For a lot of runners a bike is one of their most valuable training tools. Cycling can really help improve your running, reduce injuries and help recovery as well as build strength in different muscles.
We caught up with Jonathan Frary aka Jono, professional multi-sport performance coach and director of Curly’s athletes to discover the benefits of cycling and why runners should give it a try.
Jono (AKA “Race Boss”!)
Reducing injuries and aiding recovery
If you’re someone who can’t sit still and don’t like a day off, you’ll know that the day after a long run it can be uncomfortable running with sore legs. Swapping this for a bike ride will help your legs recover as it’s a lower impact sport… your joints will thank you for it.
Cycling also aids your recovery by increasing blood flow to your leg muscles, flushing out lactic acid and helping them repair. This helps reduce joint and muscle stiffness so you’ll be back out running quicker than if you rested.
Heighten fat burning
If you’re a runner looking to loose body fat then cycling could really help. Yes running burns more calories than cycling over the same period, but as your running becomes more efficient you’ll burn less calories.
Switching some runs for a bike ride will challenge your body in other ways and can create a higher burn rate. Remember fat burning happens when your heart is working around 65-75 per cent of it’s maximum rate.
Building strength in supporting muscles
As a runner you’ll build certain types of muscle groups. At first these will strengthen and you’ll feel positive. If however all your training is exclusively running at some point you’ll hit a period of little change, which can be frustrating.
As you can imagine, cycling uses a different group of muscles, like your core muscles. Improving these muscles creates a stronger runner and will help you run faster.
Mixing up your training by using an alternative sport can improve your performance in a particular sport. Lots of runners use cycling for cross training and you don’t have to make the cycling hard or intense. We recommend you make it fun!
Cycling helps your running performance by improving stamina and fitness without damaging your leg muscles.
For more tips on developing as a runner and improving your runs head over to Curly’s blog where you’ll find lots of tips, training plans and useful resources. Or if you fancy a fun race then why not check out one of their many running events.