>Cross Training>Ideal running:bike ratio?
I am starting to do a little bit of cross training (yes, I know, should have started this years ago) and I want to primarily bike as my cross-training. How much biking do I need to do.to improve my running? I have found that just a few random biking sessions have made me feel the difference. So, if I was, say running 6 hours a week, should I cycle 2 hours? 3 hours? I may be training for my first marathon later this year so my running times will go up.
Suffering Benefiting from mature onset exercise addiction and low aerobic endorphin release threshold. Hoping there is no cure.
A Saucy Wench
Only as much as it adds to your running rather than taking away from it. That will vary from person to person
Perhaps running more is too hard on the body physically but you either have extra energy and/or you find that biking acts as a recovery exercise making your running easier. Good - if you are maxed out on running for whatever reason (physical, psychological, whatever - xtraining can provide extra). I can usually only handle 7-8 hours of running a week, but can add other non impact cardio quite a bit.
You add biking to your current running load and for a couple weeks it feels good, but you find yourself being tired or struggling to hit your key running workouts. Back off. You develop running injuries that you have never had before - look at the Xtraining. (biking shreds my knees but I only feel it when running )
Make sure you know the purpose of your Xtraining just as your running. If you are biking for recovery, keep it light, if you are biking to get extra cardio work, keep it in the working range. If you are biking because you are temporarily unable to run hard and you want the aerobic development of intervals, you can do that too. But it has to fit in the framework of your primary goal.
I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets
"When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7
As Ennay suggests, it's not really a question of finding a ratio, but of adding to your running when you can't (or don't want to) do any more. Everyone has a limit as to how much running they can do without getting overtrained or injured (and that depends on a lot of things - including the intensity at which you do your running) and once you reach that limit then you may well get some benefit by doing other forms of exercise in addition.
If available time is limiting the amount of running you do then probably the best thing for you running is not to spend time doing other stuff if you could be running instead. If injury or overtraining (or concern that you're at risk of those) is limiting your running then do some other stuff.
But don't always be hung up about what's best for your running. When I ride my bikes I do so because I enjoy it... sometimes I'd rather go for a bike ride than a run, irrespective of which is the better thing to do as far as improving my running performances goes..
Princess Cancer Pants
What Ennay and pr100 said.
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