Couch to 5K
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Cycling on off days?

Hi there... we graduated a couple of weeks ago, and are loving the 5k 3 times a week runs, plus Parkrun 5ks on a Saturday, we are looking at pushing towards 10k's now (I know who would ever have believed that 10 weeks ago), so are on a c25k to 10k plan, just wondering on peoples thoughts on cycling on off days? We live out in the countryside, right alongside a bridle/footpath that we have cycled on, and are contemplating doing maybe a 10k cycle on the off days to try and build stamina/muscles, what do you think?

4 Replies

That's absolutely fine. Cycling complements running because it uses largely different muscle groups. You'll be wanting to go a little further than 10K though after your first week or so.

Cycling is a very good form of cross training - a change is as good as a rest.

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Brilliant idea if you're talking about cycling as a gentle way to get about in a non-polluting way. But if you're talking about donning the lycra, leaning over the handlebar, strapping the Garmin to your wrist and cycling till your legs hurt and you're covered in sweat, then I'm afraid it may not be such a good idea.

You see, exercising on a bike is still exercising, and in order for your muscles to recover from the running and grow stronger, they need rest.

But maybe add just a single day of biking to your regime? That would take you from 4 times a week to 5, and chances are you'll find that to be sufficient for a while.

Best of luck!


Another vote for cycling on your rest days, as long as you're sensible! In my experience it does use different muscles, so it does allow your running muscles to rest. BUT - I have got in trouble trying to run the day (or even a couple of days later) after doing a big ride (talking 40km+). Longer distances, as well as pushing harder, can wear out your legs, i.e. all the muscles including the running ones that should be resting. So I'll repeat what gets said a lot on here - take things steady, don't increase pace/distance too fast, take extra rest days if you need to, and enjoy!


Thanks for that Ruth.


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