Cycling to help running? (Read 99 times)


    I started a new job right along a nice bike path so I could ride the entire way from my house to work along the path.  It is a little over 10 miles one way.  Do you think it could help my running if I started working up to biking to and from work each day.  Surprisingly, most of what I read said biking doesn't really help your running?  I was going to start training for a marathon so I would be running 50-60 miles a week and could be biking up to 100 miles a week.  Do you think the biking would help at all?  Thanks!



      It certainly would add to your overall cardio fitness, but at 50-60 miles running per week, its not going to be a huge boost.


      Personally, i would do it just because riding to and from work is awesome.

      5K  20:23  (Vdot 48.7)   9/9/17

      10K  44:06  (Vdot 46.3)  3/11/17

      HM 1:33:48 (Vdot 48.6) 11/11/17

      FM 4:13:43 (Vdot 35.4) 3/4/18


        It probably won't help or hurt but I"m envious of a 10 mile bike path commute. I'd bike commute way more often if the route was a little shorter (mine is  just 14 miles each way via the shortest safe-ish route) and less treacherous.


        That's also a nice run commute distance.

        Runners run


        not bad for mile 25

          When I was running 60+ miles per week and biking an hour a day, I felt the additional hour of leg strength work gave me a bit of an edge.


            It could definitely help aerobically, but with 50-60 miles a week of running, I'd ease into it and make sure you are getting enough rest and sleep.


            A few years ago, I had an issue with a knee after an ultra and had to take some time off from running. I could bike without any pain in the knee, so I rode most days for six weeks, and when I returned to running, I didn't feel as though I had lost any aerobic capacity.


            And I agree, 10 miles is a great run commute. At that distance, you could try biking or driving to work, running home, running in the next morning, and biking or driving home the next evening.



              Cycling may not really help your marathon training, per se, but it certainly won't hurt it, so long as you keep a relatively easy cadence (80-90rpm won't trash your legs...under 70 and your quads may not be thrilled about running). 100 miles spread out over 5 days/week would make for nice cross-training. It may even help strengthen some of your knee-supporting muscles, which is never a bad thing.

              Getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to

              remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.    

                   ~ Sarah Kay

              Still kicking

                My experience is that it helps a LOT! In 2015 I started experiencing knee trouble (arthritis & meniscus), and 2016 was my last year of 50 peaking at 80 mpw of marathon training. I started 2017 with aching knees and plantar fasciitis from hell. From 2017 to present, I've cut down to 30 or less mpw, no speedwork whatsoever, and only two or three long runs (longer than 13 miles) per each marathon. This makes my knees manageable, and all other niggles are long gone. The biggest difference, is that in 2017 I started training for triathlons, cycling 100-150 mpw. In late 2018 I started riding 200+ mpw. I do 4 hour+ long rides, and lots and lots of interval training on the bike. This spring I ran a marathon on less than 30 mpw running, zero speedwork, and only two long runs. It was possibly the easiest marathon I ever ran, and BQ'ed by over 9 minutes. There's no way in hell I could have done that on my running miles alone.

                I'm also on Athlinks and Strava


                  If you are going to add 5-6 hours of training a week that is bound to help almost no matter what you do.  However, adding 5-6 hours of biking may not be optimal for maximizing your running performance.

                  Still kicking

                    It's been my experience, that to optimize my running performance, also meant flirting with overtraining, fatigue and injury. (41 marathons over the last 35 years, with 10 BQ's). With cycling, and reduced running miles, I'm not having any of the high mileage problems, and my last marathon (age 58) was only 7 minutes slower than my masters PR from several years ago. Maybe not optimal, but still pretty solid, and easy BQ. So its all a matter of choice. I know one thing, had I continued to push myself with high mileage, as a run-only runner... I'd be nursing injuries, and probably be out of the game by now.

                    I'm also on Athlinks and Strava


                    Pace Prophet

                      If you are going to add 5-6 hours of training a week that is bound to help almost no matter what you do.  However, adding 5-6 hours of biking may not be optimal for maximizing your running performance.


                      I agree with this.  If it were me I'd try to set things up so that you could bike one way and run the other!


                      Running more is always better, if you can run more. But biking provides good cross-training that uses muscles in different ways and is a non-impact aerobic activity.  Commuting by bike is a good thing and you should feel good about it, whether or not it helps your running.


                        I'm gonna say that cycling will help but you will have to invest A LOT more time into it to get the same or less benefit as simply running more miles.

                        I've been on a long recovery path from a chronic injury so have capped my weekly average around 30 mpw. I've been able to notably increase my run fitness and improve race times after increasing my cycling milage with long rides and structured workouts.


                        If I had your situation I'd be riding that route to work every nice day simply because it sounds enjoyable.