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The greater VO2max transference of running may be attributed to the fact that it places greater stress on the body than either of the two other exercise types, due to the impact forces involved and the larger amount of musculature recruited. Consequentially, it is more likely to improve measures of aerobic fitness more quickly than other endurance training options. Runners and other athletes usually take some form of rest at the end of the training season, before recommencing their build-up to the next. There has been considerable debate about how much fitness is lost during this period and whether the recovery should be active or passive.

Researchers from California looked into the effectiveness of cycling cross-training between competitive seasons in female distance runners 2. At the end of the five-week period, the team discovered that 3,m race times were on average slower by 1. Equally important was the discovery that no significant change was found in VO2max in either group.

This is because:. Introducing the activity in a way similar to that used in the 3,m running study quoted above could be a useful starting point — ie at a transition in training for example, at the beginning of a recovery period and with a ratio of cycling and running.

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Intensities in terms of heart rate should be kept to a level similar to a running-only programme. As a rough guide, cycle distances should be increased threefold in comparison to running distances in order to achieve a similar cardiovascular training effect. Cycling would probably not be the first training option that springs to mind for those involved in sports that require out-and-out speed, such as sprinting and field sports.


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However, a number of potential benefits have been identified. Over-speed refers to a training condition that allows the athlete to perform his or her sport skill s above the speeds achievable under normal conditions. Examples of over-speed methods include, downhill sprinting and towing using elasticised harnesses. Dintiman believes that high-speed cycling can potentially increase sprinting leg speed.

Quality in this case refers to the fact that the programme does not elicit a significant level of fatigue and lactate build-up.

How To Strength Train For Cycling

The design allows the athlete to complete the given number of repetitions at very high speeds. Each repetition consists of incredibly short over-speed cycling efforts, which last no more than 2. After each flat-out effort, pedalling speed is gradually decreased over a period of seconds, before the rpm two-minute recovery period is performed.

At the end of the eight-week programme, nine such repetitions are completed. The reason is that the cycling motion has limited transference to the sprinting action — ie cycling, unlike sprinting, requires no speed-assisting arm action.

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Nevertheless, in terms of eliciting an enhanced neuromuscular response, which may transfer into out-and-out leg speed, high-speed cycling should not be discounted. However, for out-and-out speed development, very intense cycling interval workouts, performed regularly over two- to four-minute intervals, with similar recoveries, should be avoided. Speed and power athletes need to perform repeated high-powered efforts, for example, short sprints or high-loading weight lifts. Cycle interval training similar to that described for enhancing leg speed can improve the ability of muscles to produce and replenish creatine phosphate stores, although the exact mechanisms for this are not known.

This could be useful for a speed athlete who has sustained a minor injury, that prevents them from completing their normal alactic anaerobic energy system training activities, or for the masters sprinter who has adopted a more circumspect approach to training and avoids performing too many potentially injury-inducing track sprinting workouts.

A suggested workout is as follows:.

Applying the Science

Cycling can offer the endurance and speed athlete great potential, ie by contributing to injury reduction and rehabilitation. Triathlon Build training plans have been designed from the ground up for multi-sport athletes. With workouts for swim , bike and run disciplines, the goal is to help triathletes get as strong as possible for all aspects of their event.

Training plan hours per week represent cycling workouts only. Furthering the ability to sustain race efforts that lean a little more toward speed than full-distance events, these training blocks push the strength-endurance requirements noticeably higher than the previous Base blocks. Full-distance events first require base fitness, and a lot of it.


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Discover how structured workouts and cycling training plans work together to help you reach your goals faster. Step 2 of 3 Build Phase Competition Prep.

Strength... Speed... Then Endurance "Cycling Training"

Base Phase Step One. Build Phase Step Two. Specialty Phase Step Three. Increase Your Cycling Fitness Make significant fitness gains to improve your performance.

How to Improve Running Performance with Cycling | Runner's World

Intensity High-intensity training designed to further endurance capacity compared to establishing it. Workload Increased workloads to build lasting fitness and make significant performance gains.

Skillset High levels of discipline-focused training with overreaching and supercompensation intervals. Approach Blended strength, endurance and speed work to translate fitness basics into race performance. Low Volume 3.

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General Build 8 Weeks Per Block This block blends all types of power training for cyclists across the board. Triathlon Build Weeks Per Block Triathlon Build training plans have been designed from the ground up for multi-sport athletes. Low Volume 1. Low Volume 2. Half-Distance Triathlon 8 Weeks Per Block Furthering the ability to sustain race efforts that lean a little more toward speed than full-distance events, these training blocks push the strength-endurance requirements noticeably higher than the previous Base blocks.