faire du vélo

5 good reasons for including the bike in your training

Bike could mean either a mountain bike or road bike. Mountain biking is particularly recommended for trail runners. In addition to classic cardiovascular work, it helps you to learn to read the right trajectories. This is an essential skill in technical descents on mountain trails.


1. To recover after a run (or long session)

By using the bike, you can benefit from active recovery. This is often more beneficial than complete rest. In fact, the toxins created during effort will be eliminated by slightly more intense muscular activity. Your main goal will be to get your legs 'turning over' fairly quickly (80 to 90 revolutions/min), using a gear ratio that is ow enough to offer only slight resistance. The session should last between 1h and 1h30 depending on your level of performance.


2.  To start training again after an injury (or keep going with an activity after an injury)

Depending on the seriousness of your injury or its location, it will often be possible to use the bike without any pain, when running would be impossible. By keeping on with physical activity, you will be able to maintain your physical and cardiovascular capacities. So when the time comes to start training again, you will regain your initial level more quickly.

When starting again after a complete stop, the bike can also be an essential tool, since it will enable you to start gently, by switching between running and cycling.


3.  Increasing your training volume

By using the bike, you will be able to develop your weekly training volume while limiting the risks of injuries caused by impacts with the ground. You will also be able to go on long extra rides to complement your runs.

Following a bike ride with a run is an example of the 'pre-fatigue' process. This will enable you to run after having burned part of your glycogen. You will then be able to enjoy the end-of-run sensations, while reducing the risk of injury.


4.  To develop your muscular power

Cycling on a road or trail with a high gear transmission will soon remind you that there are some muscles in your thighs! You will be able to climb both in and out of the saddle.


5.  To have fun!

Cycling is an excellent way to make your training sessions more enjoyable and more fun, to discover new horizons and to practise another form of sport. This is therefore an excellent way of staying motivated.


In conclusion, the bike is one of the runner's most faithful friends. So use it! But don't abuse it. You shouldn't lose sight of the fact that running needs to make up the vast majority of your training sessions.