Cycling's Affect on Marathon Times
(Kalispell, MT, USA)
Hi, I was wondering how cycling will affect my running times. I've been trying to train for a marathon for two years, but the farthest I've run is 9.8 miles. I also do a lot of cycling and am interested in Triathlons. But I also want to participate in cycling events like the 400 mi or the RAAM (3,000 mi). During my cycling training, I have found that the speed I retain for one mi. (14mph/4:24) can be kept easily 10 miles, I haven't tried any farther. This speed has showed little variation as my ten mile time was 50:00. I know cycling and running are very different, but I find it interesting that my best mile is about 5:30(1:03 400m;2:52 800m;9:10 2400m;13:08 2 mi.) but when running past a 10K, my mile averages at 10:00, which I feel is a bit slow. As I improve my biking speed and leg strength(I do a lot of squats, calf raises, glute bridges, etc. and also pushups, handstand pushups, plank, sit-ups, bicycle crunches, etc.) will I expect to see a lot of improvement in running? I will continue to run, I do a progressive run, 100m/400m/800m training each once a week.
In the Spring I plan on competing in 400m, 400m Hurdles, 800m, and maybe the 1600m in track, as well as a 10K on my own time. Cross country season just ended and I had cut at least 20 sec. off my mile and improved my form a lot. Basketball season starts tomorrow, which I hope will help keep me
in shape.Hello Robert,
I'm not very familiar with cycling because I've never really done much of that except for riding the exercise bike when I have an injury that prevents me from running.
Here are a few of the rules that I follow so I keep my focus on staying fit for running. First, I try to emulate running workouts on the bike. I will alter the pace, finish harder than I start, and I always try to average over 80 rpm on the bike. That is what I have been told is the most important part, your revolutions per minute. A higher turnover helps the legs to stay quick for running.
As for cycling helping running, I'm not sure that they directly correlate. For instance, Lance Armstrong (who probably was on PEDs at the time) ran a marathon. He said that this race was the hardest thing he ever did. You can be in great aerobic shape, but nothing helps you improve at running as much as, well, running.
You may see some improvement with your running as your fitness increases with biking, but not as much if you were more focused on running. Either way, just stick with you get the most enjoyment out of. One year, you might focus more on running than cycling. Who knows. It's really up to you to do what you prefer, just don't stop moving! One thing is for sure. You'll be better at running by cycling than someone who is doing no aerobic work.
Happy Trails - Coach Tief