Winter training takes some serious dedication. The days are shorter and the temps are plummeting. So, it’s no surprise many runners head indoors for treadmill workouts. Personally, I can’t stand treadmills and would rather freeze than degrade the running experience.
Last year, I purchased a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine and mounted my Felt Z100 on it. The setup was easy and the resistance of the fluid trainer is very realistic and steady. I still get out the door 5 times a week, but on the other 2 days I hit the bike for a quality cross-training session.
Benefits of Cycling for Runners
- Cycling works the major muscle groups – quads, glutes, calves
- Cycling (at effort) provides excellent cardiovascular benefits and maintains fitness
- Cycling is a non-impact activity, reducing risk of joint injury
- Cycling can help prevent overuse injuries from high mileage training programs
- Cycling uses “new” muscles which stimulates overall muscle growth
Some Tips for Cross-Training on Bike
- Intensity is important
- Tempo, Hills, Repeats
- Don’t push too high a gear, RPMs should be 80 or above
- Experiment with resistance and gears to find your zone
- Proper bike fit is essential, see an expert if you have questions
- Speed or Endurance? Have a purpose when you get in the saddle
If you have a bike, and you are looking for an alternative to running that could result in big strength and speed gains, you may want to consider a cycling trainer. I pedal to music when I ride fast, and stream a movie on my laptop during my endurance rides. Biking indoors is a decent way to keep your fitness up and stay fresh during the grey days of winter.
SaltmarshRunning.com – Run For Your Life!