Cycling vs Running – Is Running Good For Cyclists?



Recently we have received a lot of questions from Tri-athletes who as you know do a lot of running. But we have received a question from Donald McKinney who wants to know if running is good training for cycling and what precautions he should take when on the road without his bike.

I’ve been cycling for a long time and recently enjoyed reading your article on all year training, but with the weather where I live in the winter being so bad I either have to use a turbo trainer or go swimming, so I was wondering if maybe I should try some running…My question is; will running help my training and what should I look out for?
Hello Donald,
We are glad you enjoyed our Four Season Training article and hope you found it helpful. As you probably know swimming is a great alternative to cycling as it is very kind to the joints, just remember not to swallow the water.

Running on the other hand is not so good on the ankles, knees and hip joints; this is where a very good pair of running shoes will help, especially if you are running on hard surfaces, road or footpath. It’s a good idea to stick to soft grass, gravel or special running surfaces; of course as you are used to using a turbo trainer and the weather is very bad where you live, then maybe you should try a running machine at your local gym as these are more cushioned and better for your legs.

Remember if you running out doors that if the weather is bad, you need to wrap up to keep warm. You probably will not need as much clothing as when you are cycling, but you will need to be careful not to catch any chills on your chest. Also remember not to hang about after you have finished training as you will be wet with sweat, and if the sweat goes cold on your skin it’s the quickest way of getting sick.

With running you don’t need to as much training as when cycling, half an hour running is probably worth around two hours cycling.

Combine this with some swimming and maybe a work-out at the gym for core stabilization with weights should keep you, or get you fit for the good weather when its time to get the bike out again.

As with your cycling a good pulse monitor will help to gauge your training regime, have fun.

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1 Comment

  1. Galen

    “half an hour running is probably worth around two hours cycling”-??? In terms of what? Cardiovascular benefit? Calorie expenditure? I burn approx 1100 calories per hour cycling, could you do burn 2200 calories in half an hour running?

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