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Will Running Help My Cycling

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Jul 14, 2009
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Biciclette Bianchi said:
Same here... I have really started working anaerobic endurance and strength, of late. However, power/leg strength is still what limits my performance (I can't get my HR above the mid 170's on the bike, as my cardiovascular fitness is as good as my strength is bad).


Dave

Ken Doyle's book on weight training for cyclists.
 
Jul 8, 2009
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Biciclette Bianchi said:
Same here... I have really started working anaerobic endurance and strength, of late. However, power/leg strength is still what limits my performance (I can't get my HR above the mid 170's on the bike, as my cardiovascular fitness is as good as my strength is bad).

A couple years ago I rode with a powertap for a few weeks and the problem didn't seem to be peak power for me. For a lightweight, my max power output wasn't all that low. the problem was what you are talking about - anaerobic endurance and recovering from accelerations. I started adding more of that stuff and it's helping some.

I also have the "problem" where I can cruise along at 1.5mph slower than my 20K TT pace without my breathing feeling the way an equivalent pace (say 20-30 secs per mile slower than 8K race pace) would feel running. Usually I can go about ten minutes at the pace and it feels "easy" and then my legs start to feel heavy even though I'm not breathing all that hard. Maybe that's just the nature of cycling or maybe it's not uncommon for runners who start cycling.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Biciclette Bianchi said:
Same here... I have really started working anaerobic endurance and strength, of late. However, power/leg strength is still what limits my performance (I can't get my HR above the mid 170's on the bike, as my cardiovascular fitness is as good as my strength is bad).


Dave

Depending on what performance you are referring to, your "strength" would only be your limiter in standing-start sprints or track sprints ie: ultra short, ultra high efforts. Anything else and "strength" will not make you go faster. Your limiters will be your anaerobic or aerobic fitness. Both are done on the bike, not in the gym.
 
Mar 16, 2009
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Tapeworm said:
Depending on what performance you are referring to, your "strength" would only be your limiter in standing-start sprints or track sprints ie: ultra short, ultra high efforts. Anything else and "strength" will not make you go faster. Your limiters will be your anaerobic or aerobic fitness. Both are done on the bike, not in the gym.

I think that I was guilty of that age old trap of training my strength, i.e., lots of high aerobic and threshold work. Though many are probably transitioning to base miles now, I have been trying to work on my lack of top-end punch on the trainer. I have been trying things like 1 min flat out followed by 1 min recovery (15 times). I have enough cardio fitness that spinning at 95-105 rpm I can recover to high zone 1 or low zone 2 during the 1 min between exertions (with very little creep of my HR between first and last reps). I do find that 1 minute is not enough to get my HR up, no matter what my level of effort is (it takes at least 2-3 minutes for my HR to come up and level off at a given cadence and gearing on the trainer). I have also been doing a Spinervals tape where one does 4 seconds hard acceleration in a big'ish gear followed by 4 second recovery (for 5 min) - this kills me. So, I guess that it's doing me some good. :p

I hope to do a full season of racing in 2010, so I guess I need to find a way to accurately assess what my weaknesses are. Not being able to get my HR up (while I can get into zone 5 doing hill repeats running) may not be the worst thing? I guess that I'll poke around for some ways to do a self assessment.


Dave
 
Jul 8, 2009
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Biciclette Bianchi said:
I have been trying things like 1 min flat out followed by 1 min recovery (15 times). I have enough cardio fitness that spinning at 95-105 rpm I can recover to high zone 1 or low zone 2 during the 1 min between exertions (with very little creep of my HR between first and last reps). I do find that 1 minute is not enough to get my HR up, no matter what my level of effort is (it takes at least 2-3 minutes for my HR to come up and level off at a given cadence and gearing on the trainer).

When you say you can't get your HR up, what do you mean? I can't get my HR quite as high on the bike as I can running in general, but if I were to do 1:00 flat out, then totally recover, then do 1:00 all out, my HR would hit at least 95% of maximum, not that different than it would running. Running I might actually come close to my max.

That's assuming I did a reasonable warmup with a few easy accelerations beforehand. Now, I should note that I'm talking about doing 1:00 flat out in such a way that I'd start blowing up halfway through. Literally like an all out sprint running. I'm not sure I could do 5 of them with 1:00 rest, let alone 15 like you are talking about. This is all a roundabout way of saying I'm not sure you are really going flat out when you think you are.

I don't know enough to know if you SHOULD be going that hard - I never go that hard for a whole minute because my technique turns to utter crap. But "flat out" seems to be a relative term. What I can do for 15 intervals with 1:00 rest running is 25% slower than what I can do for just one. If I'm doing more than 2 intervals, it's not really and truly all out, although I know that "tabata" intervals have you going an all out kind of effort for more than 2. The pace slows precipitously in those intervals though. With cycling I could potentially see doing more than 2 that are actually all out, but again 1:00 all out efforts shoot the HR so high you cannot do it many times on 1:00 rest.
 
Mar 16, 2009
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egtalbot said:
When you say you can't get your HR up, what do you mean? I can't get my HR quite as high on the bike as I can running in general, but if I were to do 1:00 flat out, then totally recover, then do 1:00 all out, my HR would hit at least 95% of maximum, not that different than it would running. Running I might actually come close to my max.

The last running race that I did (before major knee surgery) was a ten miler, and I hit an HR of 192 in the kick to the finish. During training, I would routinely hit the upper 180s on hill repeat days. On the bike, the max that I've ever hit is 177 (during a race). During workouts, low to mid 170s is all that I can manage.

The exertion that limits me is the pain in my legs... I just can't hold on through the muscular fatigue long enough to hit really high heart rates. I'm not a wimp about putting out, either. I've rowed crew in college, I was in the Marines (infantry), I've been a pretty cometitive runner and triathlete. I think that it's developing leg strength and anaerobic endurance that I need to do (I'm guessing that I could probably get my HR up if I were to try to last a couple minutes at a cadence of 140-150, where I'm not hitting anaerobic exertion in my muscles). So, efforts targetting what I think are my weaknesses is where I'm working now. I welcome any suggestions.


Dave
 
Jul 8, 2009
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Biciclette Bianchi said:
The last running race that I did (before major knee surgery) was a ten miler, and I hit an HR of 192 in the kick to the finish. During training, I would routinely hit the upper 180s on hill repeat days. On the bike, the max that I've ever hit is 177 (during a race). During workouts, low to mid 170s is all that I can manage.

The exertion that limits me is the pain in my legs... I just can't hold on through the muscular fatigue long enough to hit really high heart rates.

Dave

Since you mentioned triathlons, I assume you've done say a 20K time trial (in training or race). If you do that and stand up for the last 30 seconds kicking for all you're worth, what is your heart rate? I find that I am maybe 3-5 beats lower in that scenario than in a running race.

I definitely wasn't suggesting that you didn't know how to put out effort :) It's just that 15 1 minute repeats is not by any stretch going near your maximum pace. One thing that has helped me with speed changes in races (though I'm still not very good at it) is to get going maybe 1-2 miles an hour faster than an easy spin, then put it in a pretty high gear, stand up and kick all out for 15-20 seconds. Most of that time is spent getting up to speed. At first I would do one, let myself completely recover, then do one again. I'd repeat a bunch of times during a ride The last couple times before our season-ending race last week I tried doing the workout but after blowing myself out for 15-20 seconds, I tried to sit down and keep a time trial kind of speed for a minute then try another 15 second acceleration. The second acceleration was ragged, but I was able to do them. After each set of two, I took complete recovery. I don't check my HR on these kinds of workouts - I hardly ever wear a monitor any more in fact.

The race itself went better than previous races. I was however in over my head and unable to move up much from the back of the pack, so eventually the repeated accelerations from 15 around the turns up to 28 got to me and I was dropped. But I had a far easier time with the accelerations than in previous races.

Sorry for rambling a bit, basically I'd say you could consider trying really short accelerations. That may or may not address your HR issue, but I think most runners who switch to cycling can benefit from it. And it does tend to make your legs better able to handle the rigors of cycling if they tend to go to gel when you put on the power.
 
Jun 20, 2009
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conchenta said:
Will introducing some running into my training programme help my cycling fitness too?

Absofreakinlutely not! What are you thinking man? Get ahold of yourself! How can you call yourself a cyclist and even consider the thought of running? I ride my bike from the couch to the fridge and back so I don't have to walk, let alone run.

Pretty soon you'll be talking about signing up for Kona and running marathons and nonsensical gibberish.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Interesting. I have seen photos of Anna Meares running up stairs in training. I know stair drills isn't "running" but it certainly is an off the bike activity which does appear in many ways not to be totally unlike running. Pendleton does beat Meares though...
 
Jul 11, 2010
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I've just started a 3 week on 3 week off working roster where I fly to the otherside of the country to work. It's not really feasible for me to pack up my bike every 3 weeks to take with me so I have decided to start running.

I really want to join a bicycle club back home and race whenever I can, I don't have the very best fitness at the moment but I'm thinking if I at least run for 30 minutes a day I will still be giving my heart a workout and therefore my endurance will strengthen.

Basically I want to be the best cyclist I possibly can be, is running going to hurt this or is it a good way to keep the fitness I have, so when I return home after 3 weeks I don't have to get back to the level I left at?
 
I do both. much less running than cycling but not being a competitive cyclist and trained to that level, I see that running does do certain things for me. I do 60 minute runs ( I dont care about distance for my purposes ) and use my heart rate as a measurment of my workout. Like everyone else, my HR goes higher, faster and longer on a steady run than on the bike. I feel like for my aerobic engine, Im doing good work in a shorter amount of time. Its been getting to the point that I have to go all out to get mheart rate on the bike to equal my steady state run.

There fore, as a recreationalist, I think its building my aerobic engine that has made my times drop on my bike.

However, there seems to be little in the way of muscle correlation between the two. If I want to get better at cycling, its using another group of muscles in a different way. I canfeel the obvious in that regard.

In other words, when I cant or dont want to ride, I run. Next year I plan on doing cat 5 road races and I believe that I will need to shed the run regardless and get on the trainer if the weather isnt good. I would say its comical to think that an elite or highly competitive cyclist would benefit from a running program unless they just cant get on the bike.
 

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