As much as we all love running, sometimes it’s nice to do something different, and sometimes we are injured and can’t run. While there are tons of activities that runners can do for cross-training, one of the most popular is cycling. But does it really help your running? Is it a good alternative if you’re injured? The answer to both of those questions is yes, and here are three reasons why.
There’s no impact. One of the reasons we get injured while running is because of the pounding on the ground. If you have a muscle imbalance or something going on with your running gait, the pounding can turn it into a painful injury. Even though there’s no impact, you can still get injured from riding a bike, so make sure your bike is properly fitted.
You can get a cardio workout. Cycling can be hard. Whether you’re taking a high-intensity spin class or just going for a ride around your neighborhood, you can push yourself and get a solid lung workout.
It works your legs. Like running, the primary way to move on a bike is with your legs. Also like running, you can do sprints, long rides, hill climbs, and just about everything in between. But because there’s no impact, you will recover much quickly than if you did the same workout on your run.
Most experts agree that there is a 1:3 ratio with running to cycling, meaning that to get the equivalent workout of running one mile, you’ll have to bike three miles. Like running, you’ll also want to warm-up and cooldown to get your blood flowing and moving out of your muscles when you’re done.