HOW CAN I USE INDOOR CYCLING IN MY RUNNING ROUTINE?

Many of you mix running with other sports, especially during the winter when the weather can be less favourable for outdoor activities. Maybe you've already tried indoor cycling using an exercise bike designed for speed work? This can be an excellent complement to your running routine. Here are our tips for adding indoor cycling to your running schedule.

ADDING CYCLING TO YOUR TRAINING: WHY?

Cycling, whether indoors or outdoors, when practised alongside running, provides five important benefits when you add it to your training routine:

- Unlike running, it is a non-impact sport and kinder to tendons and joints. This is why it's a good way to recover after an intense running session, as it supplies blood to the muscular fibres and promotes reconstruction;

- For the same reasons, it's an excellent way to start training again following an injury or to maintain your cardio level during a period of convalescence;

- It is also an effective way to increase your training volume ;

- The muscular workout provided by cycling will help you make progress in your running: you are exercising more or less the same muscles, just in a different way. With resistance, cycling can provide an effective workout for quad, hamstring and glute muscles. You're guaranteed to reinforce your hill training!

- By mixing different sports, you will also prevent monotony creeping into your training, which can happen in a running routine over time. What's more, unlike road cycling, there's no downside to indoor cycling: forget the wind, rain, cold and darkness... you won't even have to go looking for hills!

 

HOW CAN I INTEGRATE INDOOR CYCLING INTO MY RUNNING ROUTINE?

Intégrer le cycling dans son entrainement running

1. For recovery

If you are looking to use cycling to recover after an intense running period or session, take it easy on your bike! Pedal consistently and smoothly to keep your legs moving without too much resistance. The training shouldn't cause you any pain, so as to promote gentle blood supply to your muscles.

 

2. Increasing your training volume

As part of preparation for a marathon or long trail run, cycling is a great way to increase your exercise and work on muscle fatigue. However, remember that cycling shouldn't replace a run because it doesn't provide the same muscle workout.

For example, you can cycle for 50 minutes before going out for a run to create muscle fatigue, which will then intensify your run and simulate the conditions you would experience during a long race. You can also use an exercise bike during a high-exercise weekend: running training session on Friday, 80 minutes of cycling on Saturday, and a long run on Sunday.

 

3. Working on muscle power

If you want to enjoy the benefits of the muscle workout provided by cycling, you will have to intensify your cycling sessions. This means a power workout on the bike, and finding the best compromise between a reasonably fast cadence and maximum resistance. In other words, you should be pedalling at the highest resistance and reaching 80 to 100 RPM (revolutions per minute).

This workout should be combined with speed work: active recovery of 100 to 120 RPM with light resistance.

Here's an example of a cycling session:

- 20 minutes of continuous endurance at a moderate effort to warm up

- 4 x 1:30 min. intensive power cycling with 45 seconds of recovery

- 8 ten-second power sprints

- 20 minutes of speed work to recover

 

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I ADD CYCLING TO MY TRAINING ROUTINE?

We recommend you vary the frequency of these sessions according to your training schedule:

- if you run four to five times a week, you can replace one of these runs with a cycling session,

- if you run two or three times a week, do some cycling once every fortnight,

- if you are preparing for a race, do more cycling during the last two weeks of your training schedule to give your body a rest.

With this type of mixed training, you are stacking the odds in your favour when it comes to making progress in your running, and you will enjoy varied exercise without putting yourself at the risk of injury!

Pierre

This article was co-written by Pierre Soyez, coach at Domyos Club in France and passionate about running.

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