Can Indoor Cycling Help Improve My Running?

Looking for new ways to improve your running? Why not give indoor cycling a shot! Read on to see why indoor cycling can help improve your runnning.

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Female Running Along The Pavement

Are you a runner looking to take your performance to the next level? Have you considered indoor cycling as a way to supplement your training routine?

Indoor cycling can significantly improve your running. It has been proven to increase your strength. Endurance can be built by incorporating indoor cycling into your running routine. Speed and interval training in spin classes or at-home workouts can improve agility and speed running.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of indoor cycling and how to complement your running with indoor cycling.

So, put on your cycling shoes, and let’s dive in!

How Do You Balance Cycling And Running?

Finding the perfect balance between cycling and running can be difficult.

Every runner is unique and strives to achieve different goals. Goals can target your pace, lower body fat, or cover a specific distance.

Once you identify your goals, you can find the best balance between cycling and running.

Cycling and running work similar muscle groups, but each activity can work them differently. Indoor cycling impacts the body less than running outdoors or on a treadmill. This makes indoor cycling an excellent exercise for cross-training on recovery days.

Other times runners may consider cross-training through the elliptical machine or swimming. Incorporating stretching into a runner’s routine may help them improve their running.

Indoor Cyclist On A Bike Trainer

Adding Indoor Cycling To Your Fitness Toolkit

Indoor cycling and spinning classes can push your heart rate to the upper limits. This will help to improve your cardiovascular strength and speed.

If you work out 5-6 days a week, try integrating indoor cycling into your routine twice a week. This will be ideal for improving your overall fitness while still getting that much-needed recovery.

Cross-training runners may find that they still run five days a week. They may only use indoor cycling on one recovery day each week.

You can add a short indoor cycling workout to your daily fitness routine to increase your overall endurance. Too much pure running can also impede your long-term fitness.

By regularly integrating indoor cycling into your routine, you will reduce the number of running-related injuries.

Runners who want to avoid balancing indoor cycling with running may only include cycling in their training when injured.

I used to run cross-country in high school. At my school, we specifically had a cycling trainer for runners that suffered shin splints and stress fractures.

How you include indoor cycling in your running program depends on your personal running goals. Think about incorporating indoor cycling workouts into your training.

It will have many benefits, physically and mentally.

Group of runners along track laughing

Will Indoor Cycling Complement Your Running? 

Indoor cycling will complement your running incredibly well. Increasing your running distance or pace too quickly without the appropriate training and rest can lead to strain and injury. 

Injuries to the Achilles tendon, tight hamstrings, and tibia are common when runners increase their distance or pace too quickly.

If you want to increase your distance or pace without risking a knee injury, indoor cycling is a way to do just that.

My Half Marathon Experience

I integrated cross-training through cycling into my training days for my last half marathon.

Three or four days each week, I would follow up my daily training run with a spin on my trainer or out on my gravel bike.

This ultimately helped me reach my goal of running a sub-2-hour half marathon.

Cycling has a lower impact compared to running.

The continuous pounding on the firm pavement from running is non-existent as you pedal. After training with extended rides after your daily run, you can also increase your endurance and run further later in your training. 

Finding the time to run and cycle on the same day may be challenging. However, if you are training for a long-distance running event, it will lower your risk of becoming injured in your training.

Female Running Along Concrete Wall

Does Indoor Cycling Increase Fitness?

Indoor cycling is low-impact and can be used to train aerobically. This makes it fantastic for increasing your overall, all-around fitness. Indoor cycling also helps to burn fat and strengthen muscles. Finally, it increases your cardiorespiratory endurance.

Sprint intervals on an indoor trainer can also help you increase your fitness through cycling. These high-intensity workouts engage your fast twitch muscles, making you a better sprinter. 

Along with the other benefits of indoor cycling, it challenges you mentally. This helps prepare you for the struggles of running long distances. So many benefits!

Indoor cycling is an excellent way to build up your all-around fitness. If you want to maintain fitness from running through an injury or lose some weight to help with running, indoor cycling is also a great way to do that.

Does Indoor Cycling Improve My Running And Build Muscle?

Indoor cycling and running require athletes to use their quadriceps, core muscles, and hamstrings. They work these muscles differently, but both help build strength in these muscle groups.

Cycling has a lower impact on the body overall than running. This is why indoor cycling can be an excellent cross-training activity for runners looking to become stronger, especially in their core, quads, and hamstrings.

Some budget bike trainers and indoor cycling bikes allow you to adjust the resistance as you train. Resistance training encourages your muscles to get stronger. This improves your speed over time.

Different indoor cycling training programs help riders and runners build their muscles uniquely. One workout may focus on muscle endurance. Others may focus on explosiveness. Both help build muscles over time through cycling.

Spinning Class With 4 Guys

Frequently Asked Questions

Will indoor cycling slow me down?

No! Indoor cycling will make you faster. It does not slow you down.

It improves your fitness and strength, ultimately giving you faster running speeds too!

How much biking is equivalent to running?

Experts agree that there is a 1:3 ratio for running to cycling. One mile of running is the same as three miles of cycling.

Check out this guide on converting exercise bike miles to steps.

What type of indoor cycling workouts are there?

Indoor cycling workouts can be used to complement your running.

Sprint interval workouts can increase your speed and engage fast twitch muscles. 

Endurance workouts on a trainer promote cardiorespiratory fitness and increase overall stamina. Resistance workouts help build and tone muscles.

Check out our training plans to improve your performance.

Final Thoughts

Indoor cycling is a fantastic way for runners to build up overall fitness. It also includes benefits like (but not limited to!):

  • Improving speed and agility
  • Increases endurance
  • Builds muscle and burns fat

Injured runners may find indoor cycling helps them recover and maintain their fitness until they can run again. 

As a runner, indoor cycling will significantly help you go further and faster if properly integrated into your weekly or daily training routine.

How’s your training coming along?

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