Crosstraining?? Cycling??

I have never really done any cross training during my two years of running. But over the last weekend I happened upon an old stationary cycle and I tried it out a bit today . Now - when running, I only have to run slowly for a few minutes and my HR will go up to around 115. So I started pedaling this machine - I think I had it set about "medium" - it had a fair bit of resistance - so I started pedaling away - my HR rose ever so SLOWLY to 106 -- by which time the tops of my legs were BURNING!!! :) Conscious of the fact that I have to run a HM this coming weekend, I didn't do it for long -- but frankly I don't think I could have for very long anyway ..

Experiences anyone????

10 Replies

  • When I did my Tri last year I was cycling quite frequently. I never understood why the calorie burn for cycling is so low because it always felt hard work to me but we have a lot of hills round here. I am not a natural cyclist but I am going back to stationary cycling again now because I think it complements my running. I found that swimming running and cycling gives my muscles an all round workout without stressing them so even though it might be years before I do a Tri again I think I will always keep a element of the training to help my muscles.

  • I started using a bike again (after at least a 15 year break) and yes, it's the legs that start hurting before much else. I guess it's due to your not actually carrying your full weight (after all, cycling you are sitting down). Stand on the pedals while you cycle - see if that has any impact on your hr.

  • I wasn't all that worried about the low HR -- just the way that my legs hurt after such a short time!! :) I have read an article that says that cycling does offer the best complimentary exercise to running as it works the quadriceps - a large leg muscle which running does not work. So it looks like I might need some more of this type of exercise. I have found a small plan which slowly gets you cycling more (bit like C25K really) :) I think that I may have had the cycle resistance set too high (for a beginner) too!!!

  • I too try to Bicycle a bit summertime, and have been running and cycling every other day. But I'm wondering if it might be too much "leg-exercise"? Even if i have one day where i don't excercise at all, im thinking it can be too hard? What are Your thoughts on that?

    And to answer the question, I found that the muscles we use when biking are totally different from the ones used for running, and that it takes some time (but still pretty quick) before the legs stops burning every hill. You just need to keep at it, and it will become much easier and feel like less work.

    Sorry about spelling mistakes ect.

  • I do a weekly HIIT exercise class to supplement my running. All the squats and lunges are good for the leg muscles, and aid the running, and the upper body stuff helps to give the rest of the body a workout too.

    I don't have a bike, so can't really comment on cycling; but swimming is something I try to do regularly - especially good as non-weight bearing.

  • I have started using the stationary bike and cross trainer at the gym. I did my 10k trail run on Saturday having not done it for a while and I didn't walk once ( Its v v hilly and usually I stop to walk at about 2 miles in) and I put that down to all my efforts on those machines. I do really push myself and get burning thighs etc... so I think its a good thing??

  • Interesting article about cross training here -- especially regarding cycling.

  • I am coming to an end of a period of training where I have been doing a lot of running ( a lot for me anyway - up to 40Klms per week) . I have been thinking of what to do from now on - after I have had a week or so off -- and I am thinking that perhaps I should run less and exercise more. I have a largish room at home which I could put a few machines in - starting with this bicycle I have come by.

  • Bazza - did you have the seat height and reach set correctly? Achy legs could well be a case of trying to ride something where your posture was all wrong. I'm not a fan of stationary bikes as an alternative to cycling. The ones I see at gyms are impossible to set up correctly. The give away is usually that they have a big padded seat. Gyms seem to think that this is good for their customers. If yours has one, there is a good chance that you cannot raise the seat height high enough and push the bars out far enough to get into a good position.

    Most professional and serious amateur cyclists use a set of rollers or a turbo trainer for training indoors. These allow you to fit your own road bike to the trainer/rollers and train in an ergonomic position. If you ever get a chance to see any track racing from a velodrome on the tv (or better still, go and watch live) you will see lots of competitors warming up before their event on rollers in the centre circle of the velodrome. You will see a whole range of different bikes there set up on rollers, but you will never see a stationary bike.

  • Can I just ask why big padded seats are not good? The distinct lack of a comfortable seat is the 3rd biggest factor that puts me off cycling (after the terrifying standard of driving and the fact that I live 650m up an 850m high mountain).

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