Cycling training for a runner...

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by F=ma, May 26, 2006.

  1. F=ma

    F=ma New Member

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    Hey everyone this is my first post here. Forums look nice :D I have a question regarding cycling training that I would really appreciate some feedback on.

    I am a very competitive distance runner (college). I am having a hard time right now fighting an injury that is not allowing me to train at my normal level. Naturally I am looking for some cross training to allow my aerobic fitness to be maintained or even improved.

    I take my training extremely seriously, and I have about 5-6 hours a week to devote to cross training on top of my light running (about 50 miles a week) and pool running (1 hour a day). I would like to spend this doing something besides running in the pool :mad:, so I have decided to take up cycling.

    I would like some ideas as to what type of training would be best, as I am basically ignorant of cycling other than knowing its fun. I can probably spend 1 hour 3-4x a week biking, and another 2 on either Saturday or Sunday. I am doing this mainly for an aerobic benefit, so workouts along these lines would be great. I hope this is enough time to get some good cycling in, but it does seem kind of short.

    Thanks for any and all responses.
     
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  2. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    Yes cycling will help. Get some qualified advice from an exercise professional on cadence, loads and bike setup. Look for a Tri or Time trial bike with a steep seat post, 76-78 degree, it will help your running. Who knows, we may even turn you into a triathlete.. :D
     
  3. F=ma

    F=ma New Member

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    Hhaha well I have been thinking about doing triathlons to complement my running for awhile and am going to start swimming laps 3x a week as well.

    When going out for normal, aerobic bike rides what is a good cadence to have? I just went for a 30 mile ride and averaged 15mph with a fair amount of hills in there (i know not very fast), and I estimate that I probably was around 90 rpm. Is that a decent cadence for a good ride?

    Also, is bike training similiar to running in the sense that you have to build a large aerobic base before beginning any other type of training? Is there a weekly long bike in which you just ride for time and dont worry about speed?

    One last one, does your butt get used to the long duration spend riding, because I have been riding for the last 3 days for the first time and it is extremely sore. Should I get a very padded seat?

    Thanks and sorry if these are dumb questions but if someone could answer them I would be very grateful
     
  4. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    Buy good cycling pants (known as knicks). They have good padding built in. Don't assume that thicker is better.

    Bike training is different to running. Read up on peoples various training routines.

    Why don't you try going out with a bike club on their weekend training ride.
     
  5. palewin

    palewin New Member

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    First, since you are using cycling as a running substitute while recovering from a running injury, your first source of advice should be your college track coach. Beyond that, answers to several of your questions:
    (1) Especially for a runner, cadence in the 90-100 range is about right, because you want to maintain leg speed for running. Since you are training to be a runner rather than a bike racer, you should "err" on the side of higher cadence, i.e. when in doubt, choose the higher cadence. Besides maintaining leg speed, higher cadences put more stress on heart/lungs (good for what you want) and less on the leg muscles (also good in terms of running, which is not a "power sport" whereas cycling is).
    (2) Yes, cycling is definitely a sport requiring a large aerobic base (which you probably have already). My schedule as a cyclist is just an "enlarged" version of what used to be my running schedule (since it takes more cycling time to get the same fitness results as a shorter amount of running time; running is weight-bearing, cycling is not): a mixture of interval days (with intervals of different durations) and at least one long group ride day, which is 3 - 3 1/2 hrs of less intense (although in any group with egos, it has its moments!) miles. Given your motivation and schedule, intervals will give you the most aerobic benefit in the least saddle time. Try for 10-min intervals at the highest speed you can maintain steadily (i.e not start fast and die) for that time, then recover by spinning easily for 10 minutes, and repeat. Since you want to stay aerobic, think of this as similar to doing 1/2 mile track interval, equal time recovery, repeat, etc. There is nothing wrong with long low-intensity rides, they are just a less efficient use of time. You probably don't jog a lot of 9-10min miles either!
    (3) Yes, your tail end gets used to the saddle time, although having a saddle that fits you makes a lot of difference. The wrong saddle will never feel comfortable, no matter how long you use it, and unfortunately its largely a game of trying different saddles until you find one you like.
    My overall suggestion is to take all of our recommendations and remember that you are using cycling for recovery, not as an end in itself, and many of us who are either bike racers or triathletes will therefore have a "bias" in our responses. Good luck with your running!
     
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