Yes, yes… For most runners being strapped to a bike is blasphemy. I know. I used to be one. And guess what… I still consider myself one despite spending a lot of time on the bike!!!
I’ve been running competitively since high school and got into duathlons and triathlons at a fairly late stage in my competitive career. Competitive cycling came even later. The switch was mostly due to running injuries. But as I started learning about each sport I started being drawn into them more and more.
When I first started cycling I viewed it as a supplement to running. I was a runner after all and I just HAD to get my running miles in if I was to get faster at running. Once I got my running regimen out of the way, if I still had some time and felt like it, I jumped on the bike for a bit and went around the block a few times.
Fast forward a few years. After becoming more serious about duathlons, I progressively started to substitute bike rides for some of my runs. But my workouts were still all running workouts. The bike was just replacing some of my running mileage.
Fast forward a few more years. I have now caught the cycling bug and have entered everything from Time Trials, criteriums, road races and stage races and I’ve even given cyclo-cross a go!! I even made the transition to working with a predominantly cycling coach (by far one of the best coaches I have worked with over the years)… but what about my running you ask?
Well, it couldn’t be better! I’m looking forward to breaking my personal bests in the 5km, 10km and maybe even the ½ marathon this year. And with ½ the running mileage I used to do. The caveat? I’m now spending more time on the bike… and there are always the flat tires, the car doors and the omnipresent crashes…
I know there are purists out there that want nothing to do with anything outside their sport. Heck, I remember when I had the running vs cycling arguments with my cycling friends before I was converted. But the reality is there are certain things you can do on the bike that are very difficult to replicate in running.
From mountain climbs to motor pacing to 7 hour rides, building base and strength has never been the same. Add to that a few USEFUL gadgets like a powertap and a heart rate monitor and you have the ability to map very carefully you training and progress, and target very specific areas of your workout. I’ve been using power monitoring quite a bit over the last year and found it an invaluable tool, even more so than heart rate monitoring.
Well, that’s my 2 cents for the day. Happy training and I’ll probably see you at the races in a couple of weeks.
If you’re looking for some training or gear advice feel free to ask me after races. I probably won’t have the answer but that’s why I surround myself with people who do 🙂
I won’t bite, I promise! Well at least the likelihood of that is a lot lower if you wait after I’ve had some food at the end of the race :-p