The old myth that running is bad for cyclists has recently been dispelled by some great cycling champions such as Wout van Aert, who runs regularly even in the middle of the cycling season, as those who follow the Belgian cyclist on his Strava profile have surely noticed. It’s worth understanding that even if running does not directly help the cyclist go faster (only improved performance on the bike can do it), but it provides a simple training alternative to avoid the classic “burn out” from specialization which is now a recognised phenomenon even in the world of amateur cycling. In this article, we outline the “costs and benefits” aspect, leaving the (very rich) technical side for another time.
Running is great for the cardiovascular system.
It maintains and, following some specific workouts, can even increase lung capacity.
It’s a way to train at any time and in any weather condition.
Running improves balance, especially if we try to run on a bumpy surface (try trail running, but even a very simple dirt road in the countryside is fine).
It helps to remove the “end-of-season boredom” that can set in when we grow tired of the usual cycling routes, and allows you to recharge your motivation.
Start with small amounts and increase gradually. 20 minutes for the first route, 25 for the second, 30 for the third, and so on.
Targeted workouts. Just as on the bike, when running it’s important to vary your workouts both to make everything more enjoyable mentally, and to see the improvements.
Do not completely abandon the bike. Cycling gives great benefits in post-running recovery, so the ideal combination would be to alternate a run with an (easy) bike ride.
Factor in recovery. Just as a cool-down is recommended after a demanding bicycle ride, in running, resting is a must after a great effort,
Remember stretching. It is very important in cycling, but it is even more so in running: suitable stretches should be done regularly.
Free time. Running is efficient exercise, allowing you to get fit and keep fit without giving up time with children, parents and friends.