet you’re thinking how that’s possible, since in our minds cycling and running are broadly categorized as ‘cardio’. Well, cardio is not always the same, and works different muscles during different exercises. We’re going to break down the benefits of biking and running for you.
If you train only for running, then know that you’re only building certain sets of muscles to perform specific functions. When you bike, you’re using muscles in your legs and core that complement the muscles used for running. This makes you stronger, faster and definitely more efficient.
Great for hips, knees and ankles
Long distance runners really put their body through extremes during their races/runs, and end up getting injured every now and then. Cycling gives runners a great workout without putting your ankles and knees through the impact of running.
These are bombastic workouts. It’s basically replicating the feeling of a long run without actually doing the long run. Your body burns a ton of calories, and by the end of it you feel like you’ve run a massive run. Here’s how you do it – fair warning: gradually into these workouts – do a 10 mile bike ride at a fairly hard pace, then get off your bike and do a mile long run. Your legs will feel like jello – as if you’ve run 10 miles – but without the pounding that a long run gives.
Increase in leg turnover
Pedaling a bike is hard work – it requires consistent steady motion and a smooth cadence. And the same is required for running. Your cadence on the bike can positively affect your cadence in running. Of course, this takes time and you have to work towards it, but your leg turnover increases significantly with biking.
Once you’ve had a hard, long run, then the next day to even do a quick jog feels like a nightmare. So, instead of skipping your workout you bike, then the stiffness in your joints reduces, your toxins get flushed out and your blood flow increases. All the benefits of a proper recovery workout without the pain of actually going through one.
There you go! Now that this is no longer a secret, you can go ahead and become a better runner. With the help of your bike.