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Cycling and running

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:53 am
by Wellpark
Hi All,

I have not posted for a while but I would not mind some feedback. I have switched to cycling to/from work including my lunch break (Got rid of my car). It is over a hilly route with a fair bit of Scottish coastal wind around. I have tried to keep the cadence high and I have tried not to put too much pressure on my quads. At the moment the journey is approx 15min down and 20min back thus 60-70min/day

I have stopped x2/day running.

The question:

Could there be any detrimental impact on my running generally?

I am currently running 40-50 miles/week but I have just introduced cycling regularly this week (I have had 2 weeks of cycling 2-3 times).

I will run 1x8 2x10 and 1x14 this week Easy-Moderate.

I plan to start introducing some quality training over the next few weeks but the timing of picking up cycling may affect this as I am concerned about overdoing it.

Does anyone have experience of introducing cycling into their training/lifestyle. What was the outcome? All the best


Re: Cycling and running

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:42 am
by Wellpark
Hi All,

Just a wee update. After my first full week cycling to and from work, I feel a little trashed. I am not used to cycling and I was really starting to think that I have made a big mistake getting rid of my car.

My legs feel bloated and are fatigued in new places. I want to get leaner not bulkier and I don't want to feel this tired after cycling home from work.

However....over the weekend I was still recovering but decided to go out for a run. I was surprised by the pace despite my legs still feeling overloaded. I ran my fasted Tempo in months! my legs were fatigued but wanted to run and run. I was not pushing and I felt relaxed.

I think this is something to do with the cadence of the cycling and possibly less pounding on the pavement as I skipped a couple of runs this week as I substituted cycling for recovery runs. There may also be some other physiological benefits, maybe an increase in leg power because of the effort cycling up hills?

It is early days but I am hoping this is going to prove to be a positive change.

All the best


Re: Cycling and running

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:01 am
by Wellpark
Hi All -

Another update re the cycling and impact on my running. I ran 4x last week. The commute is tiring and I am not motivated/feel physically able to go out and run recovery miles when I have already cycled 16-20 miles and x4 times that day. It does feel good to get home and have the evening free and feel like I don't 'have to' get out again for a run to 'keep it rolling'.

I have kept the quality and higher mileage training as 1 a days. Thus ran 8 - 10 - 12 and 16 mile runs (46 miles run - 80 miles cycled). My 10 miler included 4x 800m CV efforts and the 8 miler was a classic Fartlek of mixed pace over trail. The longer runs were at an Easy pace but my legs were a bit heavy.

I do feel my legs adapting and I was less fatigued doing my 16 miler yesterday running 7:40 avge Easy pace. The CV's were done in the evening after work and 16 miles worth of cycles. Similar to the Tempo the previous week, I was surprised and pleased by the pace despite feeling tired and a bit achey in the quads from cycling. CV efforts were avge 6 min miles (Too fast but I ran by feel - I just tried to run up tempo at 10K ish pace).

The experiment continues......................


Re: Cycling and running

Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:54 am
by Wellpark
The experiment continues:

I seem to be adjusting to the cycling, I am not getting home as tired, the cycles uphill are less of an effort and I am using faster gears. I still feel a little fatigued for my runs but I am mostly running EZ around 7:30 - 8:10 pace. I am alternating a Tempo and low volume CV effort (1/week) as I begin to intorduce some quality into my training.

Last night was my planned Tempo run 5 miles @ Tempo EFFORT without looking at my pace until after the run. I felt very lethargic going out and slightly off colour. I took an Iso gel, which I don't usually do as I thought my glycogen levels were probably low. I eat well and try to eat a good balanced diet (nuts, fruit, carbs, low fat....) I am not too strict and I still have the odd treat ;-) My weight has been relatively consistant in recent weeks but I think I am getting leaner.

I noticed that after my warm up the effort seemed about right but my HR was low (140's for the first couple of miles) perhaps confirming the glycogen levels - cycling 4x daily is prob depleting the stores a bit. After two miles I managed to get the HR up to 150's and hitting 160 after I climbed a couple of hills. I felt strong on the hills and my effort remained even.

I finnished strong, I had to concentrate a lot but this is not unusual when I have had a break from quality work. I remained relaxed and controlled throughout.

The result of the run: 6:45, 6:43, 6:33, 6:22, 6:18 and 6:16 (for last .3 mile) The effort felt the same i.e. the 6:45 felt as hard as the 6:18 at the finnish. Thus: Was it a glycogen issue if I was able to increase the effort toward the end of the run? Am I just lacking coordination and control of my central governer to push myself?

The avge HR for the whole effort was 153. I would typically be Avge low to mid 160's for a Tempo but I am not going to over analyse at this stage. I am very pleased with the run. For those of you that know me, I have had a bad run of injuries in recent years but I am in good shape. I think the cycling is helping with that too.

To 'recycle' (bad pun ;-) a Tinman phrase.......Just keeping the wheels turning.................

Re: Cycling and running

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:52 am
by Wellpark
The experiment with cycling continues:

I continue to improve regarding my running, keeping to Tinman principles: Steady progress with CV/Tempos being used in a limited capacity just now. I have not had any significant niggles or de-stabalising affects in recent weeks, however my quality of running and pace is starting to increase. I have ran in two races (5K (18:42) and Half Marathon (1:25:42))

The times are nothing to get excited about, however I am very happy with the progress. I seem to be recovering very quickly from the intensity of the training and racing - I am far from sharp or race fit but my base fitness is def. improving.  Yesterday I ran 16.5 miles over hilly offroad terrain, (two days after the half marathon) my quads were a bit tired but pace remained consistent for the full distance (8 min/mile avge with 1000ft of climbs). The downhills were pounding my legs but they are fine today.  I focused on all the key approaches to recovery following the race and yesterdays run. Some may think that 16.5 miles offroad following a half marathon unwise but this is part of my progression toward running an Ultra (53 miles of unfinnished buisness) late April.

What pleased me most was how stable my core was, I kept checking it out and I was waiting for it to become fatigued, but it remained solid. I had to take 6 months out last year with limited running -which was soul wrenching- due to core stability issues.

Is cycling contributing to this improvement? I honestly don't know. I was away on vacation last week and I had a week away from the bike. Before this, I was getting a little concenred that my quads were starting to get bigger and heavier. The benefit is that my cycle to work/home times were getting better, however my aim is to become a better runner.........

The jury is still out. Given the continued improvements and progress back toward fitness, I can't say that the cycling is impairing me. I am running less, which may be the biggest contribution re not overtraining or picking up niggles/repetative strain issues. Ideally the cycling is stabalising my core and helping me to run with better posture without fatiguing as rapidly.

I have been addressing my core stability in other ways - complete rest, physio, pilates and very gradual rehab back to running again. Just to be back running feels fantastic and is a massive victory.

The experiment continues............

Re: Cycling and running

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:21 am
by nathantoben
Hey there,

really interested in your experiment. I am an ultrarunner and for work i am a bike courier. A typical day is run an hour in the AM, deliver on bike from 10:30am-5:00pm and then run 80 minutes in the PM. IWeekly volume is big right now as I am preparing for a mountainous 100-miler at the end of May. Weekly totals are usually around 80-110 miles run and 160-300 miles bikes, depending on how busy we are. I have found that the lethargy from cycling is always there, even after 3 years of gradually building volume and intensity. But when a race comes, I switch to using my car to make deliveries and peak with run training. I’m not sure how well this would work at shorter distances, but I have found what works for me for mountainous ultra trail races. Looking forward to hearing more from you,