Does Cycling Help Running? Find Out How these Two Great Exercises Work Together

Are you an avid runner who is looking for any ways to boost their times?

Or maybe you’re a pro at cycling and hope that some of the skills transfer over to time on your feet.

Asking “does cycling help running” is a common question out there for people who are fans of both exercises, and we’re here to give you the answer to it!

Does Cycling Help Running?

What is cycling good for?

Cycling is a popular method of fitness and leisure. You can grab a bike and use it to get from Point A to Point B, go on leisurely bike rides around your neighbourhood, or take it for a hardcore workout every morning.

Alternatively, another popular way of cycling is to buy an indoor exercise bike. This allows you to get all of the great perks from cycling within the comfort and warmth of your own home, all year round!

There are countless benefits to incorporating cycling into your workout. Some of the benefits include:

  • Improved heart health
  • Muscle endurance
  • Weight loss and fat shed
  • Increased cardiovascular fitness
  • Better flexibility
  • Better joint mobility
  • Stronger bones

Another thing to consider is that cycling is a low-impact workout. It’s non-weight bearing, which means that you don’t have to worry about putting too much stress on your joints.

So, people who have joint concerns or are in recovery for an injury will enjoy cycling!

Looking to grow muscles from cycling? This exercise helps with the following areas of muscle:

  • Feet
  • Shoulders
  • Arms (biceps and triceps)
  • Glutes
  • Thighs
  • Calves

What is running good for?

Running is an exercise that’s been around for decades. This makes plenty of sense, considering all you need is feet and space big enough to run in!

Running for sport is increasingly popular, though, with competitive races having high entry numbers every year.

Treadmill running, road running, and trail running are all ways that the common runner utilises the exercise. With treadmills filling every gym around, it’s one of the best exercises to start doing if you’re looking for accessibility.

Running is filled with health benefits, just like cycling. Some of these include:

  • Reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular disease, most cancers
  • Better heart health
  • Stronger joints
  • Better mental health
  • Weight loss and fat shed

Running is also fantastic for your muscles, helping out areas such as:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Abs
  • Hip flexors
  • Calves

While cycling may be a dream for those with joint problems, running might be a nightmare. Running isn’t the best sport for your knees, and you’ll put lots of pressure on your joints. So, be careful if you’re at risk.

Does cycling help running?

Does cycling help running is a question that many people ask themselves. After all, many runners are concerned with their performance and want to make sure they’re training themselves to the best of your ability.

Whether you’re hoping to run the London Marathon in record-breaking times, want to qualify for a race, or just want to feel faster, you should keep reading.

“Cross training” is when a runner takes part in other physical activities and exercises with the hopes that the benefits will influence their running.

Cycling is considered a useful form of cross training when it comes to running for various performance reasons.

Fitness, stamina and endurance are all key pieces of becoming a good runner.

Fortunately, cycling helps with all three!

This is because they are both cardiovascular workouts, so many of the heart health and stamina aspects come into play with both of them.

Muscles that are developed through cycling are considered complementary muscles with running. The quads, glutes, and core muscles are frequently activated when cycling, and these can all increase performance when running.

Cycling will also help with burning calories and shedding fat. If weight loss is your goal, then cycling can bring you there faster. Losing weight can also help you run faster!

Finally, since cycling is much more low-impact compared to running, it’s considered a good form of cross training to do as it will not increase the risk of injury.

Your joints are already going through so much stress on their runs, so it’s a good idea to give them a break from time to time with some low-impact activities.

If a runner has injured themselves and wants to keep training, they’ll have a speedier recovery if they cycle rather than forcing their injured bodies to run.

Other ways to help your running skills

Are you eager to perfect your mile-time and want to do more than just learn the answer to “does cycling help running”? Well, there are plenty of things to work on!

Spending time working on your form is crucial. Your body should be tall and relaxed, and your feet should be striking the ground in a specific way. Watch the video below to nail your running posture!

You will also want to start stretching more. Research on the benefits of stretching for recovery have been mixed, but there is proof that it helps increase your flexibility. This will allow you to make better strides during your run.

Want some specific workouts to do on your cross training days? The following will help increase your running performance!

  • Core workouts such as planks and crunches
  • Swimming and aqua jogging
  • Elliptical use
  • Skiing


Does cycling help running?

Well, all sources point to a solid yes!

Cycling is a great cross training activity that will directly improve your running performance. In addition, it’s also fun, accessible, and provides you with a low-risk exercise!

So, work towards improving your cycling time and watch your running speeds take off!

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