Biking - A Great Cross Training Tool for Runners.

Biking is something I do out of sheer necessity. My knees aren't able to handle the stress of running every day. I spin my wheels once or twice a week to save my knees while staying aerobically fit. You can get this cross training workout on a stationary bike, or on a real one and pedal around town.

Riding the bike is a complimentary exercise for running when done correctly. If you are looking to buy a bike, compare prices of exercise bike and road bicycles right here. There are four things you should know about this cross training exercise. If you want the extended explanations just read on after the quick list.

1. Make sure you average over 80 revolutions per minute.
2. If you are riding around outside, be safe and wear a helmet.
3. Get a regular bicycle fitted for your size.
4. Ride the bike especially if you run more than 40 miles or 60 km per week.

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Sticking around for the extended explanations. Awesome! Knowledge is power. Here we go.

1. The most important thing about riding the bike if you want to use it to supplement your running, is to pedal faster than 80 revolutions per minute. Don't use those bigger gears which make you push really hard. That will build up your quadriceps too much. Choose a gear that makes you pedal at a higher rpm. This helps your muscles get used to a quick turnover. This fast turnover of you legs translates to fast running.

2. If you bike outside, wear a helmet. Safety first when you are out there. Head injuries are nothing to laugh about. Protect yourself. You can be the most precautious biker on the path, but it only takes one mistake by you or another person to cause a crash. Be safe and wear your helmet.

3. I am a fairly tall runner at 6 foot 1 inches. When I got my bike, I had to get it adjusted for my size. I actually bought a bike that was too small first, and I had to take it back. Then I asked for advice and the salesman told me what bike would work for me. They even adjusted the seat to the correct height.

4. Biking is a great idea to do at least once a week if you run high mileage. You can save your legs and still stay in shape. The change in activities can also give you a great mental break from the running grind.

There you have it. Jump on the bike! It's fun. Pedal around your neighborhood. I like it because it makes me feel like a kid again. Our family takes the bikes out, we put the little ones in the little bike trailer and go to the park. Then I get a bonus workout on the jungle gym.

- Written by David Tiefenthaler

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