Converting cycling fitness to running

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Converting cycling fitness to running

Postby Deanj » Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:17 pm

I mentioned in another post that I'm thinking of doing a marathon with the Mrs next year (about 11 months away). As I haven't been for a run since I've got back into cycling, I'm just wondering how well your fitness from long rides converts to long jogs. I wouldn't want the training to interfere with my cycling a great deal and would want to do the minimum amount possible.

A question to you triathletes and the like, is it sensibly do able?

I'm guessing no, but have to ask.
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by BNA » Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:37 pm

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Postby Tale » Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:37 pm

I have no expert knowledge, but I did try taking up running after coming back very fit from a long bicycle tour. And I found it tough - the running was its own separate fitness and its own separate mental battle. But the difference between coming at running with cycle fitness and coming at it with no fitness was I could have confidence in safely pushing myself to my running limit. And once I became fit for running, it felt just as good for my health as cycling, if not more so. But running produces even more heat in your body than cycling, and it was very hot weather, and I slacked off in favour of other hobbies.
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Postby jr1991 » Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:05 pm

I ran the sydney marathon 2 years ago.
normally I run three times per week ( ~ 30km total distance) and ride twice per week (~75km total distance).
My background was more running. Started cycling ~ 5yrs ago.
I found cycling to be an excellent way of developing aerobic fitness without loading up my joints. I pushed the cycling by doing longer 2hr rides. With running, the only change I made to my normal running training was to lengthen one run a week- I went from 12km to 25km to x3 35km runs from about 10 weeks out. I focussed on high quality pacing runs rather than slow dawdles.
Mind you I wasn't trying to win, i ended up running 3hr 45 (I was 42 at the time), and I am an extremely consistent exerciser who has done about 15-20 half marathons.
I found running a marathon has made me enormously stronger mentally. You really go to some dark places around the 35km mark and come out with a mental toughness that has helps you in all aspects of life.
Once you've done one, you'll be amazed at how you are able to apply yourself to different challenges without being fazed or intimidated by the size of the task.
Do it and you'll know what I mean :wink:
Good luck, you said it now you have to do it 8)
Pain is weakness leaving the body.
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Re: Converting cycling fitness to running

Postby JustinS007 » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:46 pm

Deanj wrote:I'm guessing no, but have to ask.

I'm an ultra-marathon runner. Cycling is a cross training activity for me.

As a cyclist you will find that many of your leg muscles are not well developed for the impact of running. Calves and achilles will probably be fine, but hamstrings and quads may suffer (as well as ankle, knee and hip joints). You would need to do a reasonable amount of running training if you wanted to complete the marathon in a good time (whatever might be good for you).

You may also find that you need to work on core strength as often cyclists are lacking in this area compared to runners. I have no idea of your physique personally though.

Of course if all you wanted to do was finish then you would just have to be a reasonably fit person who has demonstrated a capacity to run for 2 hours non-stop and pain free. If you can do that then you will almost certainly get through the marathon but may not put in a good performance and may be in screaming agony at the end. But if you're mentally strong you'll make it! 8)

J.
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Postby Ed » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:12 pm

Slightly off this topic, does anyone have any experience converting cycling fitness to skiing? At the moment, I am cycling 4/5 times a week riding about 150km a week. In addition to cycling, what other exercises should I do at the gym to ensure I am fit to ski and to prevent skiing injuries?
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Postby toolonglegs » Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:16 pm

Dean...bad idea...look after your knees and joints!.
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Postby jr1991 » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:12 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Dean...bad idea...look after your knees and joints!.


Don't listen to him Dean :lol:
There is no correlation between running and joint degeneration in aged matched trials, run like the wind 8)
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Postby toolonglegs » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:53 pm

jr1991 wrote:
toolonglegs wrote:Dean...bad idea...look after your knees and joints!.


Don't listen to him Dean :lol:
There is no correlation between running and joint degeneration in aged matched trials, run like the wind 8)


Tell that to my knees :roll:
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Postby Kev365428 » Fri Oct 03, 2008 9:02 am

Ed wrote:Slightly off this topic, does anyone have any experience converting cycling fitness to skiing? At the moment, I am cycling 4/5 times a week riding about 150km a week. In addition to cycling, what other exercises should I do at the gym to ensure I am fit to ski and to prevent skiing injuries?


Ed, I can only offer my experiences as advice.

I used to ski regularly before taking up cycling (I'm talking in excess of 20 days a year in Aus, plus an OS trip every 2nd year or so).

I expect that like most people who's only exercise is skiing, my legs would fatigue badly at the end of the day and my technique would go out the window. Most stacks/injuries occured at this time.

When my wife fell pregnant, the skiing was infrequent (not really fair on her for me to keep skiing while she couldn't) and when our daughter was born it dried up altogether. To keep myself occupied, I took up cycling.

Well, when our daughter was about 2 and a half years old, the inlaws offered to look after the grandkids (our daugher and her two cousins) for a couple of days so the four of us parents could go skiing.

It only took two runs for me to get my legs back, but the fitness in my legs was far better than I'd ever experienced before. Even at the end of the day when we were begging the lifty to let us up for one last run, I was able to ski confidently down the run without that dreaded feeling of tired, unresponsive legs.

Since then, my riding has improved significantly, and my leg strength and general fitness is way up. I am busting to get back out there and have a slide, but it won't be for a year or two at best, so I'm riding more to gain more strength for skiing, should the inlaws feel generous again. :)

If your after specific exercises targeting the main muscle groups used in skiing, I'd suggest you consult a sports physician or the like, but as a general rule, strengthen the muscles around the knees to protect them.

Hope this helps.

Kev.
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Postby Ed » Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:51 pm

Thanks for the advice Kev, I'm going skiing at the end of the year so will see how much cycling improves my performance on the slopes.

I read a book on exercised for skiing fitness and there are many lower leg exercises that are common to both skiing and cycling such as leg press and squats.

There are a few exercises that are recommended for skiing to strengthen the core including push ups, crunches and leg lifts which make me sore for days afterwards and affects my comfort level on the bike.

Plyometric exercises are also recommended for skiing fitness hoewever I find all the jumping and twisting hurts the joints and the knees.

Cheers,
Ed
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Postby Deanj » Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:46 pm

Cheers for the advice. Been speaking to a few people that I ride with and have done marathons and it looks like I'll be giving it a miss.

I was hoping to just run steadily with the mrs but its going to affect my cycling to much with the training required. She just did the Adelaide City to Bay (12km run) in about an hour with a v small amount of training, and shes already knocking out 18km runs on the weekend, so it looks like it wouldn't be a steady run with her!
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