Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Why Runners Need a Bike

Tomorrow it's time for another bike ride. I'm not a cyclist who wants to do running, I'm a runner who likes to do cycling.

Biking the 52-mile Virginia Capital Trail during Covid last year.

I have found that running involves a different motor skill set from cycling. And believe me, my legs know the difference. With cycling you work your quads differently and you're not blowing out your knee joints as much with the high gravitational knee force you get while running. Cycling, I'm told, is also great for weight loss and general conditioning.

As I have often said, I want to get to the starting line of my next marathon as fit, fresh, and healthy as possible. Especially for a newbie runner like me, cross-training (cycling, walking, hiking, swimming, etc.) is necessary to keep me from overtraining as a marathoner. I think it's great training to have one or two rides a week. If you're not totally dialed into the sport of running, why not consider cycling? I do both and I personally find that they complement each other nicely. Cycling is a great aerobic workout and you can get your heart rate up for long periods of time while not pushing into the red heart rate zone. It's also a way to build generally strong quads.

At 69 I am cycling better than ever thanks to the advice of Rob "the Bike Guy" in Wake Forest. Of course, I prefer running because you can do it almost anywhere with limited gear, it's super time efficient, and it works your cardiovascular system in a slightly different way than cycling. That said, having cycled for the past couple of years, I feel that my cardiovascular health has improved no end. In short, cycling without a doubt can make you a fitter and faster runner.

Onward and upward through the highs and lows we runners endure!