How Cycling Can Improve Your Running Speed: Insights from Research Studies

You don’t need to increase your time on the trail, road, or treadmill machine. As per the Mayo Clinic Health System,  “overdoing one type of activity may strain your muscles and result in overuse injuries”.

A smarter training approach involves engaging your muscles differently, such as cycling on a bike or stationary bike, which can potentially enhance your running speed, as explored in this post.

Here, we delve into how cycling can boost your running speed, the scientific evidence supporting it, and effective strategies for incorporating cycling into your running regimen.

Here Is How Cycling Can Make You Run Faster:

It’s essential to examine the existing research to address the inquiries, “Can cycling enhance your running speed?” or “Does cycling contribute to faster running?”

In a recent study published in Sports in 2019, researchers investigated the impact of cycling on running performance, stride length, and oxygen saturation in 12 triathletes.

The findings revealed a positive correlation between cycling and running performance. Study participants exhibited faster running speeds following a cycling session than a rest day, accompanied by increased stride length and oxygen saturation.

The researchers proposed that integrating cycling into a running training regimen could effectively enhance running performance. However, as you might have observed, it’s worth noting that the study sample size was limited to just 12 triathletes. Therefore, while the findings are promising, firm conclusions can’t be drawn, and further research is warranted.

Three ways to include cycling in your running workouts

If you’re curious about using your cycle to enhance your running, these three approaches can assist you:

●     Consider Interval Training on Your Cycle

As mentioned earlier, incorporating interval training on your bike could enhance your speed and stamina, making it an excellent workout between running sessions.

If you’re new to this training method, begin comfortably with balanced and brief work-to-rest intervals, then progress gradually.

●     Weave in Longer Cycle Ride Throughout Your Week

If you prefer low-intensity interval training or are seeking variety, incorporating longer bike rides into your running regimen can be beneficial.

These endurance-focused cycling sessions can aid in muscle strengthening, provide a reprieve from running, and add enjoyment to your overall training routine.

●     Try Brick Workouts

Another training approach, brick workouts, involves combining two different types of exercise, such as running and cycling, within a single session. Think of it as participating in a mini duathlon.

You might cycle for 30 minutes and then transition to a 30-minute run, or vice versa.

In addition to these workouts and your longer running sessions, incorporating some yoga, Pilates, strength training, or other low-impact activities can be beneficial. When it comes to brick workouts, starting gradually and progressing slowly is essential.

For instance, if you’re new to this type of training, attempting 30 minutes of cycling followed by 30 minutes of running may be too challenging initially. Instead, begin with shorter durations, such as five to 10 minutes for each activity, and gradually increase as you become more accustomed to it.

Final Words

As demonstrated, incorporating cycling into your fitness routine can refine your running performance in various ways while potentially curbing the risk of overtraining and overuse injuries commonly associated with daily runs, similar to how a rowing machine aids muscle strengthening and toning.

Additionally, integrating cycling into your training regimen can add variety to your routine, making it more enjoyable.

So, even if you primarily identify as a runner, consider adding cycling to your workouts. You may discover improved running performance and newfound enjoyment in your fitness journey.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *