Runway: Running and Sprinting

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by 2LAP, May 9, 2003.

  1. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    Here is a question that Runway e-mailed me, thought it was interesting so decided to post it here for people to answer (hope you don't mind!):

    "In the march issue of Procycling there is an article about the Ukranian rider 'Yaroslav Popovych'. In one particular paragraph the director of Vellutex Zoccorinese-Colnago 'Olivano Locatelli' quotes - "I immediately noticed his calves: muscular and long - the best for elsticity and explosive acceleration","We have to thank his trainer in the Ukraine for not making him run, which would have made the muscle drop, as it does in footballers".

    Can running actually be detrimental to a sprinter as this article suggests? I would really appreciate your view on this as I am worried that my running might be taking me a step in the wrong direction.

    Cheers!"
     
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  2. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    Runway,

    Running can be detrimental to a sprinter, but perhaps for better reasons than reported in Procycling! Running becomes more detremental as the type of cycling goes from endurance to pure sprinting, remember that even sprinters in road races are fundamentaly aerobic beasts!

    Realising that running can be beneficial to cycling at times (e.g. cyclo cross, cross training, MTB, etc.), for a sprinter running is unlikly to be of any benefit at all. This is due to 'transfer', activities that are beneficial to another activity (e.g. driving a car and driving a bus) have positive transfer, while other activities have no transfer (e.g. dancing and driving) or negative transfer (e.g. activities are damaging to each other).

    Many of the adaptations to running have no transfer or negative transfer to sprinting. Pure sprinting (i.e. track sprinting) requires neuromuscular skill, strength, technique, anaerobic capacity, etc. and running can have a negative effect on all of these characteristics. Sprinting in road races requires less strength, greater aerobic capacity, economy (or efficency), etc. and running is again likely to have a negative effect on these.

    If you are not very fit, you may benefit from running because it will improve your aerobic capacity and help you lose weight. However as you become more trained gains will come slower and greater gains will be made by on the bike training only.

    Many people forget that training needs to be specific; running will make you run faster, sprint training will make you sprint faster, endurance training will allow you to ride faster for longer, weight training will help you lift bigger weights. The issue of transfer does mean that at times aerobic training will help you sprint faster, so will weight training (for pure sprinters) and sprint type training, but unfortunatly not running.

    Hope this makes sense and answers the question.
     
  3. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

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    Riders need to ride. It takes many years of motor-unit recruitment in a cycling-specific action (pedaling) to reach a high level of performance.

    Running will recruit motor units in a different pattern, taking away from your cycling performance. Not only that, but running will take away from your training time and recovery time as well.

    Probably the best argument for not running is knee damage. Cyclists who push hard will have knee pain from time to time. Running will only make this worse. Running is one of the best ways to damage your knees. Ever notice how many runners have their knees wrapped???

    Stay on your bike!!!
     
  4. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    I agree with J:MAT, but just want to add to his 'riders need to ride'... 'sprinters need to sprint'.
     
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