Are you ready to accept this challenge? Part 3

Running and cycling. Andrea Gabba explains how running can be a valid workout for a cyclist.

Continue your journey in multi-disciplinary sports and find out the advantages of practicing alternative and complementary sports for cyclists. Today we take a look at running. If you have missed the first episode and the second, we suggest you to read it.

What kind of difficulties can a cyclist have when he starts running?

"Running should be the easiest physical activity to carry out for human beings and the most natural; in reality this is not always the case. If, for example, your background is cycling and you have never run, you will probably be more rigid in the pelvic area with low hips and without a good feeling for how you should place your feet, the use of the muscles of the plantar and proprioception. This is not a problem as these are skills that are easily acquired with some ad hoc exercises and within reasonable time. Your advantage in a race, by the way, is that you are already well trained with a heart that is used to working hard."

Where to start?

"Start slowly. The first short runs should be at an easy pace. Your body, refined by hours of cycling, will help you improve quickly, you'll see. But if you follow your instinct and let yourself be carried away by the pace and the miles, you will have muscle pains in your legs the next day due to the poor muscular adaptations to the specific movement of running."

Regarding technique, what advice do you have?

"Above all: use your feet. As we have seen in swimming, also in running technique is important. When you are on the bike the absence of impact on the feet does allow you to develop muscle strength in the lower limbs, especially those regarding the quadriceps and partly the biceps femoris and the calf muscle, but doesn’t allow you to develop specific strength in the feet. In running the elastic force and thrust exerted by the feet is fundamental, so before starting to run you should always do some easy exercises with no impact (jumps, basic drills) to improve your technique and to learn to use muscles that until now were unknown to you."

What routes should you choose?

"Run on different terrains. If you can start immediately with running on hilly routes, preferable on dirt tracks or grass. This will help you reduce injuries, improve the force of your feet and general strength and you will naturally vary the pace and have more fun."

Running cycling in the same session?

"Run and cycle! Include a few running sessions without interrupting your cycling training. At the end of your usual bike ride, dedicate 10-20’ to a short jog at a medium pace. This will allow you to perform both workouts at the same time. Don’t forget that you can combine these workouts by using a MTB or a cyclocross bike, alternating stretches of cycling with stretches of running on challenging slopes, where you might even need to carry the bike on your shoulders! "

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