Training in the bike for a half marathon (Read 1518 times)

    I know the question may be silly ("you train running for a half marathon!"), but I've just bought a road bike and I am taking on cycling again after many years, making the most of the long, bright days.  I am also starting to train for a half marathon in October and I wonder if I can combine both sports.  Have you tried it?  Is there any specific training plan?
    PRs 5K 21:44 10K 51:35 51:09 48:41

      Hi, Roark.


      I don't have an answer to your question, but you might want to post this over in the "crosstraining" forum to draw attention of more bikers.


      Good luck! 

      Roads were made for journeys...



        Best of luck on your training plan for  your upcoming half!


        Being an avid cyclist and runner, (mainly because I`m just too hard headed to give up either one), I personally find it hard to really "excel" at either because your constantly switching back and forth between activities. For example, on a typical "day off", a runner or cyclist would really do nothing exertive, maybe some walking ot stretching, I find myself going for a ride instead of giving myself a complete day of rest. This is probably fine if you aren`t trying to build up mileage for marathon/half marathon. But during training for something like that, you really do benefit from a day of rest.


        I don`t mean to ramble, just be careful. A few hours of cycling, especially if you are relatively new to the sport, can leave your legs feeling really heavy and tired. You certainly wouldn`t want to get on the bike a day before a long run, at least I wouldn`t think.   


        I`m really surprised you haven`t gotten more responses from this. As wingz said, you might have more luck over in the Cross Training forum.


        Just enjoy yourself and have fun!!!

        "I never said it was going to be easy. I only said it would be worth it."

          It's my personal opinion that you can. The true answer depends on your goals though.


          Now the disclamier.


          You'll probably never realize your potential as a runner though if some of your dedicated training time is spent on the bike. However.....some biking has proven beneficial to running performance.


          I don't know of any specific plans but some beginner plans I have seen  for a Half Marathon do include some time off and cross training days. And, there are a ton of Triathlon training programs that include time for running, biking and swimming.


          A typical Triathlete may spend about 50% of his training time on the bike and 25% to each of the other two activities if they have established a good running base. This is primarily to reduce the risk of injury. There are plenty of Triathletes that do not log high volumes of running miles that still clock pretty good Half Marathon times.



            I ran one marathon a while back and I trained with both running and biking.  Not by choice, but due to my situation.  I was commuting to work 10 miles each way by bike most days of the week.  In fact, the idea to train for the marathon came because I was in such good shape due to all the biking I was doing.  I think it definitely helped my fitness.  Who knows, maybe I could have done better if I had spent my biking time running instead, but I would say that the improvement would have been marginal at best.  Basically, whatever floats your boat, training wise.  If you are happy and feel good doing both biking and running then go for it.  I don't have any specific training plan for you.  I was a sample of one.  I just know that it can be done because I did it.  Good luck.
            Favorite quote: Stop your crying you little girl! 2011: Mt Washington, Washington Trails, Peaks Island, Pikes Peak.

              Not sure if this will help, but I found that cycling most defininlty improved my running.  It might just be that my overall fitness improved - not sure.


              I had been running for a few years when I decided to start training for triathlons (Ironman) and found that even if I kept my run training the same or even reduced by 1 session a week it still improved.  I think cycling will help improve your cardio as well as help prevent injuries because you are using different muscles.  It will not however help with the "soreness" that comes with the impact on a longer run.


                I will totally agree that you can do both as long as you don't push past the limits on the bike.  I trained for a 1/2 this Spring using the bike for Cross training and cut a PR.  I'm currently training for the MCM and doing the same thing but I'm not pushing myself to extremes on the bike just using it for cross training and not doing both on the same day.
                Happy Running,
                "Start with your Head, Finish with your Heart!"



                  I do both and don't have a problem I suppose what really counts is if the cycling is in addition to the running not as a replacement.


                  Although if you are injured as I often am it is better than nothing.

                  Old age is when you move from illegal to prescribed drugs.


                    I used to hate brick workouts when I was a cyclist moving towards being a runner.  Now that I am a runner getting back into cycling I don't have any problems at all.  I attribute that to the fact that running can be supplemented by cycling but not the other way around.  It seems to loosen my legs up and help me recover actively instead of slogging through consecutive run workouts. 


                    The reason many triathletes run good half times in half irons is probably because they are good runners that have good base miles running supplemented with good cycling base.  The result is coming off the bike ready to run without tired legs.   A great runner with little cycling fitness will no doubt suffer greatly in the run and post a mediocre time even if their run training is superior to a more balanced approach.  The question is what are your goals(triathlon/ half marathon?)  if it is a half then concentrate on getting the run base up high and use the bike to recover actively.   Don't expect to run well if you bike a lot and run a little.  Run a lot and cycle a little and you'll probably be fine.  


                    Which do you want to do more?... get ready for century rides in november? (not likely) or have a good time in the half marathon....? 

                    2010 Races: Snicker's Marathon(2:58:38), Scenic City Trail Marathon(3:26:36), Laurel Highlands Ultra 77(19:13:44), Ironman Louisville(13:07:07) 2011 Races: Mount Cheaha 50k 5:22:47, Tobacco Road Marathon, Mohican 100 Miler