The essential bike for the runner’s progress?
Whether you are a recreational or competitive runner, training will most often be done by running alone. The benefits of technical work, speed and muscle strengthening, whether you want to run faster, for longer or simply to have more fun and fewer injuries, are techniques far removed from running itself. There is less thought given to integrating cycling with running, thinking that they are two fundamentally different endurance sports. However, integrating them into your program on a regular basis will bring you many benefits, not only will you not have to buy a brand new bike that will cost a lot of money, but you can also opt for a second-hand bike in good condition that will be much cheaper.
One of the basic principles of many athletes or coaches will be to always do more. From a physiological point of view, this makes sense since the basis for progress in endurance sports will be an overall volume of training – depending on the individual’s abilities, availability and investment – and most of it will be at easy intensities, where one is able to talk with one’s training partners.
The physiological adaptations for this type of training will be numerous, among which we can cite the following:
Finally, we can better understand why endurance sports are the archetype of the conscientious, invested, regular and patient worker, since these physiological adaptations cannot be done in a day and therefore require time. If the best performances at high level are most often reached after ten years of intensive work, it is probably not by chance.
But running, as you know, has as its main defect the traumatic nature of the impacts on the ground and their repetition. Moreover, it seems clear that the less expert you are, the less you will be able to withstand all these shocks, despite a volume and intensity less consistent than elite runners.
Very high level athletes will therefore be well advised to add a weight-bearing practice to further increase aerobic volume when progress is lacking or the load becomes difficult to bear.
For the amateur sportsman, this will be even more true, as he is often more prone to injuries due to his less efficient movements, his smaller recovery areas and his lower capacity to take it.
What to do on a bike?
Several options will then be available to us.
Of course, the muscular demands of cycling are different from those of running, but as you can see, the positive impact on the cardiovascular system is similar and just as effective. Close cousins can exist such as swimming, elliptical or rowing, if you want to multiply the pleasures or simply not ride a bike.