Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time?

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Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time?

Postby ozstriker » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:58 pm

I did the bike portion of the 'Hell of the West' today, and it gave me a lot of motivation at having a real go at improving my endurance on the bike (I went out hard and bonked massively with 10k to go the watched as half the field passed me)

As seen in the performance graph here http://app.strava.com/activities/39564368

But I have also signed up for a 10k race in a month and would like to still be able to train for that.

I was watching the real good guys today and they are freaks, how do they get so strong on the bike and run?

Can it be done or would it be a half hearted attempt at both.
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by BNA » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:11 pm

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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby RonK » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:11 pm

Why not? Thousands of triathletes and ironman athletes manage it (and swimming as well).
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby ozstriker » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:18 pm

What would that training program look like

This?
M:Rest
T:Cycle
W:Run
T:Cycle
F:Run
S:Morning:Long Ride Afternoon:Run
S:Slow ride

????????????????
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby RonK » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:30 pm

Your best bet would probably be to join a triathlon club.
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby Sparx » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:09 am

Depends what you mean by good.

Put an elite triathlete against an elite cyclist and an elite runner and they would have no chance. No triathlete is going to do sub 28 or 29 mins for 10km which the best elite runners do.

For the average Joe it's pretty hard to get good at both unless you have a lot of time for training.

Edited to say: your programme is a good start, though if you are more of a cyclist than runner then you should aim for more running.

4 time a week and mix up the sessions - speed, hills, long run, tempo.
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby ozstriker » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:18 pm

I've been thinking about what you wrote all afternoon, 'what do you consider good' I really don't know, I guess being competitive against other amateurs in my age group. I'm pretty realistic I'm never gonna make a profession out of it no matter how much I train.

But I love running as well as cycling and wouldn't mind doing one or two events this year.

However I also wouldn't mind starting racing (cycling) and would like to eventually be competitive doing that.
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby Ozkaban » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:10 pm

I used to be able to run at about 4:15 min/kms for 8-10k. Not overly quick, but ok. I'm far from the quickest club cyclist too but can keep up with 33kmh club rides, taking my turn on the front etc. Better training in both disciplines would make a lot of difference.

The main issue I found apart from finding time for both is to keep up a good stretching routine. I got knee issues pretty quickly and stretching was the answer...
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby Losttheplot » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:32 pm

Sure can...but, as a previous poster said any triathlete/multisporter competing in an event beside a single sport athlete of similar ability isn't going to come close. Just splitting the amount of available time and energy you have between the disciplines means the physiological changes for each discipline happen more slowly and less successfully.

Most triathletes I know train twice daily to try and fit in enough of each to make some improvement. If you can fit in 3 run sessions per week in addition to your current riding you'll start to go OK.

Spend 3 months running really easy slowly building up your weeks mileage (increase about 10-20% every 3rd week or so) then perhaps an interval run, a threshold run and a long easy run each week should see you running well.
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby moosterbounce » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:13 pm

Sparx wrote:Depends what you mean by good.

Put an elite triathlete against an elite cyclist and an elite runner and they would have no chance. No triathlete is going to do sub 28 or 29 mins for 10km which the best elite runners do.


Didn't Alastair Brownlee do the run at the Olympics in 29.07? Pretty impressive run for 10kms after 1.15h of swimming and cycling. I reckon he'd be competitive with the elites.

Agree with others though...if you can fit in 3 runs per week, you'll be doing ok. Personally I've found that running has helped my cycling as I'm guessing my legs are stronger (or they are so happy I'm not using them to run so are celebrating :P ).
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby bardygrub » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:05 am

Id have to say no, back when i was 15-16 2 weeks before i won a bronze in the Vic states for tt i was at the wang track doing training.The track is a 590 meter and the old man said to jump off the bike take off the shoes and go for a run around the track as a cool down. Well i got about 200 meters into it and stopped as i could not go any more.

Ive never been a runner and have always thought the running is good for your riding but riding will do nothing for your running.
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby Sparx » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:07 am

ozstriker wrote:I've been thinking about what you wrote all afternoon, 'what do you consider good' I really don't know, I guess being competitive against other amateurs in my age group. I'm pretty realistic I'm never gonna make a profession out of it no matter how much I train.

But I love running as well as cycling and wouldn't mind doing one or two events this year.

However I also wouldn't mind starting racing (cycling) and would like to eventually be competitive doing that.


Well I reckon that's fine - if you just want to get out and have a go then you'll do just fine. Just remember you'll be competing against runners who may be training any where from 80-160km a week.

Finding time is the hardest and if you are training hard for both disciplines then be prepared to be constantly tired!

Brownlee is a great runner but the worlds best Kenyans would smoke him. Plus there was a lot of discussion of how accurately measured the course was.
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby wardie » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:54 am

You sure can do both and be fine at running a 10km race. You're only racing against yourself...right? I you want to break 30 mins then you have no chance. But if you want to cross the line feeling strong then I wouldn't worry too much.

I used to train as a triathlete but in the last 3 months have not run at all. Only cycled. I did a triathlon on Sunday and ran a 21 min 5km. Now I have a pretty good running background (best 5km 17:30, best marathon 3:08) but it shows that you can do both.

I have found that riding has not had much of an impact on my running as I would of expected.

If I was you, I wouldn't run more than 3 times per week and cut out the Sat ride and run. That sort of day is far harder than it looks. You don't need to teach your body to be able to run off a ride. Do all your running with as fresh as legs as possible (i.e after a rest day or after an easy day on the bike) at least until you have more miles in your legs.
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby brentono » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:45 am

bardygrub wrote:
Ive never been a runner and have always thought the running is good for your riding but riding will do nothing for your running.

Tend to agree with you, there bardygrub. Cycling won't help you as a runner.
So I also don't think the two are mutually inclusive sports. OP- You'll could be good at one or the other.
Depends of course, what your definition of good is. :D
Already pointed this one out about running for Cycling- historically, but it still holds, whenever...
Running (on hard surfaces) was never recommended, due to damage of joints etc...
was to go to the beach, and run up sand hills, less stressful, and expands your
breathing, and builds power, and strength for explosive efforts.
Some training hints, and just my 2c.
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby rogan » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:04 pm

bardygrub wrote:Id have to say no, back when i was 15-16 2 weeks before i won a bronze in the Vic states for tt i was at the wang track doing training.The track is a 590 meter and the old man said to jump off the bike take off the shoes and go for a run around the track as a cool down. Well i got about 200 meters into it and stopped as i could not go any more.

Ive never been a runner and have always thought the running is good for your riding but riding will do nothing for your running.


Cycling won't do anything for your sprint running, but...

I used to run a bit, had a course, about 14 km, did it continually for years, always did it in 1h 08 or so. My best time was 1h 07. I didn't do it for a couple of years whilst I got pretty good at cycling. Then I went out and did it one time, and did it in 55 minutes. Cycling DOES improve your fitness, to a quite remarkable degree. Getting to a higher level in cycling will improve your performance at any endurance activity.
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby skull » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:13 pm

Well I would say I am a tonne fitter than I was this time last year.

My last fitness test in Feb 2012 for the Army I ran the 2.4km in sub 9min.
I decided to stop doing any running training around that time too. I wanted to just do more riding and focus on getting better on the bike

My fitness test this year for the Army, completed the 2.4km in over 11mins.

So I added an additional 2 and a bit minutes (almost 3) and I am fitter and stronger than last year.

So as mentioned, cycling will not help running.
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby ozstriker » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:41 pm

I think I love riding too much to cut down the volume, at this stage I am thinking of doing about 6 or so hours a week on the bike and then tryin to squeeze in 2 or 3 runs
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby eon » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:11 am

just my 2 cents

I agree with most above and it all depends on your definition of good.

I've never been any good at running or any kind of cardio "stuff" but about 5 years ago being a little overweight :oops: , I picked up a road bike.
Have progressively gone fitter over the years and have worked my way through the club/masters events to higher grades.

I DON'T run EVER !!!! ... but last year I decided to have a crack at City2Surf just to tick that box, as I've never contemplated of even doing such event in the past.

My first ever run was on the 18/06/2012
http://app.strava.com/activities/11109535
I didn't back off on my cycling. 2-3 solid hard rides a week
I enjoy riding too much and wasnt really focused on running. I just wanted to have a crack at C2S

I ran approx once a week ramping up the speed and distance in the lead up to City to Surf.
looking at my strava - total of about 9 Runs

Did C2S on 12/08/2012 in 65minutes from the yellow group(second last group to go ) :D
http://app.strava.com/activities/17992309
For some this might be average or slow... but for me i was stoked. I was aiming to hit 75min
mindset on the day with a GAZILLION people running to chase def helped too.

so I DISAGREE with Cycling does not help with Running. In my situation cycling was a HUGE, HUGE !!! factor that helped with my running.

as per Rogans comment :
rogan wrote:Cycling DOES improve your fitness, to a quite remarkable degree. Getting to a higher level in cycling will improve your performance at any endurance activity.
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby boss » Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:05 am

Cycling helps running for sure, it keeps your lungs and heart in good order.

But cycling doesn't condition your legs for the impact of running. That's the big thing with running, for me anyway. I briefly flirted with running last year, starting with no base (at all) doing 2km runs and getting up to 7-8km runs before I threw the towel in.

When I first started running, it hurt - I'd never get gassed but my legs did not enjoy it at all. After a few weeks it stopped hurting, and I started having a bit of fun with it and challenging myself.

I stopped running for the reason outlined by everyone else - time. I'm a far better cyclist than I am runner and while I enjoyed running, I enjoy cycling a fair bit more.

Also I've had a bit of a history with knee issues, running seemed to be tempting fate a little bit.
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Re: Can you get good at running and cycling at the same time

Postby clackers » Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:11 pm

I'm *so* not a runner ... but last year I entered a 10k event at Princes Park one Sunday morning - the organizers were some sort of Buddhist organization so there was a minute's silence beforehand to centre ourselves, but the pancakes afterwards were secular and yummy.

No problem at all. The aches the next day were shins and ribs.

If you want to cross-train, it's easy. Use your HRM to make sure you're in the zones you'd normally be in when running.
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