Cycling for cross-training



ex_rower

New Member
Nov 9, 2009
3
0
0
I appreciate that the vast majority of the members of this forum are cycling purists, and I don't mean to offend anyone when I say that I am planning on using cycling for cross-training.... I love riding but at the end of the day I do not want to become a TDF champion or anything else.... frankly I don't think I have the right build for it anyway (far too broad).

However, as a rower I am looking at moving into the lightweight category (as, at 6 foot, I am too short in reality to do well as a heavy) and need to find a way to slim down, lean up, and improve my aerobic power. And be a competitive young guy, of course I want to do it as quickly as possible.

Whilst a lot of people have said to me "run, run, run" I've got a nice bike sitting around that i bought 2 years ago, and that really needs some use now that it's summer. And I feel as though a 3-4 hour bike ride will be much more effective than a 40-60 minute run (please correct me if I'm wrong here?).

The point of this post though, is that I don't actually know how to ride for fitness. I've used it for warming up for boat races before, and I've raced a few triathlons... but whenever I go out for a training ride, I cruise on about 28km/h and it's not like running where I'm about of breath.... I can talk fine....

So as an individual who already posseses decent aerobic power and fitness (although admittedly this winter I did take off serious training so I could focus on my final year of school, with just normal maintenance training) what should I be doing on the bike? Is interval training a cycling thing? and are the intervals much longer than with running?

Just a basic guide as to what I could be doing if I was riding 5 days a week would be great... the other thing is I think just sitting on my bike for so long 5 times a week just doing LSD would drive me mad, as I have a real issue with listening to music on the bike.

many thanks,
Francis
 

SolarEnergy

New Member
Aug 15, 2005
1,503
0
36
Welcome to CyclingForums mate

- What training venues do you have access to?
- Do you intend to keep rowing during your cycling training season or did you plan to just dropping the rowing program?
 

DancenMacabre

New Member
Jul 17, 2009
474
0
0
I spent hella time this weekend pouring over some ex physio books and sites. After that much of the concepts make more sense. Some of the smart people here said that to learn these things then you need to understand the body, how it works, why this or that happens.

Now i see why. If you dont understand the basic way the body works related to exercise, then all you can do is follow peoples prescriptions. Not knowing how or why this or that happens. Think of making a recipe but not knowing how the ingredients effect the taste - you do not know that sugar makes it sweeter for example.

Yous aid this right:

However, as a rower I am looking at moving into the lightweight category (as, at 6 foot, I am too short in reality to do well as a heavy) and need to find a way to slim down, lean up, and improve my aerobic power. And be a competitive young guy, of course I want to do it as quickly as possible.

From my recent reading -

To be a better-faster-stronger rower - you must row, instead of cycle. One of those principles is called specificity. Wanna be a good cyclist? Then cycle. Wanna be a good rower? Row!!!!

Fitness in one sport does not transfer over to other sports entirely. Someone did a study and used cyclists of a variety of good fitness levels. Then put them ona treadmill and they perform very much alike. Put them back on a bike - you see the fitness difference.

Cycling is super good at helping you lose weight. It is so efficient when you compare to other exercise training. You do not stress your joints as much as in sports like running. So you can do hella cycling, burn lotsa calories, but not beat yourself up. It has worked for me

If I were in this boat - ha ha, rowing - I would do all my cycling training in zone 3/tempo
 

Fday

New Member
Dec 6, 2005
1,341
0
0
ex_rower said:
I appreciate that the vast majority of the members of this forum are cycling purists, and I don't mean to offend anyone when I say that I am planning on using cycling for cross-training.... I love riding but at the end of the day I do not want to become a TDF champion or anything else.... frankly I don't think I have the right build for it anyway (far too broad).

However, as a rower I am looking at moving into the lightweight category (as, at 6 foot, I am too short in reality to do well as a heavy) and need to find a way to slim down, lean up, and improve my aerobic power. And be a competitive young guy, of course I want to do it as quickly as possible.

Whilst a lot of people have said to me "run, run, run" I've got a nice bike sitting around that i bought 2 years ago, and that really needs some use now that it's summer. And I feel as though a 3-4 hour bike ride will be much more effective than a 40-60 minute run (please correct me if I'm wrong here?).

The point of this post though, is that I don't actually know how to ride for fitness. I've used it for warming up for boat races before, and I've raced a few triathlons... but whenever I go out for a training ride, I cruise on about 28km/h and it's not like running where I'm about of breath.... I can talk fine....

So as an individual who already posseses decent aerobic power and fitness (although admittedly this winter I did take off serious training so I could focus on my final year of school, with just normal maintenance training) what should I be doing on the bike? Is interval training a cycling thing? and are the intervals much longer than with running?

Just a basic guide as to what I could be doing if I was riding 5 days a week would be great... the other thing is I think just sitting on my bike for so long 5 times a week just doing LSD would drive me mad, as I have a real issue with listening to music on the bike.

many thanks,
Francis

I was a lightweight in college, 6' 2" and still too small for the heavyweight boat. Anyhow, cycling is a great cross training tool. I would consider doing a lot of riding at low cadence or doing hill repeats to better stress the glutes/quads. If you really want to use your bike as a cross training tool specifically for rowing consider adding PowerCranks to the bike as they will allow you to ride the bike with both legs together as you do when rowing. A great core training tool/drill.

Anyhow, good luck in your rowing career. A great sport.
 

ex_rower

New Member
Nov 9, 2009
3
0
0
thanks for both of your replies - my apologies for taking so long myself!

Whilst I can appreciate that specificity is the way to go, I should point out that when I want to train in the boat there is a lot of time and effort taken to get there, to get my team there, to get out on the water, and actually row. Whereas during the week when I have to go off to work, I can get up early and head out for a bike ride when it suits me, or do it late at night after work instead... or whatever. So it makes things a lot easier.

Zone 3 sounds good, as does the hill work. Thank you both for that.

Whilst the power cranks look like a great tool (not to mention no doubt a lot of fun) the attached price tag is at the moment a little out of my range. I'll keep it in mind for the future though.

Cheers guys.
 

fergie

Member
Apr 10, 2004
1,924
24
38
51
Paying $1000 for Gimmickcranks would be a complete waste of money but would love to be amused by Frank's argument for them.

The former coach of NZ Rowing suggested that one of the big reason's for their success was that kids and adults always biked to the rowing venue. Here in Christchurch we see the kids cycling back from Rowing in the morning and back out in the afternoon. They get an extra 30-120mins of conditioning per day. In NZ rowing venues are pretty limited so cycling made up a lot of the general conditioning of the athlete. Not saying there is any crossover and if this situation is optimal but seems to be working pretty well.
 

leanman

New Member
Sep 20, 2009
167
0
16
ex rower
whay not talk to your coach, or read up on what world class rowers do to train year round?? try to do what the best rowers in the world do when and if they cross train.
maybe they row on the water in season, then out of season they row on the stationary rower.
talk to rowing coaches. they'll know more then us cyclists on how to make you a better rower.
if i were you, i would row..